It was 51 years ago last weekend when then-President Richard Nixon visited Fargo.

Tom Hintgen remembers it well.

Tom, now of Fergus Falls, Minn., was a night copy editor for The Forum then.

He recently looked up the Forum story online, and found that Nixon ostensibly came to meet with area governors and mayors to discuss federal funding, a loss of population and other concerns in the Great Plains states.

About 5,000 people met him as he and his family flew into Fargo’s airport July 24, 1970.

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Most were happy to see him. However, about 40 protestors were in the crowd carrying peace flags and signs with antiwar slogans.

His visit lasted five hours.

“I saw Nixon exit his car down the street from The Forum and enter the public library where he met with area governors,” Tom writes “Neighbors.”

“The real reason he came to Fargo, though, was to campaign for Tom Kleppe, who that November lost his U.S. Senate bid to Quentin Burdick, who was re-elected.

“Nixon was one of the smartest presidents we ever had,” Tom concludes, “but unfortunately he also was one of the most paranoid leaders.”

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email blind@forumcomm.com.