Another blog post on President Richard Nixon’s activities during the Watergate investigation. The first one can be found here, the second one can be found here, and the third one is here.

Following the release of the White House Oval Office audiotape transcripts in April 1974, Nixon faced additional requests for the tapes themselves. While the court battle over the tapes wound through the court system, Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger planned a June trip to the Middle East, including a visit to the State of Israel, the first trip ever by a U.S. president. Both Nixon and Pat, his wife, were no doubt glad to be out of Washington and among cheering crowds in Egypt.

Anwar Sadat and Richard Nixon wave to crowds in Alexandria, Egypt (June 1974). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 35, Folder 6. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Richard Nixon wave to crowds in Alexandria, Egypt (June 1974). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 35, Folder 6. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.
Pat Nixon smiles for the cameras as she plays with children at a school in Egypt.
Pat Nixon smiles for the cameras as she plays with children at a school in Egypt (June 1974). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 35, Folder 6. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

A couple of major events prompted the visit by Nixon. In October 1973, Syria and Egypt attacked Israel over territory in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights that Israel refused to vacate. The war did not last long, but both the United States and the Soviet Union became involved and the conflict nearly escalated into a nuclear confrontation. The U.S. support for Israel during the war resulted in an oil embargo by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which caused a major disruption in the U.S. and world economy.

From left to right: Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon meet with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.
From left to right: Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon meet with Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (June 1974). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 35, Folder 6. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

Nixon and Kissinger sought to reassure Israel of support by the U.S. and also reestablish diplomatic relations with Egypt and Syria.

Richard Nixon and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad shake hands as other officials, including Henry Kissinger, watch.
Richard Nixon and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad shake hands as other officials, including Henry Kissinger, watch (June 1974). Oliver F. Atkins photograph collection, Box 35, Folder 6. George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives. Copyright not held by George Mason University Libraries. Restricted to personal, non-commercial use only. For permission to publish, contact Special Collections and Archives.

You can read more about on the background of the 1973 conflict here.

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