Nixon Enemies List entry for
|List and position:||First, #9|
|Name as originally listed:||Gaylord Nelson|
|Vitals:||6/4/1916 - 7/3/2005|
- Senator from Wisconsin 1963-1981, governor 1959-1963
- remembered mostly as the founder of Earth Day in 1970
- Nixon was also a supporter of environmental protection (an often-forgotten detail). Environmentalism was not a divisive issue at the time.
- As part of his environmentalism, Nelson also promoted conservation, which was considered a Liberal cause by conservatives. Go figure.
- Also in 1970, brought about disclosures of side effects of medications as a result of the “Nelson Pill Hearings.”
- He was an early, but quiet critic of the Vietnam War. He was one of only three senators who voted against the $700 million appropriation that began the nation's expanded involvement in the Vietnam War in 1964.
- changed parties to Democratic in 1948 to win a state senate seat
- received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in September 1995 in recognition of his environmental work
- served in Army during WW II, seeing action in Okinawa
- left the Senate after being defeated in 1980 and worked with the Wilderness Society after that
- author of “Beyond Earth Day”
- The “stamina of a small bear and the public persona of a high school principal” according to his Washington Post obituary
- well liked in the Senate, ranking at the top of a 1971 senatorial popularity poll
- Several websites celebrate his Earth Day legacy, such as www.nelsonearthday.net.
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