What does Nixon’s correspondence with South Vietnam say about politics today?

Since 1799 the Logan Act has forbidden United States citizens from engaging in unauthorized correspondence with foreign governments. However, Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign advised the South Vietnamese government not to enter peace talks with the Lyndon Johnson administration, citing a better deal they might receive under a Nixon presidency.

In this episode of Archive Secrets, Tom van der Voort of the Miller Center, a political think-tank at the University of Virginia, takes us back to 1968 and what we now call the Chennault Affair. The center’s recordings of Nixon and Johnson unpack treason and offer an interesting perspective on the 2016 US presidential election and foreign influence within our own political moment.

This and all episodes of Archive Secrets are sponsored by Digital ReLab, makers of Starchive. Starchive media asset management software is used by many universities to organize historical content and recordings and make that content accessible for public research.

Hear Tom introduce you to the Chennault Affair and the power and new relevance of the Miller Center archives.


Are you an archivist? Have a secret you’re itching to tell? Reach me at tyler@archivesecrets.com or go to www.archivesecrets.com. Subscribe to Archive Secrets at iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you download podcasts.

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