November 3 - 1969 - Richard Nixon Gives His "Silent Majority" Speech

President Richard Nixon addressed the country on November 3, 1969, ostensibly with the aim of describing his plans for ending the Vietnam War. The speech became well-remembered for Nixon's use of the phrase "the silent majority" towards the end of his remarks. Nixon was calling on the people who were not marching in the streets, protesting the Vietnam War, or voicing some kind of discontent. Tellingly, the speech clearly said that the Americans who needed to united were this "silent majority." The actual phrase is quite old, and was even used by Nixon's Vice President Spiro Agnew, but Nixon's use transformed the phrase's meaning into representing a certain kind of conservative white working class vote that would not march in the streets. This small phrase represented Nixon's goal of helping reshape the Republican Party into a right-wing party with his "Southern Strategy."

William Floyd