‘Nattering Nabobs’ and Other Nuggets From Agnew, Now Digitized
University Libraries Expands Archives of Audio Recordings From Former Vice President’s Speeches, Press Conferences
As Maryland governor, Spiro T. Agnew had a low national profile and generally moderate reputation when he was the surprise choice as Richard Nixon’s vice president in 1968, but it didn’t take long before his sharp tongue and bombastic speeches turned him into one of the most controversial politicians in a controversial era.
Until he resigned in 1973—pleading no contest to a charge of tax evasion while embroiled in a bribery scandal—the former Baltimore County executive went after the administration’s opponents in blistering language buttressed by speechwriters like William Safire, regularly blasting the press and Democrats as trying to undermine progress and working against the interests of regular Americans.
Now anyone with an Internet connection can access this history as University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives have put more than 500 recordings of Agnew’s speeches, press conferences and broadcasts online. The audio was taken from reel and cassette tapes held in UMD’s larger Agnew archives at Hornbake Library.
Click below for some examples of what you can find: