Friends, foes due at Nixon funeral

April 27, 1994|By New York Times News Service

YORBA LINDA, Calif. -- Although international relations dominated Richard M. Nixon's long career, no foreign heads of state or government are expected for his funeral today at the library that his friends built on the site of the failed citrus orchard where he grew up.

Mr. Nixon counted as his greatest accomplishments the normalization of relations with China and detente with the Soviet Union. But no high-powered delegation is coming from Beijing, which will be represented by a deputy prime minister, Zou Jiahua. Russia, too, is sending only a deputy prime minister, Alexander N. Shokhin.

President Clinton will be there, joined by all four living former presidents -- Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

Five planeloads of senators and representatives, members of Mr. Clinton's Cabinet and onetime members of Mr. Nixon's, and some of the major figures in the Watergate scandal, are also among those invited to the ceremony.

Spiro T. Agnew, Mr. Nixon's first vice president, who was forced to resign in a kickback scandal in October 1973, refused after the former president's death last Friday to make any comment.

But a friend of the Nixon family said Mr. Agnew, a former governor of Maryland, had asked the Nixon daughters, Julie Nixon Eisenhower and Tricia Nixon Cox, whether he would be welcome at the funeral and was told he would. He is therefore expected, although it is said he has long felt that Mr. Nixon and his Justice Department made inadequate efforts to save his career.

Former Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota, the man Mr. Nixon defeated in a landslide by carrying 49 states in the presidential election of 1972, is coming to Yorba Linda on Mr. Clinton's plane.

Elliot L. Richardson, who resigned as attorney general Oct. 20, 1973, as part of the "Saturday Night Massacre," also will be aboard.

Other veterans of the Nixon Cabinet and White House staff on Air Force One will be James R. Schlesinger, Mr. Nixon's third defense secretary; William P. Rogers, Mr. Nixon's first secretary of state; James T. Lynn, secretary of housing and urban development; Alexander M. Haig Jr., the Nixon White House chief of staff; Herbert Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, Mr. Nixon's innovative adviser on domestic affairs.

The chief organizer of the ceremonies at Yorba Linda has been Ron Walker, Mr. Nixon's star advance man, who planned the president's ground-breaking trip to China in 1972.

Some of those cast as villains in the Watergate scandal are planning to come, old Nixon hands said, including Charles W. Colson, the master of political dirty tricks who once said he would run over his grandmother for Mr. Nixon. He now heads a ministry for prison inmates.

The senior foreign officials who are planning to attend the funeral, the White House said, are former British Prime Minister Edward Heath, former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu and former President Chaim Herzog of Israel. A total of 85 countries are to be represented at the funeral.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.