March 23, 1970:
Troops to move New York mail
Washington (AP) — President Nixon today ordered the use of troops to move the strikebound mail in New York City.
Nixon said New York City is where the problem has become the most acute.
“These replacements are being sent in as a supplementary work force to maintain basic services,” he said, adding that they would be withdrawn as the striking postal workers return to their jobs.
“I have just now directed the activation of the men of the various military organizations to begin in New York City the restoration of essential mail services,” Nixon said in a broadcast report to the nation.
The President said he also has instructed Att. Gen. John N. Mitchell to take whatever action is necessary against illegal picketing which would interfere with the return of workers willing to go back to their jobs.
In ordering the use of military men to handle the mail in New York, Nixon said that is where the strike began, where the service has been halted the longest.
“We cannot and we will not negotiate while thousands of workers are participating in an illegal work stoppage ...” Nixon said.
“I urge you to return to your jobs,” he said, “so that these negotiations can begin ...”
In comments he said were addressed to both working and striking postal workers, Nixon named various groups of people — veterans, the elderly, businessmen, soldiers in Vietnam and others — who depend on the mail.
Nixon said he had recognize ever since he came to Congress that postal workers are underpaid ad have legitimate grievances. But the issue, he said, is the “survival of a government based upon law.”
This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.