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September

02

1983

September 02, 1983



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Diary Entry - 09/02/1983

Friday, September 2, 1983

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In Tampa 3 wks. ago the Hispanic Business People were wonderfully warm in their reception. In El Paso the same was true of the Hispanic veterans even though the Gov. of Texas & others tried to steam them up to give me trouble. A good meeting in La Paz with Pres. de La Madrid. I left some powerful briefing material with him & hope he will see the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua more clearly. Then back to New Orleans for a speech to the V.F.W. convention the next day. On to the ranch & joined Barney & Dennis in building our new fence. It turned out great. For two days it was hot but we rode both mornings & worked on the fence in the afternoon. Then out of nowhere the fog & a drizzly rain set in for 4 days. We still worked on the fence but no riding & on the 4th day we went into L.A. Spent 5 days in L.A.—well on one of them I went to Seattle to address American Legion convention. In all of these speaking engagements I followed up with party fundraisers. On the last L.A. day we went to San Diego & spoke to Repub. Women. This was a special event—one of our staff—Barbara Honneger who was working at “Justice” on our survey of laws that discriminate against women had sounded off publicly that I was only play acting & had no intention of doing anything about changing the laws. N.O.W. immediately embraced her & gave her a platform. She dominated the news but after about 4 days she did herself in with her wild charges. When we got back to the ranch the weather was beautiful. We rode, got some chores done but one morning at 2 A.M. I was called with word that 2 of our Marines had been killed in Beirut. A mortar round fired in the outbreak of civil strife between Muslim & Christian factions. I called the families. One had a wife & 2 yr. old daughter & the wife is expecting a child in Jan. Then as the week went by the Soviets shot down a Korean Airliner with 269 passengers—53 of them Americans including Cong. Larry McDonald. The traffic in conference calls got heavy. We were due to return to Wash. on Labor Day but realized we couldn’t wait so we left on Fri. It was heartbreaking—I had really looked forward to those last 3 days. When we got in Fri. I went directly to an N.S.C. meeting re the Soviet affair. We’re going to try & persuade our friends to join us in banning Aeroflot flights & in demanding reparations for the victims familys. I’ve overlooked the trip down to Santa Barbara to Fess Parkers ranch where we entertained the press. I’ve also failed to mention the death—a real loss—of Scoop Jackson.