OCTOBER 2008 — In October 1950 California REALTORS® gathered in Santa Cruz’s Casa del Rey hotel for their 46th Annual Convention. The keynote speaker at the opening session was the well known Congressman Richard M. Nixon, who had made news as a member of the House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee.
Tensions were running high that year. In June North Korean forces attacked South Korean and American troops, beginning a war that would involve the Chinese in less than a month. A year earlier the Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb.
Nixon had words of warning for REALTORS®. “We in America cherish our homes because they are symbolic of the family,” the Congressman said. “Yet there are too many people in the United States who are not awake to the danger with which home and family in our country is threatened by the world Communist conspiracy.
“They have the complacent feeling that ‘it can’t happen here’” Nixon said, “that the homes of those who oppose the Communist regime are confiscated in other countries, but there is no danger of it here.
“One of the prime objectives of the Communist movement here in the United States is to tear down the idea of pride in property ownership. This is part of the Communist long-range program to prepare us to accept the Communist doctrine that everything tangible is the property of the state and not of the individual.”
Grateful REALTORS® adopted a resolution to “commend Representative Richard M. Nixon for his forthright exposition, at the convention, of the communistic peril which faces America today.”
A month later Nixon was elected a United States Senator from California. Two years later he was on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s winning ticket to be Vice President of the United States.
(Read more of Nixon’s speech in the Nov. 1950 issue of California Real Estate.)