Vintage Item Spotlight-Richard Nixon Bill Signer Pen

By David G. Firestone

nixon-hb14370-1We have discussed so called “bill signer” pens a couple of times, and for this article, we will shift gears. Richard Nixon’s entire Presidency can be summed up with the word Watergate. Prior to that, he was a popular president, who did a lot for the country.

On October 20, 1972, while the scandal was beginning to heat up, and with the elections in sight, President Nixon was in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and while at Independence Hall, signed “H.R. 14370 To provide fiscal assistance to State and local governments, to authorize Federal collection o£ State individual income taxes, and for other purposes.” He did so using this custom Parker 45 pen.nixon-hb14370-2

The pen is blue in color, and has Richard Nixon’s signature on the side of the blue plastic. nixon-hb14370-3

The pen shows heavy use, with cracks on the blue plastic. The tip is also destroyed. Given what was going on in Washington at the time, that makes sense. Just 10 days earlier, the FBI had announced that the Nixon re-election committee had been involved in a huge ring of illegal spying and surveillance. Nixon had to be on edge, and it is very likely he very aggressively signed his name on the document. nixon-hb14370-4

The pen still has the original pen box, customized with the Presidential Seal and Nixon’s signature emblazoned in gold on a white background. The inside has red felt, and holds the pen very snugly.nixon-hb14370-6 nixon-hb14370-5

Accompanying the pen is a card the length of the pen box with a description of the signing in blue script on a tan background. nixon-hb14370-7 It was one of the last moments of pride for a presidency that would see its end in scandal less than two years later. It did change our society, but the man who used the pen would also change our society.

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