"nixon is tyranny which is death to us all"? Did anyone else see that?

When I was a little kid, our family would always vacation at Ocean City, Maryland, in the summer. The time period was the early seventies, during Nixon’s second term. I can remember seeing a small airplane flying above the ocean, several hundred yards out from the beach and following the coastline. Behind it would be trailing one of those long streamers that local businesses used to use for advertising - “EAT AT JOE’S”, that kind of thing. Only this one would read –


This many years later, the memory has taken on a weird, surreal aspect. I would almost believe that it was the vague memory of some bizarre dream I had as a child, but my brother swears he can remember seeing the banner, too.

Does anyone else remember seeing that? Ocean City was, and remains, a very popular tourist attraction. I’m sure there must be other baby-boomers and their folks out there who remember seeing that mystery person’s angry political statement. That plane would fly past several times a day, every day.

Does anyone know what I speak of? Who was the person with the banner? Anyone know? It’s been a mystery to me for a long time.

I can’t confirm your memory, but as a glider pilot, I know a bit about banner towing.

Huh? The tow planes used to launch gliders are perfect for towing banners, so it is very common for glider operations to tow banners as a side buisness. The banners have fairly high drag, and the operators have a limited inventory of letters (which like anything to do with an airplane are outragiously priced) so they tend to be sparcely worded, like a telegram, and without punctuation. What you recall would be on the long side, but is quite plausable.

It has often been said that the way to make a small fortune in aviation is to start with a large fortune. People mess around with airplanes because they love it, and unless they have some other source of income, they usually just scratch by. If somebody is willing to pay to have a banner, any banner, towed, then it is going to happen, subject to FAA regulations (airspace, minimum altitude over gatehering of persons, etc.) and civil order restrictions…you probably can’t tow a banner that falsely says EVACUATE IMMEDIATLY BY ORDER OF MAYOR * The type of political speech on the banner you remember is exactly what the founders intended to be protected by the 1st amendment’s free speech clause, so would be nearly impossible to regulate.

Florida has it’s share of wealth people, and a large Jewish population which tends liberal. Your recollection sounds entireley plausable to me. Nixon, recall, was very unpopular, with many that had voted for him calling for impeachment.

  • Come to think of it, this might be a great way to get the word out to those cut off from typical media.

(Late Reply)
Definitely saw it!
That’s how I found your inquiry. I Googled the phrase “Nixon is Tryanny and Death To Us All” which is how I remember it written. Not sure which of us is correct. Driving south on Route 1 I saw the plane flying north between the high rises and read the banner. I was stunned. Tried to tell my mom, dad, brother and sister but I don’t think any of them believed me.
Hope you’re still around, thanks for sharing that.

All right, fine, but why were you googling that phrase? Nixon’s the dead one.

I’d guess the same reason as the OP, to see if anyone else saw or knew about it.

I thought that would’ve been obvious…

<aware of zombie>

I saw the banners at Ocean City, Long Beach Island, and maybe Miami Beach during Nixon’s reign of terror. I don’t recall that one in particular but it wouldn’t surprise me. I recall it didn’t cost an outrageous amount of money for a towed banner back then. They were just flying in a loop at Long Beach Island, just touching down briefly for enough time to attach another net with the next ad.

I guess the joke wasn’t so obvious.

Sounds like Dick Tuck was behind it.

Based on the title, I thought this thread was going to be about Andrew Cuomo’s desperation tactics.

Awesome! I’m so glad you responded. I knew I wasn’t the only one to remember that, lol. Maybe it was “and death to us all”, I don’t remember now. But that was a weird thing to see on vacation, for sure.

No discussion of controversial airplane banners is complete without mentioning the plane flying a “JESUS SUCKS” banner in Toronto (the banner company rejected “HEIL HITLER”).