All right, some of you don’t remember the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album, with the off-the-wall uniforms. And probably even fewer of you remember these White House guard uniforms from 1970.
Can you dig those black hats? They were made of plastic. Cool.
It was Richard Nixon’s fault. He was inspired by assorted palace guard uniforms he’d seen on a recent trip to Europe, and he thought his White House guards looked pretty hum-drum by comparison. So he had ’em wear these instead–and didn’t the whole country (except for a few members of my family) get a big fat belly-laugh over that! The uniforms were an irresistible target for satire, and were soon phased out. In 1980 the last of them were donated to a marching band in Utah. Alice Cooper wanted some for his band, but he was too late.
It was a different America in 1970. We didn’t grovel to government, like Europeans. Oh, sure, today it’s hip, it’s almost mandatory, to execrate President Trump and all us deplorables who voted for him. But where was the satire when his predecessor, ol’ *Batteries Not Included, was in office? If he’d come up with these ridiculous uniforms, you’d better salute ’em if you know what’s good for you.
Anyhow, in 1970 we had the self-respect to laugh at such pretensions by what were then our elected public servants, not our masters.
May God grant we find out way back.