The Silent Majority (1972)

Penny Lane and Brian Frye

2011, 14:30 minutes, colour, English


In 1969, President Richard Nixon appealed to "the great silent majority" of Americans for their support. He said, “[a]s President of the United States, I would be untrue to my oath of office if I allowed the policy of this nation to be dictated by the minority who hold [one] point of view and who try to impose it on the nation by mounting demonstrations in the street . . . If a vocal minority, however fervent its cause, prevails over reason and the will of the majority, this nation has no future as a free society.”

Three years later, his supporters re-elected him in one of the great landslides in American history. Who were these Americans, and where did they come from? On the 1972 campaign trail, Nixon aides H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Dwight Chapin, and Larry Higby documented on Super-8 film the crowds that gathered to greet the President. Their home movies capture the forgotten faces of Nixon's silent majority.

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