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Nixon Claims He Wants to Help Allegedly Discriminatory Club Reform from ‘inside’

July 10, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon’s membership in a New Jersey golf club that allegedly excludes Jews and Negroes was spotlighted here today when Senator Clifford Case, New Jersey Republican, criticized clubs with restrictive membership policies although he declined to rebuke Mr. Nixon directly.

According to the New York Post, Mr. Nixon, who is seeking the Republican Presidential nomination, defended his membership in the Baltusrol Golf Club of Springfield, N.J. and said he would not resign because, “I believe in working for change from the inside.” Sen. Case had noted his own and the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s resignations from the Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C. because of the club’s racially restrictive membership policies.

According to the Post, the Baltusrol Club’s president, Robert Finney, said the club elected its members “in the normal way” but refused to discuss the absence of Jewish or Negro members. Carl Jehlen, the club’s manager, said “to my knowledge there are no Negro or Jewish members,” the Post reported. He said the club’s by-laws did not exclude Jews or Negroes but that applicants for membership must be sponsored by active members. Mr. Nixon was reported to have joined the club two years ago.

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