(Jim Clare/Stars and Stripes)

South Vietnam, July 30, 1969: President Richard Nixon chats with men of 3rd Squadron, 17th Infantry Cavalry on their helicopter airfield at Di An, base camp of the 1st Infantry Division. The president swept in and out of South Vietnam July 30 during a tour that was mostly kept under wraps. As Nixon walked through the ranks and shook hands, the topics of conversation centered around baseball, football, hometowns and the Apollo 11 moon landing. On the topic of the latter, the president remarked to the gathered men, “They [the astronauts] proved we’ve got some guts left in this country. You guys are doing the same thing.” Looking for Stars and Stripes’ coverage of the Vietnam War? Subscribe to Stars and Stripes’ historic newspaper archive! We have digitized our 1948-1999 European and Pacific editions, as well as several of our WWII editions and made them available online through

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