Richard Nixon photo

Remarks Announcing a Proclamation of Amnesty for Cadets at the Military Academy.

May 29, 1971

General Knowlton and First Captain Pyrz and gentlemen of the Corps:

In the ceremony that has just been completed, I want you to know that I was enormously impressed, as all the rest of your visitors today, by the precision, the magnificence, of your appearance there on the Parade Ground. It made us all very proud to be Americans, to see you marching by.

Also during the course of my appearance here today, I had a lot of things on my mind. I just finished my speech late last night, and my Military Aide, General Hughes,1 a graduate of West Point--who will be celebrating his 25th anniversary this year and he is coming back---came up and nudged me just a few minutes ago. He said, "You forgot, sir." I said, "What did I forget? .... You forgot something in your speech. You forgot the most important thing."

1Brig. Gen. James D. Hughes, USAF, Military Assistant to the President.

I began to ask him what it was, and he just handed it to me now. So I would like to ask First Captain, if you would have the Adjutant read this to the Corps, or you read it, I don't know how this is done.

[At this point, Brigade Adjutant Calvert P. Benedict, Jr., read the Amnesty Proclamation, the text of which follows:]



Whereas, it is customary and traditional that a visiting Head of State at the United States Military Academy grant amnesty to those cadets who are undergoing punishment for having committed certain infractions of United States Military Academy regulations; and whereas, my duties as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States include responsibility in matters of discipline; therefore, I do proclaim amnesty for all cadets who have committed violations of the regulations of the United States Military Academy for which ordinary and special punishment has been imposed or is being considered.


The White House

May 28, 1971

Note: The President spoke at 1:33 p.m. in Washington Hall at the Academy, West Point, N.Y.

First Captain Thomas A. Pyrz was senior ranking cadet in the Corps.

Richard Nixon, Remarks Announcing a Proclamation of Amnesty for Cadets at the Military Academy. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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