July 5, 1959: Vice President Richard Nixon waves during the dedication of the Sports Arena.
But that was the Mirror-News' view in an editorial celebrating the arena's dedication. This would be a sports arena without a team--the Lakers were still a part of the city's future. Shoot, people were still getting used to having the Dodgers in town.
Vice President Richard Nixon was the keynote speaker, mixing sports metaphors with a preview of the stump speak he'd use in his run for the presidency.
The Times' story included Nixon's three rules for participants in all sports:
"No. 1: Never quit, no matter how tough the going. No. 2: The best defense is a good offense. No. 3: Play to win. Don't play a defensive game."
He was talking about sports, but sure sounded a lot like his brand of politics too.
Having Nixon speak at the dedication of an arena that would host the Democratic National Convention was a nice piece of irony. Nixon said the convention "may turn out to be the battle of the century."