Talk:Spiro Agnew

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Featured articleSpiro Agnew is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on November 5, 2018.
Article milestones
October 2, 2017Peer reviewReviewed
October 21, 2017Featured article candidatePromoted
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on October 10, 2005, October 10, 2006, October 10, 2010, October 10, 2013, October 10, 2020, and October 10, 2022.
Current status: Featured article


is there any confirmation on the last trivia fact? seems false —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:58, 6 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Gubernatorial campaign[edit]

This sentence makes no sense at all. Agnew ran for the position of Governor of Maryland in 1966. In this overwhelmingly Democratic state, he was elected after the Democratic nominee, George P. Mahoney, a Baltimore paving contractor and perennial candidate running on an anti-integration platform, narrowly won the Democratic gubernatorial primary out of a crowded slate of eight candidates, trumping early favorite Carlton R. Sickles.

So he won after someone else "narrowly won"? Or was he elected AFTER Mahoney's term was up? It makes no sense at all.Zabadu (talk) 18:54, 10 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Makes perfect sense if you understand the US electoral system. Mahoney won the Democratic primary race: the election to determine who would be the Democratic candidate in the eventual governor race. Cross Reference (talk) 12:31, 22 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dumbarton PTA not Loch Raven[edit]

In citing Agnew's early history in politics, it was stated that he was the first president of the Loch Raven Elementary School PTA. This is incorrect, and it comes from a sloppy reading of page 278 of Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man where the sentence reads "Not naturally gregarious, he could run this world's casual cursus honorum - vice-president of the Kiwanis Club, president of the PTA, president of the Loch Raven Community Council." In fact the PTA of which he was president was Dumbarton Junior High School, as cited in "Maryland: A History of its People" on page 284 where it says "His rise in politics was casual and undistinguished as he moved from president of the Dumbarton Junior High School PTA to a seat on the county zoning appeals board. When he won the race for Baltimore County Executive in 1962, it was because no other Republican would agree to run and because the Democrats… "

Unfortunately, the internet is now littered with this error because so many web pages quote Wikipedia. Even the Loch Raven Community Center themselves hedge their bet, writing "Many Baltimore Countians have utilized this facility from its inception, some famous, like Spiro Agnew, who began his political career (some say) as the first PTA President at the new Loch Raven Elementary School." ( It does appear that Agnew was the first president of the Community Center, but not of its PTA in its former role as an elementary school. for those unfamiliar, PTA means Parent-Teacher Association. And it is common local knowledge, backed by scholarship, that Agnew was a president of the Dumbarton Junior High School (which still exists), which tends to fit in that category of mediocrity from which some Vice Presidential candidates are selected. A similar rise to fame would be in the 2008 Presidential election where a one-term governor whose prior experience was mayor of an 8,000 population town. Like that more recent campaign where surprises arose due to insufficient vetting, the vetting of Agnew was incomplete, and he was subsequently prosecuted for corruption.

Historia Errorem (talk) 00:14, 12 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Loch Raven is in Baltimore City[edit]

In the section "Postwar Years" [1], the article states: "at the same time he moved his family from Lutherville to Loch Raven, also in Baltimore County." This is technically incorrect, as Baltimore City (though nearly completely surrounded by Baltimore County) is a separate political entity and is self-jurisdictional rather than subject to the jurisdiction of the County. I would alter the text myself, but the article is protected and I can't remember my login at the moment. If someone of a similarly pedantic mind would be so kind... (talk) 01:24, 26 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since Agnew must have lived in Baltimore County, or he could not have run for office there, possibly the address was close to the county/city line and still "called" Loch Raven, or was served by its post office. Most of the time that I lived in Virginia, I had Alexandria or Fairfax postal addresses but never lived within the city limits.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:41, 26 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Latinate construction[edit]

This use of the ablative "damnatione" in an English sentence is a piece of pedantry that has no place in en.wikipedia. Perhaps it belong ins the Latin version. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:47, 9 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agnew in Futurama[edit]

Can someone figure out more about Agnew in Futurama? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 2 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interesting change of root & etymology of the surname from Anagnostopoulos to Agnew, from "recognized" or "discovered" to "unknown" or "disbeliever/sceptic." (talk) 04:01, 9 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"his" perennial opponent[edit]

The article' lead says that Agnew defeated "his perennial Democratic opponent" George Mahoney, which sounds like Mahoney ran against Agnew more than once - when he actually ran against many others before Agnew ran for office. It should simply say "his Democratic opponent," for accuracy. Chagallophile (talk) 04:04, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Maybe better as, "Agnew defeated 'perennial Democratic candidate'," since Mahoney ran more than once. BubbleDine (talk) 17:36, 10 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Coat of Arms?[edit]

What's the source of this coat of arms? It's not mentioned at all in the article, and I'm unfamiliar with American citizens having a personal coat of arms. Looks like possible BS. Unschool 06:39, 23 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Glasshouse on Wikimedia Commons created it and mentions the American College of Heraldry and Arms as the source. I added a citation that corroborates that Agnew did get a coat of arms. I suspect Glasshouse uses GlasshouseWP on Wikipedia. Perhaps he will come here and comment. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 07:46, 23 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article expansion and improvement[edit]

User: Wehwalt and I have embarked on a project to improve and expand this article. This will be a fairly lengthy process, during which editors' comments and suggestions will be welcome. Please use this talk page. We intend to improve the article's sourcing, add significant details, reduce or remove unimportant or unsourced material. and generally bring the article up to a standard appropriate for this elusive figure in recent U.S. political history. Brianboulton (talk) 11:01, 29 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a contribution to the Governor of Maryland section, specifically the account of the meeting with moderate black leaders in Baltimore, here are two short extracts from Jules Witcover's 1997 book The Year the Dream Died: Revisiting 1968 in America
[page 128] Once seated, they were subjected to a warm-up talk by Agnew handyman Charles Bresler.... He proceeded to deliver a patronizing sermon about Agnew as the son of Greek immigrants and himself as the son of Jewish immigrants who had lifted themselves by their bootstraps. It was, said Christopher Gaul, then a Baltimore Sun reporter, "the most offensive thing I had ever heard north of Mississippi."
Bresler, the loyal Agnewite, himself described for me later the scene that then ensued: "In the midst of my speech, in they came. The door flung open, and by law, in front of the governor and behind the governor came state troopers … . You know what they look like— like an honor guard … . There was General Gelston in his paratrooper jumpsuit; you know, fatigues with his paratrooper boots, and he had a habit of carrying under his arm a crop, a riding crop. With his shaved—you know, crew-cut—head, typical military man all the way down the line."
Bresler described the entry of Agnew and all the law enforcement officials trailed by Agnew's human relations aide, Gil Ware, the only black man in the entourage, marching in and taking all the seats at a long head table. "Gelston puts his crop down there," Bresler continued, "I look for—there's no place for Gil to sit down, so Gil has to stand at the end. Now you look at this lineup … . You talk about a foreboding, all-white military lineup. It looked like the Gestapo was ready to interrogate you … ."
[page 130] One of the first blacks to respond to Agnew's harangue was Mrs. Juanita Jackson Mitchell, matriarch of one of Baltimore's most prominent black families and a civil rights pioneer in the city. As soon as she began to speak, Agnew went on the attack. "Do you repudiate black racists?" he shouted at the elderly woman. "Are you willing, as I am willing to repudiate the white racists, are you willing to repudiate the Carmichaels and the Browns?" The woman replied: "We have already done so. Didn't you read our—" A bullying Agnew broke in. "Answer me! Answer me! Answer me! Do you repudiate Stokely Carmichael and Rap Brown? Do you? Do you?"
It went on like that, incredibly, for another hour, by which time most of the invited black leaders had walked out. The black caucus moved to the Reverend Bascom's church up the street and finally issued a statement: "We are shocked at the gall of the governor, suggesting that only he can define the nature of the leadership of the black community. Agnew's actions are more in keeping with the slave system of a bygone era. At a time when the chief executive should be calling for unity, he deliberately sought to divide us." Much later, Clarence Mitchell said of Agnew's performance: "I was shocked primarily because it had not been his pattern as governor. He had been open, listening to our problems. I have a tendency now to believe it was politically inspired. It was calculated to create a conservative image for political purposes. After Rockefeller insulted him, I believe Agnew decided he had to cast his lot with the conservatives … . You take a poll one day and you say, 'I'm going to move to bigger and better things.' You go with the breeze."

Unfortunately this seems excessively long for the article as it stands at present, but perhaps it gives a better idea of the way this meeting was seen at the time by the black community.Thomas Peardew (talk) 16:58, 11 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To add to article[edit]

To add to this article: the total amount Agnew received through bribery while an official of the state of Maryland, and while U.S. Vice President. (talk) 20:28, 21 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The quotation "I have one utility, and that's the ability to penetrate to the top people" is twice in the article, once should be enough. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:34, 11 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good catch. Deleted one instance.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:47, 11 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bibliography additions?[edit]

Shouldn't "BAG MAN: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House", By Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz, be on the list? Likewise, their preceding podcast, "Bag Man"

Thank you for your time, Wordreader (talk) 15:06, 15 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More likely, "Further Reading".--Wehwalt (talk) 15:51, 15 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is it pronounced “spirr-o” or “spear-o” Agnew? Yndtbt (talk) 07:47, 19 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Spear-o". —⁠ ⁠BarrelProof (talk) 21:26, 11 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Contentious victim blaming[edit]

I'm referring to the section beginning "In mid-1967, racial tension was rising nationally, fueled by black discontent and an increasingly assertive civil rights leadership." This seems to exonerate the racist laws and the active oppression of black people, instead blaming the victims for the rising tensions. This language is unsupportable. (talk) 20:34, 7 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unable to edit this article[edit]

I was going to add a Wikilink to this article, but it appears to be locked from editing. Please fix this ridiculous situation! (talk) 23:17, 13 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is blocked due to many vandals by another administrator, not me. I suggest registering an account and otherwise fulfilling the criteria for being allowed to edit semi protected articles, or else requesting an edit. Wehwalt (talk) 00:02, 14 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 1 April 2023[edit]

Spouse birth / death incorrect. 2601:CE:C180:C7A0:21B7:F252:3EC3:26A9 (talk) 01:23, 1 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format and provide a reliable source if appropriate. Tollens (talk) 02:07, 1 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Birth paragraph needs rewrite[edit]

I noticed that the early life section starts with the family background, which is nice. What I think is not helpful is that the father's birth is given more prominence in the whole early life section than the birth of the topic's subject. If you want to know Spiro's birth info, you need to sift through the whole paragraph. Therefore, I think the section needs some rewriting in order to make Spiro's birth info more prominent and easier to find. Maybe a lead in the early life section and then in the family background subsection the more detailed info about his parents. Regards, --Thinker78 (talk) 05:37, 26 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]