Nixon Unknowingly ‘Muled’ for Pot Smuggling Louis Armstrong?
By Roger Stone
Richard Nixon (1913-94) could be quite naïve.
In the late 1950s, the U.S. State Department made jazz legend Louis Armstrong (1901-71) a “Goodwill Ambassador” and underwrote a concert tour in Europe and Asia. On his return from the first two tours, Armstrong and his entourage were waived through customs without a search based on Satchmo’s ambassadorial status, but when he landed at Idlewild Airport in New York in 1958, he was directed toward the customs lines. Customs agents had been tipped off that contraband was being imported into the country. Armstrong joined a long line of travelers lined up for inspections. Unfortunately, the jazz trumpeter was carrying three pounds of marijuana in his suitcase. Once Armstrong realized he was about to be busted and would bring shame on the country he was traveling on behalf of, he began sweating profusely.
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