In 1962 Donald Kendall, friend of Richard Nixon, urged the two-time loser to move from California to New York. Kendall was a top executive at Pepsi.
Back in those days, the soft drinks used sugar instead of the “high fructose corn syrup” they mostly use now. Most of that sugar used to come from Cuba. But then in 1959 Fidel Castro led a revolution there and Cuba turned communist. That caused chaos in the soda pop world. Inexpensive sugar became much harder to find. (If you can see the image at top, the young fellow standing by his mother and wanting a Pepsi is Ron Brown, who later became Commerce Secretary for President Bill Clinton.)
So Kendall of Pepsi invited Nixon of the stolen (by JFK) 1960 election to come to New York and work for Pepsi. Nixon did move to New York, but he got a job in the law firm of Mudge, Stern, Baldwin and Todd. Still, Kendall gave his friend Nixon a lot of legal business from Pepsi, even though Nixon chose not to take a job with the soda pop giant.
Another good friend of Kendall was George Herbert Walker Bush, nicknamed “Poppy” Bush.
In late November of 1963, Pepsi scheduled a corporate meeting in Dallas, Texas. This meeting coincided with a national soda pop bottlers convention there. Pepsi invited Richard Nixon to Dallas for the corporate meeting. While he was in Dallas, on November 21, 1963, Nixon gave a press conference in which he criticized the policies of President John F. Kennedy.
The huge soda pop convention took over the big new Market Hall site. That meant that John F. Kennedy, arriving in Dallas on November 22, 1963, had to choose a different place for a speech he was to give. This would have been at the Dallas Trade Mart. That location meant the JFK motorcade would take the route through downtown Dallas to the Trade Mart, past the grassy knoll area and the Texas School Book Depository. Pepsi and other sugar-needing soda pop purveyors did not cause the “hair-pin turn” fine-tuning, but they helped put the JFK motorcade in the general vicinity.
It always later bothered Richard Nixon how he had ended up in Dallas on the day John F. Kennedy was slain. It was “that whole Bay of Pigs thing” which the CIA had files upon yet would not allow Nixon to see when he became U.S. president in 1969.
Another friend of Pepsi executive Donald Kendall, “Poppy” Bush, was also present in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Bush says he doesn’t remember where he was on that unforgettable day, but it was Dallas in the early morning, as detailed in the Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of December 8, 2012.
Both Nixon and “Poppy” Bush left town before the actual “hit” on JFK, at 12:30 pm CST. However besides these two future presidents who just happened to be in Dallas on the fateful day, a third future president, Lyndon Johnson, was also there and remained for “the main event.”
(Acknowledgement to, Family of Secrets, by Russ Baker. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009)