Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969, Galesburg native Mike Ebbing recalls hoping for an assignment that would send him anywhere other than Vietnam. Eventually, what was pitched as a top-secret military assignment led to a position that would connect Ebbing to President Richard Nixon. The rest, as they say, is history.
A 1965 Galesburg High School graduate, Ebbing served with the White House Communications Agency from 1970-72 where he was stationed as a White House switchboard operator at the Camp David Presidential Retreat. During that time, Ebbing handled hundreds of historic telephone calls with President Richard Nixon.
In Part 1 of an exclusive interview with The Register-Mail conducted via email, Ebbing spoke on his life as a White House switchboard operator, including memorable trips nationally and abroad with the traveling White House, the recognizable people he reported to, and some of the personality traits of Nixon.
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