Poster celebrating the inauguration of Dick Gregory as president-in-exile, Washington, DC, 1969.
Pictures Gregory in a wanted poster format, with mug shots over the bold heading, NEEDED. Captioned, "Public Citizen #1 - President of the United States in Exile - Inaugurated 3-4-69."
Issued for a mock ceremony held at a Washington, DC grade school, in which Gregory was sworn-in as "President-in-Exile." Gregory's running mate in the 1968 election, attorney Mark Lane, could not be present and was sworn-in as vice-president-in-exile by telephone. The "stand-up comedian and sit-down protester" delivered an inaugural address in which he pledged to continue fighting "the insane, stinking, rotten racist system in the United States." Making a jab at President Nixon, he remarked: "One of my hardest jobs is going to be to go by the White House and convince that other fellow that he's not The One." Gregory said he planned to establish a "Black House." Following the ceremony, held before an audience of approximately 100, half white and half black, the "President" and "First Lady" Lillian Gregory departed in a limo for two inaugural balls, where they danced, fittingly, to soul music.
We have seen no other memorabilia from this event. A rare Vietnam era poster, easily the best Gregory item we've had the privilege to offer.