President Richard M. Nixon, had he had lived, would’ve turned 100 years old last week. He was elected in 1968 and inaugurated in January 1969. All of Chester was excited in 1969 as the Thomas Dale High School band prepared for the inauguration.
According to the Chesterfield-Colonial Heights News-Journal on Thursday, Jan. 16, 1969, “Excitement edged with a bit of apprehension, pervades the music Department of Thomas Dale High School this week. The 50 piece band, color guard of 30, nine majorettes and a drum major are preparing for the inaugural parade of President-elect Richard M. Nixon in Washington on January 20. The invitation came at the instigation of Idaho Inaugural Committee Chairman Roy Wilbur. Wilbur has four grandsons in the Chesterfield County School System and his close connection encouraged him to recommend the Thomas Dale High School Band when it was decided that it would be too far and too expensive to have an Idaho band to travel to Washington.”
The Thomas Dale high School Band was under the direction of William Buck, and the band performance at the inaugural event provided an incentive for the band to aspire to future honors.