Southern Calls, Vol. 23, March 2019
Martha Elizabeth Beall Mitchell gained worldwide recognition for her outspokenness during the Watergate scandal – a scandal that forced President Richard Nixon to resign from office on August 9, 1974. She was a renowned character in Washington DC. During President Nixon’s first term, her husband was attorney general. Martha began to claim that the White House was engaged in illegal activities, she was rumored to be mentally ill. But events proved otherwise and in a later interview with David Frost, Nixon said, “If it hadn’t been for Martha Mitchell, there’d have been on Watergate.
Martha Mitchell died in New York City on May 31, 1976, two years after her diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a rare bone cancer. The funeral was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Her children, Jay and Marty, entered the side door with Mitchell’s estranged husband John and the funeral started.
With white chrysanthemums, one floral tribute at the graveside service spelled out “MARTHA WAS RIGHT.” Adam Robison Jr., president of Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors in Pine Bluff, remembers Mitchell’s service well, “As we arrived at the cemetery with the family, I noticed the large easel and immediately had one of our staff members stand in front of the easel to try and shield the words from the family.”
Mitchell is buried in Bellwood Cemetery in Pine Bluff.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
AP Wirephoto/ June 4, 1976
Check back every Friday for another nugget of funereal miscellany!