Walter Hickel Dies At 90
by Mark Thiessen - May 8th, 2010 - Associated Press
Former Alaska Gov. Walter J. Hickel, who served as Interior secretary under President Nixon until he was dismissed for objecting to the treatment of Vietnam War protesters, has died at age 90.
The two-time Alaskan governor died Friday of natural causes at an Anchorage assisted living facility, said longtime Hickel assistant Malcolm Roberts
Gov. Sean Parnell ordered state flags flown at half-staff Saturday in honor of his predecessor.
"He taught us to dream big and to stand up for Alaska," Gov. Parnell said. "Governor Hickel will be remembered for many things — for his wit, for telling it like it is, and for always reminding us that our resources belong to Alaskans."
Hickel was fired from his Interior post in late 1970, after sending Nixon a letter critical of his handling of student protests following the National Guard shootings at Kent State
There is sometimes a union of events that seems almost cosmic. Certainly the death of Walter Hickel at this moment can be seen in that light.
A strong supporter of developing Alaska's natural resources, he still vigorously pursued Exxon to repay for the damage from their large oil spill. That of course is all in the news due to the recent BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Also recently there was a new leak over the concealed evidence about the Kent State shootings. James Rosen wrote an article in the Washington Post titled "New light shed on Kent State killings". The long suppressed evidence that the Kent State uprising was a planned effort, despite attempts by authorities to deny that truth, garnered almost instant condemnation from the same liberal forces that insisted at the time they never shot at the National Guard. There is strong evidence they did.
Despite his strong environmental record, Hickel was constantly berated by the environmental movement for daring to support development of natural resources. However his opposition to Nixon made him a darling of the left.
These two issues are not his only claims to fame, but it is curious that both are in the news again at the time of his death.