The first time I saw a scooter was on the morning of June 26, 1973.
It was the morning after the bombing of the Pentagon and the first time the world knew of the nuclear arms race.
The scooter stood on the curb of the Mall of America, just a block away from where the bomb exploded.
It belonged to the Scooter Club of America.
The club had been founded in 1939 to raise money for wounded soldiers.
On the morning before the bombing, President Richard Nixon and other top officials were taking part in a military parade in Washington, D.C. One of them was wearing a scooters helmet.
The helmet was covered with a red cloth.
The President had worn it in the past.
On that day, it was an ordinary helmet, with the white face paint, the white stripe, the black belt buckle.
But on this particular day, there was a special significance.
The men in the helmets were members of the Scooters Club of New York, the city’s biggest motorcycle club.
For decades, the scooter had been the city scooter of choice for New Yorkers, and it was now becoming a symbol of the city that was about to be rocked by a new threat.
“The President has had a lot of scooters in the White House,” said David Zwerneman, the club’s president.
“I know it’s a big story now, but it was a big thing when I first saw it in a newspaper.
I’ve never seen anything like it.”
On the day of the bombing in 1973, the president was visiting Washington, and his motorcade was parked on the National Mall.
The president walked to his car, got out and looked at it for about five minutes, before he was ushered inside and the scooters were gone.
The New York Times, which has a long history of covering the country’s military, picked up the story.
Its headline read: “Scooters on Parade in White House.”
The New Yorker had the same idea: “The Scooter Show.”
The story was covered by magazines, newspapers and TV.
The cover was printed in the New York Post, and its story was headlined: “A Scooter Rises to the Challenge of the Bomb.”
The cover story of the Sunday edition of the New Yorker also carried the headline: “Loud, Loud, Loud.”
By that time, President Nixon had already had the scoots on display for the world to see.
“What I did not expect was the level of interest in the scooters,” said Zwereneman, who had joined the club in 1939.
“People started showing up at the White Houses to show them off.”
At the White Senate, Vice President George H.W. Bush was wearing one, and then a member of the military.
“It was a good show,” Bush said.
“They were in full display.
There were no scooters.
There was no helmet.
They were all dressed in full uniform.”
The president was at the Capitol in a scoot on June 27, 1973, just after the first U.S. hostages were released.
“We were all standing on the steps, waiting to be led out of the building,” Bush told reporters later that day.
“This scooter just turned and ran away, like a puppy.
It went past the steps and came back in the car and stopped.”
But the scoops didn’t stop there.
The next day, the New Republic ran a story about how the scooting had become the symbol of New Yorkers’ anger at the country.
The story ran under the headline, “Scooters on Parade, Scooters and Scooterheads.”
It featured the scooches on display in the Rose Garden.
“How did the scotchheads become a symbol for New York City?” the article asked.
“By standing on public streets with their faces covered.”
“We got scooters,” said Bush.
“There was a scotched-out scooter with a yellow face.
We were all on the same side.”
The scooters continued to dominate the national news.
“When the president is wearing one of the scoders,” the New Statesman wrote, “he’s not really wearing one.”
By the end of the month, the Scooters Club of Washington had received $7,000 from the president and his family to donate to a charity, the American Scooter Association, that was dedicated to making the scoshes more popular.
On July 1, 1973 — less than a month after the Scooting of the Century, which was held at the Mall in Washington — President Nixon was in his first inaugural address.
“In the name of the people, of the United States, and of the citizens of this great nation, I proclaim July 1st to be Scooter’s Day,” he said.
The crowd erupted in applause.
In his second inaugural address,