On 17 April 1973, Secretary of Defense Elliott L. Richardson made an announcement that shocked Rhode Islanders. Quonset Point Naval Air Station and the Newport Naval Station would close by the end of the year. There had been no warning. Only the day before, the Pentagon ordered Vice Admiral Stansfield Turner, president of the Naval War College in Newport, to brief Governor Philip Noel on the decision. Rhode Islanders reacted strongly to the news, but few could understand clearly the rationale for such a decision. Even today, thirty-seven years after the decision, most people remember the explanation as having been a political one. As Senator Claiborne Pell explained in 1973: “The answer? Last year was election year.”
Hattendorf, John B.
"The Decision to Close Rhode Island Bases in 1973,"
Newport History: Vol. 79
, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol79/iss262/3