White House Reunion at the Nixon Library
Although Presidential Library dedications are not the only settings for Presidential camaraderie, the ceremonies offer rare opportunities for the rest of us to see these men interact with each other.
When the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum first opened as a private facility on July 19, 1990, it marked the first time that four Presidents were seen together at a public event. The ceremony featured speeches from then-President George Bush, and former Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Ronald Reagan.
Seventeen years later, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum officially became a part of the Federally operated Presidential libraries system. On July 11, 2007, a ceremony was held to announce the partnership between the Richard Nixon Foundation and the National Archives.
Photo: The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum dedication. July 19, 1990. Courtesy of the Richard Nixon Foundation.
Republican National Committee cross-country campaign swing kickoff ceremony. First Lady Pat Nixon holds a football for the “kickoff.” Senator Bob Dole, the RNC Chairman, stands by the bus front wheel, while Anne Armstrong, officiates on the podium. October 9, 1972.
-from the Nixon Library
“On my way to where the air is sweet…”
It’s the birthday of Jim Henson! Here’s First Lady Pat Nixon with Big Bird in the East Room of the White House. 12/20/70.
Many cheers to Jim Henson (9/24/36 - 5/16/90) and also to Pat Nixon, whose Centennial birthday celebration is happening now too.
I met this guy tonight who says he is going to marry me,”
-Pat Ryan to her friends, 1938
Today is the wedding anniversary of Richard and Pat Nixon.
The couple met in 1938, at an audition for a community theater production of “The Dark Tower” in Whittier, California. Pat was a high school teacher who also worked as a Hollywood extra, and Dick was a recent graduate from Duke University, just starting out as a lawyer. Two years later, he proposed to Pat in an Oldsmobile pulled up close to the edge of an ocean cliff at sunset.
The Nixons were married on June 21, 1940 in Riverside, California. They are pictured here at the beach in San Clemente, 1/13/71.
This year, we are celebrating the Centennials of two U.S. First Ladies, Pat Nixon and Lady Bird Johnson. More about the First Ladies Centennial here.
Irving Berlin and other stars at the White House
Richard Nixon is joined by First Lady Pat Nixon and several celebrities in the singing of “God Bless America.” (Left to Right) Phyllis Diller, Mary Ann Mobley, Joey Heatherton, President Nixon, Irving Berlin, Sammy Davis Jr., Pat Nixon, and Bob Hope. The event was a White House Dinner for POW’s held on May 24, 1973.
Cutest Head of State Gift - EVER
The United States received two giant pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, from the People’s Republic of China in April, 1972. The pandas were given as a token of friendship in response to President Nixon’s goodwill trip to China.
First Lady Pat Nixon officially accepted the fuzzy goodwill ambassadors at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. She had been charmed by the pandas she had seen in China and declared at the welcoming ceremony, “I think ‘panda-monium’ is going to break out at the zoo.”
Pat was right, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were the top attractions at the zoo until their deaths in in the 1990s.
Here, Ling-Ling munches on her snack on her first day in the new Panda House at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. 4/16/1972. Noms.