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.
A Quick History of Presidents and Presidential Library Dedications
It’s not often that all the living U.S. Presidents are together at one time, but on April 25, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be dedicated to the American public. Although many dignitaries from around the world will attend, all eyes will likely focus on the gathering of men who have called the White House home.
In addition to George W. Bush, guests of honor will include current Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, and former Presidents William J. Clinton, George Bush, and Jimmy Carter. Read More
-Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Richard Nixon at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library dedication. 11/4/91.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower looks at a key to his Presidential Library at the dedication ceremony. 10/31/59.
-The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
President Nixon bowling at the White House Bowling Alley. 3/10/70.
The White House Bowling Alley first opened in 1947 while Harry S. Truman was in office. In 1955, it was moved across the street to the Old Executive Building.
Richard and Pat Nixon both enjoyed bowling, and so in 1969 they had a one-lane alley built beneath the North Portico using private funds.
Thomas Paine is selected as NASA’s Administrator on this day in 1969.
At 10:30 a.m. you and the Vice President will be escorted from your office to the Fish Room where you will be met by James M. Murray, President of the National Space club….”
Love it when the Presidential Daily Diary reads like an adventure game. The appendix pictured above is from Richard Nixon’s presentation of the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophy at the White House on March 5, 1969.
The trophy was presented to James Lovell, on behalf of the three Apollo 8 astronauts. After the ceremony, President Nixon announced that Thomas Paine had been selected as NASA’s third Administrator (thanks NASA History Office).
And if you are looking for a daily dose of space awesomeness, be sure to check out @NASAHistory.
-from the Nixon Library
When President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon were inaugurated in 1957, photographers captured an image of them on the Inaugural Parade viewing stand with the President’s grandchildren, Anne and David Eisenhower, and the VP’s daughters, Julie and Tricia Nixon.
David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon Eisenhower are now married, and in the most recent book that they co-authored, they recall that the event may have been the start of their lifelong romance.
David Eisenhower writes in “Going Home to Glory” that in one version of “the resulting photograph, I am staring intently at Julie and she is looking at me.”
-from the Eisenhower Library
Nixon and Khrushchev’s Kitchen Debate
Vice-President Richard Nixon spars with Premier Nikita Khrushchev before reporters and onlookers, including Politburo member Leonid Brezhnev at the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park, in Moscow, 1959.
Nixon and Khrushchev happened to be in front of a kitchen display – the impromptu exchanges came to be known as the Kitchen Debate. 7/24/59.
-from the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, used with permission of the Richard Nixon Foundation and Julie Nixon Eisenhower