28 Apr 2014--This past Friday we went out to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA. Not a whole lot we haven't heard about, so I tried to focus on just a few things I either didn't know or forgot about. This is the library from the outside front...much prettier in back.
Although I know I had heard he was a Quaker, I never really thought of him fighting in war time, when in fact he did join the military during WWII...they said his mother and grandmother were very disappointed that he did. I definitely didn't know that he almost became president twice while serving as Vice president under Eisenhower, after Eisenhower had a heart attack and then a stroke about 2 years later.
This display, about 10 world leaders Nixon saw as great leaders (for good or ill), was interesting only to the extent that I was surprised how short most of them were. I am first with Golda Mier and Sadat and then Breshnev and Kruschev.
I read this about energy and thought I must have somehow gotten into the Carter Library! Is it me, or did everyone else my age feel like we have listened to politicians for 30 years disparaging Carter for wearing a sweater while asking Americans to turn down their heat and turn out the lights. And the last pic here says the best thing about that time was that it made energy conservation a part of American life...really? Have they looked out their windows to see how many SUVs and RVs are on the roads? haha
Here were 2 biggies: voting and the draft. I am not crazy about getting rid of the draft, although I understand why he did it at the time. I think we would have fewer wars and would understand each other as Americans far better with the draft...count me in for bringing it back!
Increases in food stamps, a budget that spent more on human resource programs than defense, increases in drug rehab, and starting the EPA? I wonder what the chances would be of this Republican getting elected today???
Of course I knew the Elvis angle, but Carl Yazstremski giving Nixon his MVP trophy? Did anyone else know that?
To his credit, Nixon's Library was far more balanced than either Kennedy's or certainly Reagan's...to be honest Reagan's was so over-hyped it would do tribute to the propaganda efforts of the Stalin/Lenin era. haha Here they had displays where you could push a button and red lights would flash showing you where "bugs" were planted in both the Oval Office and Cabinet Room.
OK, we all know about the speculation concerning the 18 1/2 minutes erased from the tapes that Rose Mary Woods was transcribing. This tells us that while she tried to explain how she might have erased 5 of the 18 1/2 minutes, specialists that were called in found from 5 to 9 erasures during that time frame that could not be accounted for by a "mistake"!
In the back of the Library grounds, behind Cathy and the reflecting pool, is the house Nixon lived in till he was 10 yrs old. And to the left of the house, probably no more than 20 yards away, is where both Nixon and his wife are buried. Nixon was one of five boys in the family...he is 2nd from the left in that picture. All are deceased except the youngest boy, on the far right, who lives in Seattle, WA today. The tour guide told us if you saw him walking down the street you would definitely know who he was...looks just like his brother.
The view looking from his house towards the library...pretty.
Cathy recreates Nixon's final salute as he leaves the White House for the last time after resigning. She really did a bang up job!
Only beaches to visit after this...drove our bikes to a few today and will do 2 more tomorrow before we head out on Friday for our next stop.