The Richard Nixon Library and Museum is a permanent museum with several galleries containing collections and records on Nixon. The museum is also the burial site of Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, and his wife Pat Nixon, as well as the birthplace of President Nixon.
The Museum was very impressive. I didn’t really know that much about his presidency. I mean, sure I could tell you the high points, or is that low points of his administration. But, facts, and what he accomplished, no I couldn’t have told you much about his presidency prior to visiting the library. I definitely left with a new admiration for president Nixon.
Visit to the Richard Nixon Library and Museum
The Library is a great place to visit with family, and the helpful and friendly volunteers make it a better experience.
The Nixon Library opened in 1990. This was my first visit there, despite the fact that I have lived about 5 miles away from the library for most of my life.
Now, if you’re thinking this is just some boring propaganda filled historical museum, I assure you, there are lots of interactive things to see and do. And the facts are presented in a fair way. They don’t try to gloss over any of the Watergate scandal. But, they also cover Nixon’s many accomplishments as a President.
After parking in the large free parking lot, you enter into a hall where you can purchase entry tickets.
A large photo of Nixon greets you, as does the presidential seal.
After passing through the security entrance, you can begin your tour by watching a movie, sort of an IMAX experience, of a summary of his life and presidency. The film is well-edited, and a moving experience, only lasting about 5 minutes.
In these difficult years, America has suffered from a fever of words… We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another.” – Richard M. Nixon
After exiting the movie, you’ll go down an expansive hallway dedicated to The Sixties, where you’ll start to get an understanding of the world and times. Next up, is the Oval Office. A really cool experience. I mean, how often do you get to sit at the President’s desk. Well, even if it is a replica, it’s still utterly cool.
There are many galleries that you’ll pass through as you wind your way through the museum. The China gallery was a highlight for me. As was the Vietnam gallery.
There’s a great educational exhibit on Watergate as well. I felt that it was unbiased and factual.
We left with a better under of what was accomplished during President Nixon’s administration, of how he was a peacemaker, and of his life in general. In the orientation movie, they said his life was that of a Shakespearian tragedy. I can really see that that’s true.
Some of Nixon’s accomplishments
He started the EPA
Signed the Clean Air Act of 1970
Enforced desegregation of southern schools
Signed Title IX opening the doors for female athletes
Brought our troops home from Vietnam, bringing an end to the Vietnam War
The Endangered Species Act
He was the first U.S. president to visit China and open a relationship
He negotiated the first anti-ballistic missile treaty (SALT I)
Established the all-volunteer armed forces
Tripled the hiring of women in the executive branch
Not to be missed
Richard Nixon’s birthplace and boyhood home
Marine One , the Presidential helicopter that served several presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford
A replica of the Oval Office and White House East Room
President and Mrs. Nixon’s final resting place
A word of caution, the helicopter and Nixon’s boyhood home may be closed during inclement weather. So plan accordingly.
My thoughts on the day
Be sure to leave lots of time to explore the galleries, as well as the rose garden, Nixon’s childhood home, and the Presidential helicopter. You’ll really need more time than you think to explore all that the library has to offer.
One thing that struck me after seeing the library, is how much has changed since his time. In politics, in relationships, and in the world. And yet, how much hasn’t changed. We still yell at each other in matters of politics and social change. We still need a leader who is dedicated to the welfare of the people and the nation.
I highly recommend a visit to the Nixon Library; it may be a way to learn, as well as a way to open your mind.
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