Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Nixon Library and our Exciting Night

Bob and I have a goal of visiting all the Presidential libraries, and on Monday we drove to Linda Yorba, CA to the Richard Nixon Foundation, Library, and Museum. We learned a lot about our 37th President.

The trip there had some breathtaking views. I love looking at the mountains in Southern California and I was glad I was a passenger so I could gawk.

When I think of President Nixon, I admit that the first thing that comes to mind is Watergate. But his life and career involved so much more. For one thing, he created the Environmental Protection Agency and worked diligently to help preserve our planet. He also put Title IX in place, which states that "No person in the United States shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Because of that, women cannot be discriminated against when applying to medical school (and it amazes me that it took until the 1970s before that happened.) In the early 1970s, there were 300,000 girls and young women playing high school sports. Now there are over 3,000,000. Which, of course opens the doors to college scholarships and other opportunities. Nixon was responsible for this.

He was a great statesman, and was responsible for improving relations between China and the U.S.

Here, Bob is seen encouraging President Nixon and Premier Zhou Enlai to shake hands and make nice.

Unfortunately, following some very bad judgement calls (to oversimplify,) President Nixon was impeached and stepped down from office. Here he is leaving the White House for the last time. He was later pardoned for all crimes by President Ford and continued to be a statesman for the U.S.government. Nixon and his wife Pat are buried here at the Foundation.

After seeing the Library, we wandered around the beautiful grounds.

Behind the Library is Nixon's birthplace, and it is the original site where his parents built this kit home of about 900 square feet. A hundred years ago you could order a house kit from a catalog. Some assemble required.

The house had been sold, and all the contents put into storage. Years later, the Foundation purchased the house and grounds for the Library and Museum. About 70% of the home's contents are original.

This is the actual bed where Richard Milhouse Nixon was born. The quilt and coverlet are also original. Amazing.

Nixon's high chair, which was used for his siblings as well.

I found this fascinating. In the kitchen is a California Cooler, a type of passive refrigeration popular in the early 1900s. They were built into the North side of the home and cool air from the foundation is vented into the closed pantry. The shelves are screens to allow air circulation and to protect from insects and rodents. These were mostly used for pies, with an ice box used for meats.

Bob and I toured Army One, which was the name of Nixon's helicopter (but only when he was on board.)

We left the Library and Museum and went for pizza. When we returned to the repair shop we were disappointed to find out that nothing had been done on the coach, as they were waiting for a crucial part. So we are here for at least another day or two. Apparently they had installed the one they ordered for us into someone else's coach. We had a cord to plug into last night, but unfortunately our CO monitor decided to poop out on us at 11:15 last night, just as we had both fallen into a deep sleep. Which means that a piercing shriek sounded. And kept alarming while we double checked everything, opened windows, turned off the propane, and discussed the situation. We were both shaky, disoriented, and exhausted from being woken up so abruptly so we wondered if that was carbon monoxide poisoning and would we die in our sleep if we went back to bed? No nausea or headache (unless I thought about it-- I am very suggestable when it comes to things like that.) And how do we read the printing on a monitor that's installed at floor level and we both wear bifocals? I finally snapped a photo with my phone and according to the colors of the flashing lights the alarm had given up the ghost. It also read "replace after 60 months." That would be last August. So Bob clipped the wires and yanked it out of the wall and we returned to bed, still wondering for hours if we had gotten it wrong and we were going to wake up dead, so to speak. Not the best night's sleep.

We lived. Bad CO monitor. We'll replace it today.

So, another day to kill. We hadn't planned on anything more than the one day with Nixon and his library so I think we'll go antiquing.

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