The Richard Nixon Foundation presents Patriot. President. Peacemaker a new special exhibit opening February 15, 2013 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. The visually stunning journey through Richard Nixon’s life will show him as a man who rose from humble beginnings to become the 37th President and one of the most important figures of the 20th Century.
EXHIBIT PREVIEWS ARE AVAILABLE TO MEDIA FEBRUARY 10-14.
MEDIA INVITED TO COVER THE OPENING CEREMONY ON FEBRUARY 15 AT 11AM.
To complement the physical exhibition, Patriot. President. Peacemaker will be available as an interactive online experience to allow visitors from across the globe to grasp the impact and legacy of the 37th President. A visual timeline will present Richard Nixon’s life through photos, video, and historic artifacts, many never before seen by the public. Newly recorded accounts from Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush reveal the lasting influence that the 37th President has had on his White House successors. The videos have been produced exclusively for the Richard Nixon Centennial exhibit.
The exhibit features five main themes of Nixon’s life, each essential in developing his core philosophy, and legacy as one of the 20th Century’s most visionary and effective statesmen:
-RN: How American
-RN: In the Arena
-RN: Creating a More Just Society
-RN: Elder Statesman
RN: How American
Covering his early life, upbringing, and time at school, follow RN from his 1913 birth in a small farmhouse in Yorba Linda, California, moving to Whittier and losing two brothers to illness. Learn how his family’s Quaker roots came to impact his own life, and see the football bench on which he sat with his teammates throughout his college football career.
See the uniform he wore during his tour of duty in the South Pacific, and read intimate private letters written daily between him and his new bride, Pat, as the two were separated during World War II. See the desk he and his father built from a door and plywood for the young lawyer to use in his first law office.
RN: In the Arena
“The credit belongs to the man who was in the arena” was one of RN’s favorite phrases and aptly describes this period of his career. Follow his meteoric rise to the top of the Presidential ticket, starting with his first run for Congress in 1946. His work exposing Alger Hiss as a Soviet spy put him on the national stage – a launching point from which he was elected California Senator in 1950 and Vice President in 1952. Learn about the precedent-setting Checkers Speech, the first television broadcast to appeal directly to American voters, and the beginning of a political medium that continues to this day.
Enter a re-creation of the 1950s-era modern American kitchen exhibited in Moscow where RN and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev had their fiery exchange debating the merits of freedom versus communism. And consider the impact even today of the 1960 debates in which viewers thought JFK had won – but those listening on radio felt RN had bested his challenger.
The 1960s: Tunnel of Turmoil
The 1960s were the most turbulent time in America since the Civil War. The assassinations of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, and riots in American cities all contributed to a growing sense of disorder. The Civil Rights movement, the rise of feminism, and the Generation Gap all contributed to a sense of enormous change. By the late 1960s, America was teetering on the brink. College campuses throughout the country were centers of student demonstrations and the Vietnam War had effectively forced President Johnson to give up the most powerful position on Earth. The explosive anger culminated at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Experience everything about this decade of discontent in our uniquely designed sound and light 1960s display. This is the America that Richard Nixon inherited on January 20, 1969.
RN: Creating a More Just Society
“Nixon came to the Presidency at the third most difficult time in our history to do so,” noted historian and scholar Michael Barone – the other two being the Civil War and the Great Depression. Join RN himself through never-before-seen candid and casual interviews as he takes visitors through the decisions behind his domestic policies, equally conservative in terms of his New Federalism programs to “return power to the people” and progressive in terms of implementing groundbreaking environmental legislation, peacefully desegregating Southern schools, and returning to American Indians – which RN called the “most deprived and most isolated minority group in our nation” – much of their former native lands through federal legislation. Learn about RN’s comprehensive healthcare plan, how he tackled welfare reform, and sought to restructure the federal bureaucracy, all through vivid images and revealing audio-visual displays.
Richard Nixon is perhaps best known for his foreign policy prowess, and this exhibit powerfully showcases his achievements in this field. From ending the Vietnam War to opening relations with China and hard-headed détente with the Soviet Union, RN’s foreign policy gave the United States the upper hand in the Cold War. The exhibit also recounts some of his less familiar foreign policy successes, including averting a great power clash in the Middle East; while providing vital aid to Israel in its darkest hour during the Yom Kippur War, and utilizing firm but effective diplomacy with the Arab world.
RN: Elder Statesman
On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency rather than continue a festering political battle over Watergate. Follow Richard Nixon into retirement as he waved his final goodbye from the White House and was greeted by thousands as he arrived home in Orange County, California. Few would have predicted that RN would have a role to play in the future life of the nation, but that would be perhaps the last time anyone underestimated Richard Nixon’s tenacity, resilience, and commitment to making a difference. In May 1986, even Newsweek proclaimed on its cover, “HE’S BACK!” See draft manuscripts of his Memoirs – with more than 300,000 copies sold it would remain the best-selling Presidential memoir for 25 years – and preparation materials for his famed series of interviews with British television personality David Frost. Travel with RN on his 13 international trips and visits to more than 20 nations from 1976 to 1994. He was consulted by every one of his White House successors, and was asked for his advice and counsel on a variety of topics. On display will be personal correspondence between RN and his successors, including Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, as well as never-before-displayed family photographs of the Nixons in their later years.
In addition to those listed above, many priceless artifacts, as well as everyday objects used by President Nixon as he carried out his public duties, will be included in this 4,100 square foot special exhibit.
For artwork/photos related to the Richard Nixon Centennial, click here.