Since I was in Los Angeles visiting my niece who just moved there, I took the opportunity to visit not one, but two different presidential libraries as I check them off my list to see all 13. In the last blog I wrote about the Reagan Library and today I am writing about the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library is much more modest than Ronald Reagan’s, but what I did like about it was that it was built around the house where President Nixon was born in 1913 and grew up. His father built the house from a kit and it is decorated from that time period.
The history of the library is interesting since presidential papers are considered the property of the president when he leaves office. Since FDR most have formed a library housing their collection of papers which is built with private funds, but administer by the National Archives and Records Administration. Nixon’s papers, on the other hand, were kept by the US government under a Congressional act due to the Watergate scandal.
So even though the Richard Nixon Presidential Library was dedicated in 1990 it was not until 2004 that Congress modified the previous act and allowed all the archives from President Nixon’s time in office to be stored at his library.
I have to say that while I really like Reagan’s library I was surprised how much I like Nixon’s also. I think it was the modest building set around his childhood home that really did it for me. Simple is sometimes good!