Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace – April 9, 2017
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA 92886
Publisher, Thomas Chee
Israel’s Golda Meir to Egypt’s Anwar Sadat’s, opening the bridge to China with Chairman Mao, Henry Kissinger, and the original letters, documents, classified CIA documents that turned the wars upside down. I was surprised to see the exhibit with Winston Churchill and Charles De Gaulle. The unexpected surprises were enthusiastic to embrace, because there is only so much taken from the life of Richard Nixon. Sadly, most of the books focus on his crimes, films highlight his scandals; Whereas this library opens us, the audience of walkers throughout the building, to so much more about what Nixon faced in his life. But more importantly, Richard Nixon’s tiny, little house with his mother taking care of five children. Not only did I learn a lot, but by studying the way Richard Nixon grew, how he became a public servant, what he learned from his mother, I really came away with a great understanding, a profound understanding, of the kind of leader Richard Nixon was away from Watergate. Watergate is a dark shadow, small in size is the shadow compared to the shining light of what Richard Nixon faced in his life, especially in foreign affairs, world government, decision making, all from that small, tiny, little house with no air conditioning, seldom heat, in the center of Yorba Linda. Richard Nixon was quite extraordinary. I do have to share one observation; Henry Kissinger; There was little to no mention of Henry Kissinger until I studied the exhibit in the Chinese area dedicated to Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s meeting with China’s Chairman Mao. I am a big fan of Kissinger’s foreign diplomacy, even the fiction novels from Harvard in the book Class by Erich Segal. Erich is the famous author notably for his book, Love Story. Erich Segal also wrote a fictional account of Henry Kissinger for when Kissinger taught at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I visited once a year. As a young student, Nixon and Kissinger always walked hand in hand throughout the chapters of history, but the relationship was rarely, if ever, mentioned inside Richard Nixon’s museum. Why is that? I thought I would learn as much about Henry Kissinger as the President he served as Secretary of State inside. My father used to tell me that if Kissinger had been born in American, he would have become himself President of the United States. Yes, I grew up with my father telling many stories of Kissinger, Nixon, Mao, Vietnam. He was a prisoner of war in the Korean War before Bell Helicopter put him in Texas Christian University where he studied to earn his MBA International Business. His favorite book, the book that was always beside my father’s place on the sofa was Bob Woodward’s boo, All the President’s Men. I grew up on stories about the Watergate investigative reporting as well as The Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Mao, CIA, and continue to read every book printed by Bob Woodward. The irony is that the famous FBI agent who brought down Nixon named Mark Felt – My Friend aka M.F. in Bob Woodward’s All the President’s Men book, well, Mark Felt retired where I studied from elementary school to high school in Sonoma Wine Country. I don’t believe my father knew Mark Felt lived in town. FBI directors responsible for bringing shame upon the White House probably keep quiet for a reason. Santa Rosa is small. Still FBI’s Mark Felt hid in plan sight. Talk about sight, there was a gorgeous girl getting married at the Nixon Library when I was inside. I had to imagine that Richard and Pat Nixon would have enjoyed loving couples committing to marriage at a wedding in the Presidential rose garden. The couple added to the impressive enthusiasm of the entire day surrounding a history lesson about the President and his adventures through life.