Saturday, November 26, 2011

Notes from the Nixon Library Dedication

from The Big Orange: The History of Republican Politics in Orange County: 1950-2000 by Lois Lundberg.

"The cost at the time of the dedication was over $25 million. It is the first presidential library to be both constructed and operated entirely from private funds."

"It is unlikely that Orange County had before seen such an array of power grace its borders. Rarely has there been such a gathering of magnificent proportions as took place July 19, 1990."

"Many Hollywood stars came out to attend this historic event, including Bob Hope, Gene Autry, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Chuck Norris of Walker Texas Ranger fame."

"Only President Jimmy Carter didn't attend because of a prior commitment."

"The invocation was by the Reverend Billy Graham, longtime friend of President Nixon."

"I don't think it is an exaggeration to say the world is a better place, a safer place because of Richard Nixon," said Ronald Reagan in his speech.

To Ronald Reagan, George Bush remarked, "We will not forget how you truly blessed America."

Nixon concluded his speech by saying, "You know it's a long way from Watts to the White House...but let me tell you it's a long way from Yorba Linda to the White House too."

"After a long standing ovation, the crowd stopped cheering and the benediction was given by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. Vickie Carr sang a wonderful rendition of God Bless America, as 50,000 red, white, and blue balloons were released into the hot summer air."

"The end of the big day climaxed with a big sold-out dinner at the Los Angeles Century Plaza Hotel with President Nixon...As our car arrived at the Century Plaza Hotel we could not help but notice protestors attempting to block traffic. It provided only minor annoyance and did not put a damper on the evening."

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