In 1955, Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act. Did you know that there are only 13 presidential libraries? One of them belongs to Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States. I visited the Nixon Presidential Library this summer and found it very interesting.
Nixon was born in a Yorba Linda, California farmhouse in 1913, and he moved to Whitter, California in 1922. Did you know that President Nixon graduated second in his class at Whitter College? He also graduated third in his class at the Duke University School of Law. Nixon joined the Navy in 1942 and served during World War II. He was elected as president in 1968, and he was reelected in 1972. He died in 1994.
Most people think of Nixon negatively. In fact, you may think of him as the first president to be impeached (you are wrong!). Despite his wrongdoings as president, Nixon did some good things, too.
According to the Nixon Presidential Library, Nixon created the Office of Minority Business Enterprise in 1969 to help increase job opportunities nationwide, and started the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970. In 1972, he signed Title IX to stop gender discrimination at colleges and universities. This act helped a lot of girls participate in sports and activities. President Nixon was also known for his successful international diplomacy, particularly with China. He even gave advice to future presidents.
I learned during my visit that Nixon struggled to end the Vietnam War. Nixon was very paranoid, and he damaged his reputation with the Watergate scandal. Watergate is when Nixon had people break into the Democratic headquarters to try and find embarrassing information that would help get him re-elected. He also illegally watched people with security cameras and recorded phone calls. You may think that Watergate is the reason he was impeached, but impeachment actually means you go into questioning with the Senate. Nixon resigned in 1974 before he could be impeached. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton are the only presidents to actually be impeached.
In addition to the exhibits about his life and experiences as president, you can also tour Nixon’s childhood home and presidential helicopter at the Nixon Presidential Library.
In all, I learned President Nixon was an interesting man and he has a very cool presidential library.