On our way into Los Angeles, we stopped at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda. At the entrance there was a memorial to Billy Graham, he seemed to be a friend to many presidents. The library was built on the same grounds that he had been born on, literally! The same house he was born in is still in the same spot it has always been, and we got to walk around it. Outside there was also Marine One, Nixon’s helicopter, beautiful rose gardens and pond . It was also the burial place of Richard Nixon and his wife Pat.
A couple of things I learned about Nixon was he passed Title IX legislature, helping women get a chance to play collegiate sports (like my mom!). In his first election, he won in the state that his opponent was from. He ended the military draft, and helped to create a voluntary military. He also lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. In his second term he resigned under a cloud of conspiracy. But he did many good things under his presidency too.
Fast forward 2 days, and we spent the day at the Ronald Regan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. This was one of my favorite libraries and I learned a lot about his life and his presidency. The best part was the getting to go in his Air Force One. The building was huge and built around the AF1. The building also housed Marine One, his helicopter. It was big but was dwarfed next to the airplane. In both vehicles, the place where the president sat had the presidential seal. In AF1, the seal was on the seatbelt buckle, and in the helicopter it was on the headrest.
Ronald Regan was an actor, which I did not know about before going here. But because he was, there were lots of pictures of him at an early age. He married the actress Nancy Davis, and she loved wearing red and spearheading the “Just Say NO!” program. There were lots of interesting gifts given to President Regan, including 372 belt buckles, many of which were on display. Regan loved to be a cowboy but he also loved fighting for peace.
There was even a section of the Berlin wall at the library, Regan had a famous line of “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!”. The library had a beautiful overlook of the Simi Valley, and both the President and First Lady are also buried here.
Overall, the 2 Los Angeles area presidential libraries have been very educational and fun to go to. It’s good to get ideas for what to put in mine one day.(WT)