Richard M. Nixon

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Richard M. Nixon

Richard M. Nixon Signed Presidential Library Program - 1984

A rare and unusual item of presidential history, this is the Official Program for a private luncheon welcoming then-ex President Richard Nixon and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library to its proposed site in the City of San Clemente, California, signed by President Nixon in person. Framed in a blue and gold motif, the presentation includes an engraving of Nixon and a brass informational plaque.

This extremely rare piece of presidential memorabilia documents the tumultuous decision—only recently resolved after decades of acrimonious dispute—over whether the collection of Nixon papers constituted a public legacy meriting the editorial and curatorial care of the National Archives and Records Administration, or represented merely a memorial tribute by the disgraced president’s former staffers, donors and followers. The City of San Clemente rejected the plan when it became clear that the facility would not be accorded status as an official Presidential Library operated by the National Archives, but instead would be a private foundation dependent on contributions from the public and his circle of supporters. The Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Foundation is housed in Yorba Linda, California, where the archives are now combined with the federal collection and administered by the National Archives.

On May 14, 1984, the former president was officially welcomed by the Rotary Club of San Clemente, to celebrate a preliminary agreement with the City of San Clemente—home of the seaside Western White House during the Nixon Administration—to host the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Held at neighboring San Juan Capistrano’s popular El Adobe Restaurant, featuring the president’s favorite Mexican food, the luncheon was attended by some 200 of the area’s business and civic leaders.

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