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Nixon Library to break groundby Janette Neumann,
Yorba Linda Star December 1 1988 page 1
Julie Nixon Eisenhower and Tricia Nixon Cox tomorrow will turn the first shovels of dirt to symbolically launch the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.
Nixon family friends, former cabinet members, and local politicians will attend the Dec. 2 ceremony that heralds the construction of the 45,000-square-foot facility. The project, including preservation work on the former president's birthplace home, will cost the non-profit Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation $25 million.
To assist in parking for the large crowd, Yorba Linda Boulevard will be closed from noon to 5 p.m. at Eureka Avenue to Imperial Highway.
The site, 8.1 acres on the corner of Yorba Linda Boulevard and Eureka Avenue, has long been empty of the lemon trees that the Nixon family cultivated in the 1910s. In preparing for the library, the Richard M. Nixon Elementary School, which was built on the former grove site, was torn down this year after the city bought the site for $1.3 million. The museum and library should open to the public in 1990.
Foundation officials said before the ceremony that the former president would not be attending the event.
“Nixon told me a few years ago that his daughters were very interested in preserving the birthplace, so he let them take center stage,” Mayor Roland Bigonger said. Family illness also was preventing Nixon from leaving his New Jersey home for the event, he said.
The library and museum will include a research center containing the politician's records and memos next to the original birthplace of the 37th president. The Nixon homestead, a small white wood house, has been preserved throughout the years by the local Nixon Birthplace Foundation, headed by Bigonger.
“This is the fruition of dreams of the handful of birthplace foundation members,” he said. A Yorba Linda home for the official library was years in the making, according to Bigonger, who added the library is “the icing on the cake.”
The city always has been very proud of its native son,” said Rolland [sic] of Nixon, who spent only his early childhood here before moving to Whittier.
Included in the project will be a 300-seat theater, a reflecting pool, a formal garden including First Lady Pat Nixon's namesake - a blackish red rose - and a museum that will exhibit national events during Nixon's 1969-1974 presidency.
Museum exhibitions will focus on the Alger Hiss case; the Krushchev [sic] “kitchen debate” in Moscow; the 1960, 1968 and 1972 presidential campaigns; and the China breakthrough.
The library will contain none of the material pertaining to his presidency. However, Nixon's vice-presidential papers, his personal records and manuscripts of his six books and White House diaries will be stored there.
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