Today, my daughters and I spent the day at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. I learned so much, and I have so many wonderful treasures to share with you in the future as a result of that visit. He has been so vilified by the media that I had forgotten many of his important contributions. While looking for a quote, it was hard to miss that just about every reference to that man noted his resignation from office.
Talk about achieving the American dream! The visit to the library reminded me of Nixon’s humble beginnings. His father had no formal education. Nixon, and his three brothers, shared 2 beds in the attic of a modest one bedroom home. The attached photo is a picture of the home where Nixon was born and spent the first years of his life. From that starting point his accomplishments included: mastering five instruments, graduating from law school, serving in the military, an almost meteoric rise in national politics, and after leaving the presidency had a full and rich life which I was completely unaware of. I was also unaware of Nixon’s determination to not let setbacks hold him back. I watched several interviews during which Nixon repeated messages such as: “A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits,” and “Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” After resigning, Nixon wrote extensively and engaged in official and unofficial diplomacy.
As a part of the National Archives and Records Administration’s presidential libraries system, the Nixon Library boast more than 50 million pages of documents and 300,000 graphic related pieces of information. You can visit virtually visit the library at: http://www.nixonlibrary.gov/index.php