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  1. Hi Carl–

    Friday will mark Pat Nixon’s 100th birthday. Among modern first ladies, she is perhaps the most misunderstood and the least known. I hope you will mark the date with some good Pat Nixon information.
    Pat’s been mentioned in literature recently—more in the last few months than she has in years. Ann Beattie’s book, “Mrs. Nixon” came out late last year and I’m currently reading Thomas Mallon’s “Watergate: A Novel,” which has an interesting (albeit fictionalized) take on Mrs. Nixon.
    I think she was great. I don’t believe she ever got enough credit for her accomplishments. She quietly continued Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House restoration and opened the White House to more tourists than ever, including specially designed tours for disabled children. We can also thank Pat for having the exterior lights installed on the White House grounds.
    Thanks for the great site. Keep up the good work!
    I thoroughly enjoy your site.

    • I spent over 17 hours doing research, writing, organizing editing and posting just such an article which I posted today. Hope you enjoy.

    • Mr Childers-
      i agree wholeheartedly with you on the subject of Pat Nixon. While not meaning to disparrage Mrs. Kennedy who had many fine qualities,I always felt that in her own quiet way Mrs Nixon far surpassed Jackie in her accomplishments.
      Not as young or flashy as mrs kennedy, mrs Nixon was never a media celebrity but managed to accomplish much more than her younger predecessor. She was for a time the most travelled first lady and as you mentioned contined mrs Kennedy’s restoration of the White House-quietly amassing more antiques than Mrs Kennedy had.

      She was one of our greatest first ladies in my opinion.

      Best-Richard klein

  2. I do agree that Mrs. Nixon was never given the credit she deserved for her many fine qualities. I suppose most of the reason for that was the widely diverging opinions of people regarding her husband. It was truly love/hate when it came to Richard Nixon! But I am always so impressed when I have read about the Dickensian existence Mrs. Nixon survived in her childhood, working (and working hard!) from when she was a young girl, losing her parents before she was 18, having to care for her younger brothers AND going to school, with a stellar record. Always gracious and self-effacing, while accomplishing much, she was an exemplary first lady. Anyone who ever disparaged her as “Plastic Pat” should be ashamed of themselves!

    • You are entirely right – in my opinion. I’ve often observed that no matter how much good a First Lady may, in fact, accomplish, it is never perceived without being overshadowed by the perception of the successes or failures of her husband the President. And you are so right about how much Pat Nixon had to endure simply to survive as she made her own way into adulthood – and ultimately flourished on her own. Even had she not accomplished as much as she did as First Lady, that alone is an achievement worthy of emulation and respect. And thank you Andy for taking the time to write that.

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