Former President Turns 77, Hometown Celebrates With Holiday
YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) _ Richard M. Nixon’s 77th birthday was a bi-coastal observance Tuesday, with city workers in his hometown getting a paid holiday while the former president planned a quiet family dinner.
The Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace Foundation used the occasion to invite reporters on a brown-bag lunch tour of the nearly completed $20 million library. It will be dedicated in July.
On the East Coast, Nixon worked on a book due in April.
″President Nixon spent the morning putting the finishing touches on the galley proofs for his new book, ‘In the Arena,’ paying special attention to new sections about (Soviet leader Mikhail) Gorbachev, China and Eastern Europe,″ Nixon spokesman John Taylor said from Nixon’s office at Woodcliff Lake, N.J.
Taylor said Nixon and his wife, Pat, planned to have dinner in New York City with members of the family. He said he was unaware of any unusual gifts.
Profits from the book, whose full title is ″In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat and Renewal,″ which Nixon calls the most personal he has ever written, will go to the library foundation. Simon & Schuster declined to disclose how much Nixon was getting for the book, his seventh.
Hugh Hewitt, director of the library foundation, presided over the tour of the library, a Spanish-style building he described as a ″window″ into the career of the nation’s 37th president.
There will be ″full and fair treatment″ of Watergate, Hewitt said.
The Nixon library 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles will be the first of two presidential libraries to open in Southern California. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library opens next year in Simi Valley, 75 miles away.
Unlike other presidential libraries, the 45,000-square-foot Nixon library won’t be supported by tax dollars. The former chief executive insisted on it.
For about 100 city workers in the community of 40,000, Tuesday was a paid day off. The Yorba Linda City Council voted in September to make Jan. 9 a holiday in honor of its most famous citizen.
″Fifteen years have elapsed since President Nixon’s resignation and history has shown the importance of his presidency, particularly with respect to his brilliance in foreign policy,″ the holiday resolution said.