Concise and factual exhibits lead visitors through Richard Nixon’s five and half years of presidency, starting with the problems he inherited from the 1960s – the Vietnam War, racial tensions, and a country shaken by assassinations - and ending with his resignation to avoid impeachment. The museum is very evenhanded in it’s coverage of the issues. Nixon deserves credit for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act, ending the military draft, and signing an amendment that mandates funding for girl’s sports in schools that receive federal support. On the other hand he would have faced time in jail if President Ford had not pardoned him. The Watergate exhibit gives details of the break-in of the Democratic headquarters, bugging of opponents offices, misappropriation of campaign money, and dirty campaign tricks such as letters with false information sent to supporters of his opponents.
Nixon’s childhood, marriage to Pat, terms as senator and vice president, and his life after resigning are briefly covered. The little house where Nixon was born and lived for the first nine years of his life is located on the property which was formerly a citrus grove managed by his father. Richard’s and Pat’s grave sites are also located on the property. The helicopter used by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford can be toured.
The museum is accessible. Some of the touch screens are too high to be reached from a seated position. The door to the outdoor portion of the museum is heavy and does not have a push button to open it. The accessible entrance to Nixon’s childhood home is in the rear and opens into the kitchen. The tour guide told me that I could not go into the living room or view the bedroom because the floors are original and they might be damaged. This is nonsensical because the floors are covered with runners and neither I or my wheelchair are large or heavy but it wasn’t worth an argument. She also had no idea of how to open the back door and move out of the way so that I could leave. The helicopter is not accessible.
Long bus/RV spaces are located at the east end of the parking lot, near the helicopter. Museum 33.88913, -117.81759