Nixon 1972 Election Memorabilia
Last week I visited the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California. The library recently reopened its galleries after major redesign and renovations. I was impressed, both with the displays and the balanced portrayal of Nixon’s life and career. I was 18 in 1972, and the presidential election was the first time I was able to vote. I am not embarrassed to say I voted for President Nixon. The Vietnam War, Watergate break-ins, missing tapes, and his resignation overshadow many of the positives of the Nixon presidency. Here are just a few of the achievements of his time in office I discovered. President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to manage the environment and signed the Clean Air and the National Environmental Policy acts. He reestablished diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and during his 1972 visit to Beijing met with Chairman Mao. His summit meetings with Russian leader Leonid I. Brezhnev produced two landmark arms control treaties: SALT I and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Nixon’s administration worked successfully to peacefully end segregation in southern schools. On July 20, 1969, during Nixon’s first term in office, Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon. An estimated 600 million people watched the moon landing.