Julie Nixon Eisenhower
|Julie Nixon Eisenhower|
Julie Nixon Eisenhower in 1973
July 5, 1948
Washington, D.C., United States
|Spouse(s)||David Eisenhower (1968-present)|
|Parents||Richard and Pat Nixon|
While her father served as President of the United States, she wrote several books and worked as Assistant Managing Editor of the Saturday Evening Post. Since her father left the White House in 1974, she has written a few more books and works to support her parents' legacy.
Julie Nixon was born while her father, Richard Nixon, was a Congressman. Much of her childhood coincided with her father's service as Dwight Eisenhower's Vice-President (1953–61). She recalled her father as being romantic, while her mother was "practical and down to earth". Her mother tried to "seal" her and her sister from much of her father's political career.
As a teenager, she attended the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington along with her sister, Tricia. After her father lost Presidential Election of 1960 to John F. Kennedy, Julie felt "battered" by the results and felt that the votes had "been stolen".
Julie left school in 1961, after her father lost his presidential bid in 1960, and the family returned to California where her father ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1962. The Nixons moved to New York after the gubernatorial race, and Julie attended Smith College after her graduation from high school and received a master's degree from Catholic University in 1972. As a child, one of her favorite pets was a small dog named Checkers, who figured prominently in her father's most famous vice-presidential speech.
She began dating David Eisenhower in 1966, and became engaged to him a year later. David once came to pick her up for a date at Smith College, and was initially stopped by security. On December 22, 1968, after her father was elected president but before he took office, Julie married David Eisenhower, grandson of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The couple had known each other since meeting at the 1956 Republican National Convention. The Reverend Norman Vincent Peale officiated in the non-denominational rite at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City.
The Eisenhowers have three children:
- Jennie Elizabeth (b. San Clemente, Orange County, California, August 15, 1978), an actress
- Alexander Richard (b. 1980)
- Melanie Catherine (b. 1984)
During the United States presidential election of 1968, which her father was the Republican nominee in, Julie began to feel that she was not active enough in her father's campaign and became stressed over what she believed was Hubert Humphrey's popularity at Smith College, which she was attending at the time.
While her father served as President (1969-1974), Julie became active at the White House as a spokesperson for children's issues, the environment, and the elderly. She gave tours to disabled children, filled in for her mother at events, and took an active interest in foreign policy. From 1973-75, she served as Assistant Managing Editor of the Saturday Evening Post and helped establish a book division for Curtis Publishing Co., its parent corporation. It was during this time that Julie wrote the book Eye On Nixon, full of photographs of her father.
Once she appeared on The Mike Douglas Show in 1970, and Mike asked her what she thought about the new fad called "streaking," where someone runs naked in public. She responded, "I don't know how they can come off like that!", a double entendre that left the whole studio laughing. She and her sister were placed in charge of Caroline Kennedy and her brother John F. Kennedy, Jr. when they visited the White House in 1971. The two took them on a tour of the their former residence, which included going to their old bedrooms and to the Oval Office.
She often traveled without her father. On one occasion, after getting back from a trip to Pittsburg, he tried to ask her about how it went.
After the news of the Watergate break-in and suspicions that it might reach as high as the oval office began to mount, Julie took on the press at home and abroad. Her defense of her father caused people to wonder why her mother wasn't saying anything about the scandal. Journalist Nora Ephron wrote, "In the months since the Watergate hearings began, she [Julie] has become her father's ... First Lady in practice if not in fact."
Julie's public defense of her father began at Walt Disney World on May 2, 1973. She gave a total of 138 interviews across the country. In the summer of 1973, she and David went to London where Julie appeared on the BBC. Journalist George Will once reflected: "Anyone thinking that Nixon deserved a better fate from Watergate should remember his silence as his brave daughter Julie crisscrossed the country defending him against charges he knew to be true." On July 4, 1973, she told two reporters that her father had considered resigning over Watergate, but that the family had talked him out of it. On May 7, 1974, Julie and David met with the press in the East Garden of the White House. She announced that the President planned "...to take this constitutionally down to the wire." Just before noon on August 9, 1974, Julie stood behind her father while he gave his goodbye speech to the White House staff. She would later say it was the hardest moment for him.
Life after the White House
Julie and David settled in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, where she completed several books, including Pat Nixon: The Untold Story, a biography of her mother. She has an extensive record of community service in the Philadelphia area and is active with the Richard Nixon Foundation, sitting on its board, as well as that of the Center for the National Interest (formerly known as the Nixon Center).
She was by her father's bedside with her sister Patricia when he died.
She has expressed distaste in a few adaptions of presidencies, and labeled them as giving young viewers a "twisted sense of history".
The Justice Department moved on April 14, 1999 to prevent her from making an appearance to testify during a legal battle over whether the government would pay her father's estate millions as compensation for papers and tapes seized when he resigned.
In 2001, she expressed interest in exhuming the body of Checkers, a dog attributed to her father's career when he campaigned for vice president that died in 1964. Her desire was to move the remains to the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.
She and her sister got into a legal battle over an estimated "as-high-as" $19 million, left by Bebe Rebozo for the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation. As opposed to Tricia's wish for the money to be controlled by a group affiliated with their family, Julie wanted it to be controlled by the library's board. On the relationship strain the two were experiencing during the dispute, Julie said "I think it is very sad" and stated, "It's very heartbreaking because I love my sister very much". On August 6, 2002, Julie met with her sister for a court-ordered meeting. Despite the two being together for the vast majority of the day, they failed to make an agreement. She believed that a continued support of donations for the library, was not what needed to be done, given the fact that all of the other Presidential Libraries and Museums at the time were funded by the Presidential System.
"It's not right, struggling for the money. My father should be in the system. As long as he's on the outside, historians will continue to look at him, I feel, in a more negative light. There is always going to be negativity, but he has to be part of the continuum of presidents."
She was reported to have given $2300 to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign, despite her and her husband's and father's Republican background and relationships to Presidents Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower (and her sister Tricia Nixon Cox's $4,600 contribution in 2007 to Republican Senator John McCain, who ultimately ran against then Senator Obama for the presidency in 2008.)
In 2010, she and her husband David co-authored Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life With Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969, a biography of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's final years after he left the White House. On March 16, 2012, She and her sister arrived in Yorba Linda to celebrate what would have been their mother's 100th birthday. On November 23, 2013, Eisenhower and her husband opened a holiday exhibit for the Nixon Library, which will be there until January 5, 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Julie Nixon Eisenhower.|
- "Julie Nixon Eisenhower Remembers Her Mother and Former First Lady Pat on the Centennial of Her Birth". April 8, 2012.
- Pat Nixon A&E Biography
- Berger, Brooke (February 15, 2013). "Eisenhower and Nixon: Secrets of an Unlikely Pair". U.S. News.
- Celano, Clare Marie (May 22, 2002). "President’s daughter spends life in the public eye Julie Nixon Eisenhower recalls memories – good and bad – in White House". News Transcript.
- Julie Nixon Eisenhower at the Internet Movie Database
- "My College Diary by Julie Nixon Eisenhower".
- Leigh, Wendy (1999). Prince Charming: The John F. Kennedy, Jr. Story. Sourcebooks. p. 181-182. ISBN 978-0451178381.
- "NIXON TAPES: Chatting with Daughter Julie Nixon Eisenhower".
- David, Lester and Thomas Y. Crowell. The Lonely Lady of San Clemente. New York, 1978. p. 172-174.
- Anthony Summers: The Arrogance of Power. The Secret World of Richard Nixon. Penguin, New York 2002 ISBN 0-14-026078-1 p. 463
- "Nixon Motto: `The Worst Thing A Politician Can Be Is Dull'". (April 24, 1994).
- "Movies Twist History, Julie Nixon Argues". Chicago Tribune. November 21, 1996.
- "U.S. Moves to Block Testimony in Trial". Los Angeles Times. April 15, 1999.
- "Julie Nixon's Pet Project: Relocating Checkers". Los Angeles Times. June 23, 2001.
- Greene, Bob (March 26, 2002). "What Nixon's best friend couldn't buy". Chicago Tribune.
- Kasindorf, Martin (April 29, 2002). "Family feud stains efforts to burnish Nixon's legacy". USA Today.
- "Views Emerge in Rift Between Nixon Sisters". Los Angeles Times. March 2, 2002.
- "Nixon's Daughters Try to Settle $20-Million Bequest Dispute". Los Angeles Times. August 7, 2002.
- AP. "Nixon's daughter gives to Obama", ABC News, April 22, 2008. Accessed April 22, 2008.
- Movroydis, Jonathan (March 16, 2002). "Julie and Tricia Nixon Celebrate First Lady’s 100th Birthday". Richard Nixon Foundation.
- "'Trains, Trees and Traditions' at Nixon Library". Orange County Register. November 23, 2013.