Richard Nixon Foundation
The Richard Nixon Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. It was founded in the late 1980s by Richard Nixon, 37th President of the United States, and served as the governing body of the Nixon Library for nearly twenty years. Today it serves in an advisory role to the Nixon Library which is run by the National Archives and Records Administration, an entity of the federal government of the United States.
The Nixon Foundation founded, controlled and operated the Nixon Library from the library's dedication on July 19, 1990 until July 11, 2007, at which the Foundation invited the National Archives to take control. The two entities signed a joint operating agreement which allowed the library to become officially known as the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, welcoming it into the national system of presidential libraries. This move allowed President Nixon's White House documents to be moved to his library in Yorba Linda.
The Nixon Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, led by Nixon's staff member Ronald H. Walker. The board include President Nixon's daughters Tricia Nixon Cox and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, his brother Edward Nixon, former Ambassador George Argyros and longest-serving Vietnam War POW Everett Alvarez, Jr. The Foundation's President and CEO is William Baribault.
The Foundation has hosted United States presidents, first ladies and several vice presidents. Also hosted have been public affairs commentators such as Bill O'Reilly, academics such as Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.
The library includes "Meet the Presidents," in which presidential impersonators speak to several hundred school-aged children. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Nixon Foundation brought 16 tons of warped steel from the World Trade Center and a damaged, first-responder FDNY firetruck to the Nixon Library for viewing.
Before the National Archives took over its management, the Nixon Library had been accused by several media outlets of glossing over Nixon's 1974 resignation with "whitewashed" exhibits. In 2007, the National Archives removed the Watergate exhibit that had been in place for 17 years and, after three years, the new exhibit was scheduled to open in July 2010. The Nixon Foundation objected to the proposed exhibit, specifically the process by which the proposed exhibit was crafted due to the fact that the Nixon Foundation was not consulted in the way that other presidential foundations are in similar situations. The Foundation filed a 158 page memorandum to the Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries expressing their dissatisfaction and NARA stated a committee would review the objection but gave no timeline for when that process would be concluded. The exhibit opened on March 31, 2011.
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