Friday, February 22, 2013

Nixon Centennial

In honor of the Centennial of former President Richard Nixon's birthday, I have combined a number of vintage shots of the man who was also a close friend of Walt Disney. First up is a rarely seen shot of the Opening Day of the Monorail, when the Nixon family had the honors of cutting the ribbon. From the accompanying publicity blurb:

6/14/59—DISNEYLAND, CALIF.: Mrs. Pat Nixon points out some of the new attractions at Disneyland to the family. (l to r) Mrs. Nixon, Julie 10, Tricia 13 and Vice-President Richard Nixon. Rising skyward in the background is the "snow-capped" replica of the Matterhorn. The Vice-President and his family participated in the opening of several new Disneyland attractions 6/14.

Normally, Nixon's wife Pat is seen looking very serene and controlled; the photographer must have instructed her to point off in the distance. Here is the more commonly seen photo from the same session:

Nixon was also a good friend of Shirley Temple, and helped further her political career. He has obviously told a pretty good joke to her in this 1960 shot:

In a much more serious moment, the two are posed in front of a photo of Nikita Kruschev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1953-1964). He is also known as the man who was extremely honked off that he couldn't get into Disneyland!

Last two for today show Nixon at the Disneyland Hotel in 1962.

He was running for Governor of California 1962 and these photos were taken at the Orange County Nixon Committee Dinner. Note the "Boxing elephant" (Dumbo) image to the left and the "KEZY radio / Disneyland Hotel" sign to the right of the photo. Nixon was running for Governor of California in 1962 after losing to Kennedy in the 1960 Presidential election; Nixon lost this election as well.

The Nixon Library in Yorba Linda is featuring a special exhibit. For more info, visit their website.

In present day Disneyland news, the Figaro animatronic was visible briefly the other day at The Fantasy Faire outside of the Castle:

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter and view my most recent photos on Flickr. See more vintage Nixon family at Disneyland photos on my Nixon web page.

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