President Nixon’s hundredth birthday is coming up, and Southern California is planning a year-long celebration.
A planned yearlong centennial celebration of President Nixon’s birth is due to start on Sunday at his presidential library, with military honors. The laying of a wreath from President Barack Obama is to be performed by the eldest daughter of the late US president.
Nixon, the Cold War-era Republican stalwart who opened US relations with communist China was also the only American president to resign from office, leaving in disgrace over the Watergate scandal. He died at age 81 in 1994. Bruce Herschensohn, who was Nixon’s speech-writer, will deliver the keynote address, followed by a flyover by a squadron of US fighter jets, musical from a US Marine band and the traditional 21-gun salute, says Yahoo News.
President Nixon was perhaps the most troubled President of the United States, defeated by Democrat John Kennedy in one of the closest presidential elections in modern times. He had a failed run for California governor and, leading to a bitter concession speech in which Nixon uttered the famous words:
“You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”
In spite of Nixon’s promise to achieve “peace with honor” in Vietnam, he escalated the conflict by approving a bombing campaign against communist North Vietnamese positions in Cambodia. A peace deal was eventually struck in 1973 leading to a ceasefire of US military involvement before South Vietnam ultimately fell to the communist North.
According to Reuters, the event in California comes three days ahead of a gala dinner at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., to be held on January 9, 2013, nearly 20 years after Nixon’s last living birthday.
Henry Kissinger, who served as national security adviser and secretary of state under Nixon, is slated to be there.
It sounds like a promisingly good time in the wake of the shootings across the nation.