Gore Vidal and George McGovern Are the Stars, But Spirit of Ted Kennedy Also Fills Nixon Library
George McGovern (left) listens to Gore Vidal's introduction at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda.
Photo by Christopher Victorio
Legends of liberalism Gore Vidal and George McGovern were the honored guests at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in
Yes, you read that right: the RICHARD NIXON Presidential Library and Museum.
Timothy Naftali, the historian and National Archives-hired executive director of the 37th president's library, told a crowd of 700 that his facility aims to be a nonpartisan "center of excellence in education."
Even though the library, with its adjancent Richard Nixon birthplace, was built by a private foundation composed of Nixon supporters, the complex that is now owned by taxpayers was flying its American flag at half mast in honor of Kennedy, just like every other federal facility under the orders of President Barack Obama, Naftali noted.
Vidal, one of
The "prairie populist" began by expressing his admiration for the Kennedy family and the guts Ted Kennedy displayed in bouncing back from the tragic death of Mary Jo Kopechne on
"Ted was a great senator," McGovern said. "He hardly missed a day. . . . I admired him and, on a personal basis, if any senator suffered a loss like a child or a spouse, he was the first person who called. When our daughter Terry died, he came to see Eleanor and me. He was there at 9 a.m. the next morning with his wife. He was a person who respected tragedy because of his family. He was very thoughtful. I thought a lot of him."
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