Friday, June 22, 2007

June 22, 1993:

Pat Nixon Dies

It's easy to get the impression that as far as public life was concerned, it was "enough already!" for Pat Nixon in the 19 years between 1974 and her death from lung cancer in 1993. (She might well have felt that way after 1960.)

According to, "The immediate years following Nixon's resignation and his and Pat Nixon's return to their San Clemente, California estate "La Casa Pacifica" were difficult. Pat Nixon helped to maintain the former president through a series of traumas, ranging from legal wrangling resulting from his resignation to physical disability. In late 1974, he nearly died from phlebitis and other complications resulting from it, and then suffered through a depression.

  "In July 1976, Pat Nixon suffered a stroke, resulting in the temporary loss of speech and use of her left side. Through a rigorous physical therapy routine, she was able to rehabilitate full use of her motor and speaking skills, but her strength would remain uncertain. She most enjoyed the years following 1980 when she and the former president relocated to the East Coast where they were able to spend time with their children and grandchildren. Pat Nixon only rarely permitted the use of her name for various projects, including a San Clemente historical celebration, a fundraising effort to renovate and re-interpret the Smithsonian Institution's First Lady's exhibit, and a Carter Center conference on women and the U.S. Constitution. As a former First Lady, she only appeared at three public events, the dedication of Pat Nixon School (1975) in the Los Angeles area, named for her; the dedication of the Richard Nixon Birthplace and Museum (1990) in Yorba Linda, California and the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum (1991). She accompanied her husband back to China during his first of several return visits to that nation, but never joined him on the four trips he made back to the White House."

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