Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
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Commemorating The Nixons' 75th Wedding Anniversary

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The Helicopter

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  Richard Nixon first met Pat Ryan in 1938 during auditions at the St. Mathias Church for The Dark Tower, a play produced by the Whittier Community Players in Whittier, California. The Nixons’ youngest daughter, Julie Nixon Eisenhower, wrote about her parents' first meeting in her book Pat Nixon, The Untold Story. She wrote that her father, when leaving the church that evening, impulsively told Ms. Ryan "You may not believe this but I am going to marry you someday." In turn, she later told her friend Virginia Shugart, "I met this guy tonight who says he is going to marry me." Pat Ryan was not ready to settle down. Still, Dick Nixon mounted a formidable courtship. After two years of dating, Pat Ryan consented to become his bride. They married in a simple ceremony in a room now called the Presidential Suite, at the Mission Inn, in Riverside, California, on June 21, 1940.  


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