I had read on this Website that David and Julie Eisenhower would appear at the National Book Festival on Washington DC’s Mall Saturday, September 22. So I went over to say hi and to get them to sign their book “Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969.
There on the Mall were some 20 author signing tables in a row, with foot paths leading to each stacked with autograph seekers. The path leading to the Eisenhower’s table 13 at the appointed 3:30PM had the most distant “end of the line” sign, which kept moving backward as more people arrived. The line was a good three blocks long at the time I arrived, and lengthening. I asked the young man standing last in line why he thought so many people were drawn to the Eisenhowers.

“They’re America’s Royalty,” he answered. “You don’t get an opportunity like that very often.”

Because David and Julie were also scheduled to appear soon after for a panel discussion and C-SPAN panel, I decided to see them later when fewer people might be around. In the meantime, I went to listen to Douglas Brinkley talk about his book, “Cronkite,” the CBS news icon Walter Cronkite, because I worked at CBS News in NY before I joined the White House staff. But I walked away when Brinkley told the audience that President Nixon was “pressured” by Cronkite into establishing the Environmental Protection Agency. I’ve started to read Brinkley’s book to see if I heard him correctly, and I feel a book review coming along.

Then to a lecture tent for the remaining appearances by the Eisenhowers. It was nearing the end of the Book Festival day, with distant thunder rumbling, but it was standing room only. I felt a tap on my shoulder. A friend from our synagogue held a Book Fair poster that she hoped David and Julie would autograph. Scores of other onlookers held their posters and books, moving to the foot of the stage at the program’s conclusion to get closer to America’s Royalty.

It was their turn. I had been there a while back. You don’t get an opportunity like that very often.

David and Julie Eisnenhower’s National Book Festival appearances can be seen here and here.

Click here to order Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969.

Click here to order Pat Nixon: The Untold Story, autographed by Julie Nixon Eisenhower

Alvin Snyder was Deputy Special Assistant to President Nixon.