Today, March 16, would have been Pat Nixon’s 101st birthday….but since her Irish-American father Bill Ryan always liked to think of her as his “Saint Patrick’s babe born in the morn,” she grew up celebrating her birthday on the 17th, and always preferred to put a touch of the green in the celebration. So it’s fitting to post this as the 16th turns into St. Pat’s.
Two months ago almost all of the many articles, in print and online, about President Nixon’s 100th birthday focused on his life and achievements, and not that many included much information about his wife and family. But at legacy.com on January 9, Linnea Crowther wrote eloquently about the importance of Pat in all that Richard Nixon accomplished in the more than half-century of their marriage:
The Nixons’ love didn’t wane as the years wore on – indeed, it was as strong as ever when they moved into the White House, when Pat stood by Richard as he resigned his presidency, and until Pat’s death, less than a year before Richard’s. Richard’s unabashed tears at his wife’s funeral were a testament to the deep love that lasted a lifetime.
The president, often very serious in the public eye, lit up when speaking of his beloved:
As we mark the former president’s centennial, it’s good to be able to add another positive facet to his legacy. He was, as he said, “not a crook” – he was a romantic.
Another Youtube clip well worth a look is this montage of beautiful photos, set to music that well evokes the memory of Pat’s compassion, understanding, and grace, not just as First Lady but throughout her life.