Full-size replica will be centerpiece of new museum at the Nixon Library
A replica of the Oval Office, the most famous office in the world, will be enjoyed by visitors to the new museum at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum beginning in October.
The permanent exhibit will be an exact reproduction of President Nixon’s Oval Office including the historic Wilson Desk, iconic bust of Abraham Lincoln, portrait of George Washington and circa 1969 deep-blue oval rug and matching California-gold furniture and drapes. The experience will allow guests to step inside, completely roam the office and even sit behind the President’s desk for a group photo or selfie.
Opening on October 14, 2016, as part of the new museum, the Oval Office is a generous gift of Ambassador and Mrs. George L. Argyros.
“We jumped at the chance to bring the Oval Office to Orange County and hope our gift helps inspire countless thousands of visitors to learn from our history, appreciate American civics, and shape better futures for themselves and others” said Ambassador and Mrs. Argyros.
In this room the 37th President made many consequential decisions that shape the world today including the establishing of detente with the Soviet Union, creating the EPA, ending the draft and creating the all-volunteer military, signing Title IX into law, launching the War on Cancer and lowering of the voting age to 18.
Facts on President Nixon’s Oval Office
- President Nixon used the Wilson Desk, not the Resolute Desk that President Obama uses today. President Ford also used the Wilson Desk and it is currently used by Vice President Joe Biden in the U.S. Capitol.
- In 1969, Mrs. Nixon redecorated the Oval Office with the California state colors: yellow-gold for the furniture and drapes and a deep-blue rug with woven in gold with the Presidential Seal – the first Oval Office with Presidential Seal carpet.
- The royal blue oval-shaped rug adorned with the gold Presidential Seal was designed by First Lady Pat Nixon.
- President Nixon met with many foreign dignitaries in the Oval Office including USSR General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, King Hussein of Jordan, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Pakistani President Yahya Khan, Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
- President Nixon met with many entertainers and sports figures including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Shirley Temple, Bob Hope, James Brown, Gale Sayers, Pelé, Terry Bradshaw and Sammy Davis Jr.
- The Oval Office photo of President Nixon and Elvis Presley is most requested image in the National Archives and the famous meeting is the subject of a 2016 feature film.
- President Nixon made the longest-distance phone ever made from the Oval Office when he called astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they walked on the moon.
- President Nixon delivered 37 televised addresses to the American people from the Oval Office.
- President Nixon rotated three different George Washington portraits over the mantel and displayed “Earthrise” – a photograph of the earth taken from the moon’s orbit during the Apollo 8 mission – by his desk.
- Special items on President Nixon’s desk included a Steuben glass star emblazoned with the presidential seal, a gift from Ambassador and Mrs. Walter Annenberg; a bust of Abraham Lincoln sculpted by Leo Cherne and a favorite photo of wife Pat and their daughters Tricia and Julie.