Ambassador and Mrs. Argyros revealed the Oval Office on May 25, 2016.
Exact replica will be centerpiece of new museum
The Oval Office, the most famous office in the world, will be faithfully and exactly replicated in Orange County – for the enjoyment of visitors to the New Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.
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.
This centerpiece of the new museum will include exact replicas of the historic Wilson Desk, iconic bust of Abraham Lincoln, portrait of George Washington and deep-blue carpet with the Presidential Seal woven in the middle and curtains in the rich yellow Pat Nixon called “California gold.”
The experience will allow guests to step inside and even sit behind the President’s desk for a group photo or selfie.
“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 helped shape our world today, including the establishment of detente with the Soviet Union, creating the EPA, ending the draft and forming the all-volunteer military, signing Title IX into law, launching the War on Cancer and lowering of the voting age to 18.
Fast Facts on President Nixon’s Oval Office
President Nixon worked from the Wilson Desk, not the Resolute Desk that President Obama uses today. It is currently in use by Vice President Joe Biden in the U.S. Capitol.
In 1969, First Lady Pat Nixon redecorated the Oval Office with the California state colors: yellow-gold for the furniture and drapes and a deep-blue rug carpet woven in gold with the Presidential Seal. This was the first Oval Office to feature a Presidential Seal in the carpet.
President Nixon met with hundreds of foreign dignitaries in the Oval Office, including Soviet 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 dozens of entertainers and sports figures in the Oval Office including Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Shirley Temple, Bob Hope, James Brown, Gale Sayers, Pelé, Terry Bradshaw, Sammy Davis Jr., and – most famously – Elvis Presley.
The Oval Office photo of President Nixon and Elvis Presley is the most requested image by students, scholars and researchers from the National Archives.
President Nixon made the longest-distance phone ever made from the Oval Office when he spoke with astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they walked on the moon – some 238,900 miles.
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 – beside 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.