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Bridal Shower at Decatur House

In this photograph taken on May 26, 1971, by Robert L. Knudsen, Tricia Nixon opens gifts at a bridal shower in her honor, hosted by the women of the press. Sitting on the couch with Tricia are, from left to right: reporter Helen Thomas, Tricia's mother, First Lady Pat Nixon, and her future mother-in-law Anne Crane Delafield (Finch) Cox. Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Tricia Nixon's younger sister sits on the floor. The bridal shower was held at Decatur House. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol, and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and his wife, Susan Wheeler Decatur. Tragically, on March 22, 1820, Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel. After his death, his widow Susan Decatur rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven, and the last owner, left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into a co-stewardship arrangement of Decatur House.
Robert L. Knudsen
Date of Work
May 26, 1971
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum/NARA