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Mar 22, 2019 Washington, D.C.

The latest episode of The 1600 Sessions podcast, “The Legacy of First Lady Patricia Nixon” was released today by The White House Historical Association (WHHA) in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Pat Nixon entering the White House as First Lady.

Mrs. Nixon had a remarkable influence on the White House, especially regarding the role of First Lady. WHHA President Stewart D. McLaurin talks to Anita McBride, Former Chief of Staff to Laura Bush and WHHA Board member, Bob Bostock, Special Assistant to Former President Richard Nixon, and Melanie Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Richard Nixon and Pat Nixon and great-granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower and Mamie Eisenhower, about Nixon’s life and legacy.

“One thing to really understand about Pat Nixon is that she knew poverty and hardship at a young age. Her upbringing is characterized by very steady and hard, hard work. She really crafted the First Lady role into a unique one and that few contemporaries fully appreciated and honestly that few scholars have recognized until recently,” said McBride.

Mrs. Nixon brought this work ethic with her when she lived in the White House, setting a high-bar for future First Ladies to follow.

“When she would go on foreign trips, especially during the Vice Presidential years, she insisted on going to orphanages and schools and hospitals and visiting with, if you will, the average people in those countries, bringing what she called goodwill. She became known as the Ambassador of Goodwill,” said Bostock.

This exemplary character that Mrs. Nixon demonstrated as First Lady translated into her personal life, as well.

“I would say that my grandmother was incredibly warm and charismatic. She was always seeking out people in need and I felt that as a child too. I think her legacy is that she wanted the White House to be the house for the people and accessible to all. She opened more visiting hours and also arranged tours for blind and deaf people to come through the White House. She was aware that the White House belonged to the people and she was proud to show it to them,” said Eisenhower.

The 1600 Sessions

In this podcast series, White House Historical Association President Stewart D. McLaurin interviews luminaries, historians, and eyewitnesses to history about America’s most famous residence and office—the White House. Each episode includes a prominent guest or guests to discuss varying facets of White House history, including insights from former staff and many other topical issues.

The 1600 Sessions is available on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. To hear the full episode, visit

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P.D.F. Resources

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About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit

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