Richard M. Nixon Hospitality


The U.S. Presidency and Political Hospitality - 1776-1976


Richard M. Nixon Hospitality Papers

Mary Edith Wilroy  served as Blair House Manager for the entire term of the Nixon Administration:  Inauguration Day was bitterly cold.  The usual arrangement had been made on the street so that guests and visitors could see the inaugural parade.  There were loudspeakers set up in front of the house, and tight security arrangements had been made.  Anti-war demonstrators had contributed to the feeling of tension that hung in the air.  We would be serving as a way station for the diplomatic corps, providing coffee and refreshments and opening the Blair House Guest Rooms.  The diplomats began arriving in shivering groups around 2:00pm.  They came and went all day long and, to be truthful, many of them stayed in the warm house and watched the marchers through our windows.  The Jamaican and Chilean ambassadors and their wives seemed nearly frozen when they arrived.  They simply took off their coats and stayed.

Dignitary Correspondence During Nixon Administration 

On the Agnews:  Early in December Mrs. Spiro Agnew held her first press conference a Blair House.  Seventy-five newspaper, magazine, and television reporters were invited to meet informally with the wife of the Vice-President.  They were given a tour of the house and a chance to meet informally with Mrs. Agnew.  Mrs. Agnew was dressed in a "smooth black wool dress with a gay scarf at the neckline."  The women had just finished their coffee when the butler responded to the front door.  There stood the Vice-President.  He had walked across the street from his office in the Executive Office Building, probably anxious to see how Mrs. Agnew was doing at her first meeting with the press.  Mr. Agnew seemed quite at home among all those ladies.  He stayed for about fifteen minutes, during which time he was asked what he thought of this group of press people.  He had already created quite a bit of controversy by outspoken criticism of the media.  These are "my favorite kind of press people," he was quoted saying.  "They are prettier, nicer, more objective  ... what else can I say?"  The highlight of the Vice President's visit, however, was not what he said but what he did.  He was persuaded to sit down at the piano and render the Agnew version of "Sophisticated Lady."  Then, amid applause, his little impromptu visit."



Former President Richard M. Nixon
writes Mary Edith on her illness

On President Nixon:  On the first anniversary of his inauguration President Nixon was given a party by Secretary of State and Mrs. William P. Rogers.  The entire Cabinet and their wives were invited.  I checked with Lucy Winchester, Mrs. Nixon's social secretary, at the White House about the menu and made sure that I'd have the best parlor maids and my pick of the butlers for this very special party.  The menu featured Mr. Nixon's favorites:  quail and white grapes and Maderia sauce, wild rice and truffles, baked egg-plant Provencal, green peas with water chestnuts, and a watercress and avocado salad served with pate.  For desert we served one of Dallas' rich chocolate deserts.  The mood of the party was relaxed and happy, a group of friends celebrating together, but the plans had been elaborate.   The forty guests came early so they could rehearse their big number, Whittier College song.  Bruce Harlow, President Nixon's counsel and one of the wittiest men in Washington, was the master of ceremonies.  And the high point of the evening was a film specially made for the evening.  It was a little hard to describe.  Imagine, if you will, a foot-ball game with ballet as a music background and a ballet teacher's commentary as the spoken sound track.  Anyhow, everyone found it hilarious.  The football theme continued in a picture given to the President at the dinner.  This was a photograph of a football team with the faces of Cabinet members substituted for the real players; the photo was labeled "The President's First Team."


Former First Lady  Pat Nixon writes 
Mary Edith on a reception at the Blair House



Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Mary Wilson
inscribed photograph for Mary Edith - 1970


United States Ambassador to the United Nations George H. W. Bush 


The papers are currently housed at the Loyola University Honors Program and are subjects of academic study under the direction of  its Director,   Naomi Yavneh, Ph.D.


Naomi Yavneh, Ph.D.

Director, University Honors Program
&  Office of Undergraduate Research 

Loyola University New Orleans
University Honors Program
6363 St. Charles Ave.
Campus Box 75
New Orleans, LA 70118-6195

Phone:  (504) 865-2708
Fax: (504) 865-2709
email: yavneh@loyno.edu





Chart Comparing Presidential Powers 
of  America's Four United Republics - Click Here

United Colonies and States First Ladies
1774-1788


United Colonies Continental Congress
President
18th Century Term
Age
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
29
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
10/22–26/74
n/a
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
30
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
28
United States Continental Congress
President
Term
Age
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
29
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
n/a
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
21
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
41
United States in Congress Assembled
President
Term
Age
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
42
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
25
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
55
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
46
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
36
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
46
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
38
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
42
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
43
01/22/88 - 01/29/89
36

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
President
Term
Age
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
57
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
52
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
n/a
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
40
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
48
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
50
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
n/a
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
n/a
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
65
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
50
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
23
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
41
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
60
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
52
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
46
n/a
n/a
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
42
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
54
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
43
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
45
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
48
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
n/a
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
21
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
56
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
28
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
49
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
40
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
47
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
52
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
43
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
60
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
44
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
54
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
48
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
60
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
56
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
31
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
50
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
56
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
56
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
49
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
59
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
63
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
45
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
54
January 20, 2009 to date
45




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