LA Fridays with Bob and Tom: Nixon Library
LA Fridays with Bob and Tom
Week 18. Nixon Library
The Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is our destination for this week’s Friday excursion. Recently renovated the structure is quite handsome and we were pleasantly surprised by the balance shown of this controversial president’s achievements and failures.
There is a full scale replica of the White House East Room, the Bell “Marine One” Helicopter utilized by Nixon when he resigned the presidency, the 1967 Lincoln Continental Presidential Limo, NASA Apollo Artifacts, and an area depicting the first president to meet with China.
There are excellent reminders of Nixon’s contribution to environmental law and regulation. On January 1, 1970 he signed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) initiating America’s rise to environmentalism and the 1970’s as the environmental decade.
One of the highlights was being able to listen to the President on the Watergate Tapes - chilling in authenticity as a reminder of this very difficult time period.
On the grounds are Richard Nixon’s birthplace home and the graves of Richard and Pat Nixon. The docents were both friendly and informative; the Library is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, Cal.
ROBERT BLAUNSTEIN, PhD BIO
Robert (Bob) is a PhD physicist whose career has spanned academia, government and private industry. As a faculty member of the Department of Physics at the University of Tennessee, a Branch Chief at the United States Department of Energy and Vice President of an American International Group Company, his scientific endeavors include radiation physics, environmental research, environmental insurance and nanotechnology.
Originally from the East Coast, Bob was seduced by his sons and their families (and the California weather) to leave Washington, DC after retiring in 2010. While recovering from culture shock, Bob found many outlets to reconcile his eclectic interests. As a member of Senior Scholars for over six years he continues to take courses in a myriad of subjects ranging from film to art history to brain science and finds great intellectual and social rewards in Senior Scholars and the Plato Society.
As a latent artist, he sketches scenes about town once a week with an artist friend from his college days and is attempting to learn to play the electric guitar.
On moving to Los Angeles, he found Tom Jacobson, another recent transplant. They became great friends and decided to explore their new town together leading to over 113 sites in our city. Dubbed “LA Fridays with Bob and Tom” they are happy to share their experiences with others.
Bob lives in Brentwood with Phyllis, his wife of 56 years, an education policy executive. They have two sons and four grandchildren, one of whom plays a guitar a lot better than Bob.
THOMAS JACOBSON BIO
Thomas (Tom) is an attorney who practiced trial and constitutional law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Born in 1938 in Bamberg Germany, he was one of the youngest passengers on the ill-fated voyage of the Damned, the SS St. Louis, turned away from Cuba in 1939.
Tom represented local civil rights activists and Dick Gregory and twice argued cases successfully in the United States Supreme Court. In 1970 he was the Democratic candidate for Wisconsin Attorney General.
Retiring in 2008, he and wife, Peggy, moved to California to join their two sons and four grandchildren, and enjoy the warm weather.
Tom has kept busy as a member of Senior Scholars and Plato for the last six years keeping his brain stimulated and active. Yoga and swimming have kept his body in shape.