President Richard Nixon Centennial Exhibit opens Friday in Yorba Linda

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A new exhibit on the life of former President Richard Nixon opens Friday at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda.

One of the displays features a bluish-gray wooden bench from about 1930. Exhibit co-curator Bob Bostock said Nixon warmed that bench with the football team at Whittier College.

"He said that the second most influential person in his life, after his father, was his football coach at Whittier College who instilled in him and the other members of the team the importance of hard work, determination and never giving up," Bostock said.

The Nixon Centennial Exhibit "Patriot. President. Peacemaker." tells the story of Nixon's early life, his military service, his five and a half years as president and his life after he resigned in 1974 until his death in 1994. The 100th anniversary of his birth was last month.

Some of the artifacts in the exhibit include the dress blue uniform Nixon wore while he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

"We have letters that he wrote back to Mrs. Nixon talking about what was going on over there," Bostock said. "We’re going to have twelve of those letters on display – never before seen in public."

The exhibit also features an exact replica of the desk he used in the Oval Office and at the U.S. Capitol as Vice President.

Those who can't make it to see the exhibit in person can take a virtual tour online. The exhibit is free on Friday and Monday – when the Nixon Library waives admission for the holiday.

The Nixon Library's President's Day celebration goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday. The event includes Presidential look-alikes and a talk by former Presidential speechwriter James Humes at 2:30 p.m., where he'll discuss President Nixon's historic trip to China in 1972.

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