Love letters between Pat and Richard Nixon will be unveiled on Friday at the Nixon Presidential Library. These letters reflect a new side of Nixon:
"These letters are fabulous. It's a totally different person from the Watergate tapes that people know. President Nixon started out as an idealistic young man ready to conquer the world and with Pat Ryan he knew he could do it. There's a lot of hope, there's a lot of tenderness and it's very poetic," said Olivia Anastasiadis, supervisory museum curator.
"He loved her, he was absolutely enthralled by her and that's all he thought about."
The letters stand in stark contrast to the grim-faced leader forced to resign in 1974, disgraced.
Instead, Nixon comes across as an ardent and persistent suitor in the letters, which date from 1938 to just before the couple's marriage in June 1940.
The article showcases a few letters:
In Nixon's letters, he recalls their first meeting in flowery prose, daydreams about their future together and waxes poetic about the first time his "dearest heart" agreed to take a drive with him.
"Every day and every night I want to see you and be with you. Yet I have no feeling of selfish ownership or jealousy," he writes in one undated letter. "Let's go for a long ride Sunday; let's go to the mountains weekends; let's read books in front of fires; most of all, let's really grow together and find the happiness we know is ours."
Pat was much more practical and slow to gush:
A much more practical — and somewhat less impulsive — Pat Ryan replies in one short note: "In case I don't see you before why don't you come early Wednesday (6) — and I'll see if I can burn a hamburger for you." The object of Nixon's affection was slower to come around, but eventually was just as smitten with Nixon as he was with her, said Ed Nixon, Nixon's youngest brother, in a phone interview from his Seattle home.
"She was quite an independent young lady and she was very cautious about anyone she met and if they couldn't smile, she wouldn't want to do too much unless she could make them smile. That captured Dick's imagination," the younger Nixon said. "She was challenging. She challenged me and I think she challenged Dick."