All posts by Henry Korn

Henry James Korn’s books include Amerikan Krazy (Spring, 2015), Marc Chagall; From the Desk of Dr. Know; A Difficult Art to Follow: Stories & Essays, and Muhammad Ali Retrospective. Korn has written about art, sports, popular culture, media and history for magazines and newspapers and his stories have been published in fiction anthologies and literary magazines. Korn was awarded a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. From 2008-13, Korn served as Orange County Great Park principal planning and program development specialist for arts, culture and history where he organized festivals and exhibitions and guided planning for the Palm Court Arts Complex and Great Park Gallery. Korn previously served as Director of the Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation; Director of Arts and Culture, City of Beverly Hills; President of Guild Hall of East Hampton (Eastern Long Island’s cultural center); Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Irvine, Arts Commission Director for the City of Santa Monica; Executive Director, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Administrator of New York’s Jewish Museum. Mr. Korn holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University where he edited the undergraduate newspaper.

This Halloween, Be the Talk of the Party – The New York Times

This Halloween, Be the Talk of the Party – The New York Times

Conceptual costumes are hot. Here’s how to stand out.

It’s almost like this article is straight out of The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde.

 

By SAM APPLE on OCT. 29, 2015

EVERYONE knows that a brilliant conceptual costume will make you the star of the Halloween party. But with each passing year, it becomes harder to stand out. If you really want other partygoers to be surprised and delighted when you reveal “what you are,” these overlooked costumes are sure to be a hit.

The Red Carpet Treatment

Spend entire party rubbing stain remover into small strip of red carpeting.

Going Out on a Limb

Arrive at party, then immediately leave and spend rest of evening sitting on a branch in the backyard.

Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness

Dress as the pope. Lather everyone on dance floor with enormous amounts of Purell.

The Calm Before the Storm

Spend most of party relaxing on couch. As things are winding down, run wildly through room, smashing everything in sight. Announce that, while your costume is now, technically, over, you had previously been “the calm before the storm.”

Spilling the Beans

Arrive at party with a large bowl of refried beans. “Accidentally” drop globs of beans on other guests.

Lap of Luxury

Tape fine cutlery and a bottle of expensive wine to groin. (Bonus idea: Tape hood ornaments from expensive cars to groin.)

Not Playing With a Full Deck

Force partygoers to sit down for a friendly game of gin rummy. Announce at end of game that the deck has only 51 cards.

Play Your Cards Right

Same as above, only you use entire deck.

Nothing to Sneeze At

Cover yourself in hypoallergenic makeup and lotion. Consider taping packages of Allegra and Claritin to your face.

You Only Live Once

Dress as Danny Zuko from “Grease.” Perform “Greased Lightning.”

Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Remove shoes. Tape one to ceiling insecurely so that it falls right away. Tape second shoe to ceiling more securely and spend entire party staring at it with hopeful expression.

Wild Goose Chase

Arrive with goose. Release goose.

The Naked Truth

Remove clothing. Invite other partygoers to discuss the meaning of life. (Also works for “You Only Live Once.”)

Now We’re Cooking

Violently threaten other partygoers until you have them baking muffins with you in the kitchen. Shout: “Now We’re Cooking!”

Working on My Bucket List

Spend party at table composing a lengthy list of buckets of all shapes and sizes.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Sit in large frying pan throughout most of party. When moment is right, stand up, sprint across room and dive headfirst into fireplace.

All Over the Map

Spread out map. Roll.

The Full Story

Consume enormous amounts of food throughout the evening. Occasionally pause to read aloud from The Paris Review.

Living the Dream

Run through party with no pants shouting that it’s the day of the final exam and you haven’t studied. (Alternative: Dress as Danny Zuko and perform “Greased Lightning.”)

Sam Apple teaches creative writing at the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of “American Parent.”

Source: A version of this op-ed appears in print on October 30, 2015, on page A27 of the New York edition with the headline: This Halloween, Be the Talk of the Party.

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Muhammad Ali on his 39th Cover of Sports Illustrated

I was happy to see The Greatest appear for the 39th time on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

It’s almost as if he knew I was about to release the e-book version of my 1976 book Muhammad Ali Retrospective.

The two related Sports Illustrated articles:

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Event: Origins of a Contemporary Crisis: Secret Middle Eastern Diplomacy During and After World War I

As many know, I’ve recently been curating a series of five lectures and screenings for the exhibition Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage running from September 4, 2015 to November 15, 2015 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in concert with the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

The next event has just been announced and details for it appear below:

Origins of a Contemporary Crisis: Secret Middle Eastern Diplomacy During and After World War I

Please join the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum for a free public program, Origins of a Contemporary Crisis: Secret Middle Eastern Diplomacy During and After World War I on  October 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Dr. James L. Gelvin, Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will discuss how World War I and the combination of the wartime and postwar agreements permanently shaped the modern Middle East.

Dr. James L. Gelvin is a specialist in the modern social and cultural history of the Arab East.  He is the author of four books including:

When
October 18, 2015
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

RSVP for Origins of a Contemporary Crisis: Secret Middle Eastern Diplomacy During and After World War I now!

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum


Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage

September 4, 2015 to November 15, 2015

Iraqi Jewish Heritage

On September 4, 2015, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum opened a new exhibition, Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage. The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community in Iraq from a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters, and the National Archives’ ongoing work in support of U.S. Government efforts to preserve and make these materials available online. In both English and Arabic, the 2,000 square foot exhibit features 23 recovered original items and a “behind the scenes” look at the fascinating, yet painstaking, preservation process.

The Jews of Iraq have a rich past, extending 2500 years to Babylonia. These materials provide a tangible link to this community that flourished there, but in the second half of the twentieth century dispersed throughout the world. Today fewer than five Jews remain.

Discovery and Recovery was created by the National Archives and Records Administration, with generous support from the U.S. Department of State.

To learn more visit:
http://www.ija.archives.gov/exhibit/exhibit


The Richard Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 Presidential Libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Nixon Library is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The Museum is fully handicapped accessible. For more information call 714-983-9120 or go to www.nixonlibrary.gov.

The Richard Nixon Foundation is a privately supported, non-profit institution dedicated to educating the public about the life, legacy, and times of the Thirty-Seventh President. For more information call 714-993-5075 or go to www.nixonfoundation.org.

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Upcoming Event: History and Identity: The Iraqi-Jewish Experience

As many know, I’ve recently been curating a series of five lectures and screenings for the exhibition Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage running from September 4, 2015 to November 15, 2015 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in concert with the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

The next event has just been announced and details for it appear below:

History and Identity: The Iraqi-Jewish Experience

Please join the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum for a free public program, History and Identity: The Iraqi-Jewish Experience on October 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with Maurice Shohet, President, World Organization of Jews from Iraq.

The program includes a screening of the documentary Forgotten Refugees, which describes the mass exodus of up to one million Jews from Arab countries. Executive Producer, Ralph Avi Goldwasser will join us remotely from New York.

When
October 7, 2015
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Where
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

About the Documentary Film Forgotten Refugees

Forgotten Refugees explores the history and destruction of Middle Eastern Jewish communities, some of which had existed for over 2,500 years.  In 1945, up to one million Jews lived in the Middle East outside of the Palestine Mandate and in North Africa. Within a few years, only a few thousand remained.

This is the story of the thousands who fled their homes, who endured in refugee camps, and who today quietly carry the memory of a destroyed civilization.

Featuring testimony from Jews who fled Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Yemen, these personal stories of refugees are interspersed with dramatic archival footage, including rescue missions of Yemenite and Iraqi Jews.

The Forgotten Refugees won the Award for Best Documentary Film at Marbella Film Festival in 2007.

About Maurice Shohet
Maurice Shohet was born in Iraq. On September 2, 1970 Maurice left Baghdad seeking freedom from a country that had over the past few decades made life for the Jews living there difficult and frightening. He traveled with a group of 13 other Jews to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. With the help of some Kurdish smugglers, Maurice and the others he was traveling with escaped to Iran by foot. After staying in the Iranian capital of Tehran for three weeks, Maurice was finally able to immigrate to Israel.

In 2005, Maurice participated in Iraq’s Out-of-Country Voting Program, which was organized and conducted by the Iraqi Transitional National Assembly Election for Iraqis living abroad. On March 29th, 2005 Maurice and eight other Iraqis living in the United States met with President Bush to share their experiences. As the only Jewish person in the group, Maurice told anecdotes of what life was like for Iraq’s Jewish community when the Ba’thist regime came to power. Maurice also expressed his concern for the minorities remaining in Iraq. Maurice received the ASF, American Sephardi Federation leadership award in 2006. Today he is the President of the World Organization of Jews from Iraq (WOJI.)

About Ralph Avi Goldwasser
Ralph Avi Goldwasser, a child of Holocaust survivors, grew up in Israel and New York City where he received a  BS in Engineering from CCNY and an MBA from NYU.

Mr. Goldwasser, a co-founder and former executive director of the David Project, a pro-Israel advocacy group on campus, is the executive producer of several films including the award-winning documentary “Forgotten Refugees.”

RSVP for History and Identity: The Iraqi-Jewish Experience now!

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum


Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage

September 4, 2015 to November 15, 2015

Iraqi Jewish Heritage

On September 4, 2015, the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum opened a new exhibition, Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage. The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community in Iraq from a flooded basement in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters, and the National Archives’ ongoing work in support of U.S. Government efforts to preserve and make these materials available online. In both English and Arabic, the 2,000 square foot exhibit features 23 recovered original items and a “behind the scenes” look at the fascinating, yet painstaking, preservation process.

The Jews of Iraq have a rich past, extending 2500 years to Babylonia. These materials provide a tangible link to this community that flourished there, but in the second half of the twentieth century dispersed throughout the world. Today fewer than five Jews remain.

Discovery and Recovery was created by the National Archives and Records Administration, with generous support from the U.S. Department of State.

To learn more visit:
http://www.ija.archives.gov/exhibit/exhibit


The Richard Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 Presidential Libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Nixon Library is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The Museum is fully handicapped accessible. For more information call 714-983-9120 or go to www.nixonlibrary.gov.

The Richard Nixon Foundation is a privately supported, non-profit institution dedicated to educating the public about the life, legacy, and times of the Thirty-Seventh President. For more information call 714-993-5075 or go to www.nixonfoundation.org.

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Help me celebrate my birthday by preordering my upcoming novel Amerikan Krazy

As an unexpected present for my birthday, Boffo Socko Books has made my upcoming novel Amerikan Krazy available for pre-order on Amazon.

 

Book cover for Amerikan Krazy
Now available for pre-order on Amazon

 


COMIC NOVEL TURNS POLITICAL WRITING INTO ART

“To shoot or not to shoot?”

“To make pressure cooker bombs, or not make pressure cooker bombs?”

“To embrace or spurn a blond beauty who might blow their cover if they let her into the leadership of the Central Committee?”

These are the questions that haunt the savage soldiers that comprise the San Diego 3, a trio of PTSD-scarred, love-starved Vietnam veterans who are on the trail of President Kennedy’s killers while serving as East Asia Veterans Against Violence activists and founders of a commune in Mexico.  Amerikan Krazy interprets the meaning of power in post modern Amerika.  By turning political writing into art, Henry James Korn’s first novel begins where George Orwell left off.

REVIEWS AND COMMENTS

“Henry James Korn is one of our very best absurdist writers and Amerikan Krazy has all the best characteristics of Heller’s Catch 22, Jack Kerouac at his best like Dr. Sax and Robert Coover’s Public Burning.”
-Dr. Walter James Miller, Professor of Literature, New York University and host of Reader’s Almanac

“Korn’s Amerikan Krazy is a zany, hard-charging, and tasty concoction laced with substantial doses of passionate and legitimate rage regarding the maddening features of contemporary American life combining darkness and hilarity in the manner of David Lynch and Tim Burton.”
-Dr. Spencer C. Olin, Professor Emeritus, History, University of California, Irvine

“Henry James Korn’s novel Amerikan Krazy makes sense out of the absurd conditions of contemporary life. Are prevailing authorities engendering paranoia by manipulating power, spectacle, violence and social status? Does fear assist a disloyal opposition in recovering its sanity? These are among the central questions lurking within this hilarious and hallucinatory post 1984 quest for truth.”
-Martha Wilson, artist and Founding Director, Franklin Furnace

“Amerikan Krazy delivers a fearless, wildly creative, and rollicking ride through an absurd yet painfully familiar landscape of American culture from post-WW II to a not-too-distant future. The novel’s vibrant historical context features the illusions and disillusions of a PTSD-stricken protagonist who vows to tilt at all available windmills, giving us laugh-out-loud moments as well as those of wincing recognition of our culture’s corporate capture.  Fueled by passion and driven by a playful rage, the novel smacks ruling-class bastards right proper.”
– Dr. Patricia Hartz, Lecturer and Writing Program Director Emeritus, Department of Humanities, University of California, Irvine

RELATED TITLES

Amerikan Krazy follows in the storied tradition of some of the following works:

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord

How to Read Donald Duck by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart

Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen

Why Are We in Vietnam? by Norman Mailer

Assassination Rhapsody by Derek Pell

Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

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Pre-Orders of Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde Available on Amazon

In getting ready to publish my debut novel Amerikan Krazy in November, Boffo Socko Books is re-publishing some of my experimental fiction and non-fiction. (Many have already had some fun with my modular experimental fiction piece The Pontoon Manifesto of which we just re-released an electronic version of on Monday.)

Today I’m pleased as punch (not necessarily Kool-Aid) to announce that the 40th Anniversary re-release of my Fall 1975 piece entitled Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com for release on September 25th. The original publication of the book was made possible by a grant from the Literature Program of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Participation Project Foundation.

I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it.

 

“I am amazed. Not only is Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde the only funny example of experimental fiction I have ever laid eyes on, it is the only example of experimental art in any form that I’ve seen in years that I thought was really good.  Give us more, Mr. Korn and mark my words they won’t be calling you experimental for long.”
—P.J. O’Rourke

 

Description

From Henry James Korn, a leader in the experimental writing and small press community in Lower Manhattan during the 1970’s, comes volume one, issue one of an imaginary academic journal that administers the coup de grace to the American reality consensus.

Skewering topics as diverse as art, politics, agriculture, professional sports automotive supplies, food, pet products, and children’s toys, Korn’s Proceedings has had an influence on popular culture for over four decades. It is entirely possible that Lady Gaga’s meat dress, worn at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, was inspired by Henry James Korn when he invented “a suit of armor comprised of 1000 transistor radios all tuned to different Spanish-language stations.”

Introduction by Loris Essary

“The higher comic vision of life,” writes Bergson scholar Wylie Sypher in The Meanings of Comedy, “is humane and an achievement of man as a social being.” Avant garde comic art remains our best, conceivably our only response, to an increasingly fragmentary world over which our individual control is minimal.

So now we have a publication by Henry James Korn with an oxymoronic title embracing programmed immortality, nostalgia for the future, and fluorescent chicken bones. But art exists where art is perceived and anything can be art at that point where we remove the object from the realm of the practical and personalize it though our own esthetics. Our misperceptions occur because we allow our reactions to be institutionalized and enslaved to official certifications of validity represented by the multiple choice and essay questions that Korn appends to his text in order to encourage reader response. “You cannot-a kid me, dere ain’t no sanity clause,” is the way Chico Marx expressed his opposition to authority in a Night at the Opera which Henry James Korn takes as a motto for his Proceedings. Elsewhere, Korn writes of two men in a room singing loudly, each in response to the other, filling the room with alternate balloons of sound. “Sometimes,” writes Korn, “we call this Opera and other times it’s the on-going process of life itself.’  Korn evidently understands much of what Franz Kafka was getting at in his notebooks when he explained he extravagantly exaggerated fictional situations purely in the interests of advancing clarity.

Purchase

Buy now on Amazon.com.

Further Details

Further details as well as reviews and comments and links to social media sites for Proceedings can be found on its own page at Proceedings of the National Academy of the Avant Garde.

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45th Anniversary Re-release of The Pontoon Manifesto: The Electronic Edition

A DIGITAL PONTOON

Back in the late sixties, I wrote an experimental and formally innovative work of fiction entitled The Pontoon Manifesto.  It’s had various print incarnations, some better than others in terms of relaying the intended meaning of my experiment.

Forty-five years on, I am proud to present a new and unlimited edition electronic Pontoon powered by a web-based randomizer which reorders the paragraphs at the click of a button. This gives The Pontoon Manifesto new life in a technological form unavailable at the time of its writing.

According to Richard Kostelanetz, critic, curator, editor, and visual poet, “Henry James Korn’s Pontoon Manifesto is a pioneering modular fiction.”  This late 1960’s literary experiment anticipated major themes, characters, and plot points in my forthcoming 2015 novel Amerikan Krazy.  The Pontoon Manifesto was initially floated in a pair of early 1970’s paperback offshoots of New American Review.

For the Print Purists

In 1975, my experiment was reprinted by the poet Larry Zirlin as a limited edition artist book in the form of a deck of cards to be shuffled and read in any order.  This may be one of the best ways to read the manifesto, and limited copies of this original collector’s edition are still available — drop me a note if you are interested in acquiring a numbered/lettered copy. Physical copies should also be available on Amazon.com shortly as well.

 

I’d love to have your reviews and thoughts once you’ve had the chance to check out my “manifesto.”  Feel free to post them on GoodReads.com at your leisure.  Additional information about The Pontoon Manifesto including selected exhibitions, selected collections, and its publication history can be found here: The Pontoon Manifesto.

REVIEWS & COMMENTS

‘Thirty-three fictional beginnings to be shuffled and read in any order?’  I did it and I’m hooked.
-Alexandra Garrett, NewLetters, Beyond Baroque Foundation Los Angeles, 1975

Korn’s persona is a latter-day Huck Finn on his raft riding out of yesterday into today, graduating from innocence to the no-sense world of Tanguy, Ernst, Dali and Kafka.  This post-McLuhan Shandyesque card-read, play-book  is elegant, whimsical, politically satirical and truly surreal.
-Arlene Zekowski, Small Press Review, Dustbooks, Paradise, California, 1975

A fictional house of cards designed to destroy the everlasting sanity of librarians everywhere.
-Bill Katz, “Best Small Press Titles of 1975” Library Journal, New York, 1975

The Pontoon Manifesto can be read as many ways as it can be shuffled, creating a new plot with every reading.  In trusting his reader to create the fiction, Korn appears to believe my mind contains as many interesting possibilities as his own.
-Tom Montag, Learning to Read Again: Some Notes on Eight Recent Books, Cat’s Pajama Press, Chicago, 1976

Free from an established view of art and literature, Henry James Korn challenges us to take up the gauntlet and write our own stories.
-Loris Essary, Assembling Assembling, Pratt Graphics Center exhibition catalogue edited by Richard Kostelanetz, Assembling Press, New York, 1978


The Pontoon Manifesto electronic web edition was designed by Chris Aldrich of  Boffo Socko Books who deployed a web-based randomizer which reorders the paragraphs endlessly at the click of a button.

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Rediscovering a Legacy: Preserving the Iraqi Jewish Archive

Rediscovering a Legacy: Preserving the Iraqi Jewish Archive by Doris A. Hamburg on September 4th is the first in a series of five lectures and screenings I recently curated for the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

I hope you’ll all take a look at the wealth of material available on the related website as well as potentially attending some of the upcoming events.

I’ll post additional details and announcements about the other programs as they become available.


 

Upcoming Exhibit and Public Lecture

Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage

September 4, 2015 to November 15, 2015
Startling evidence of what was a vibrant, thriving Jewish community in Iraq came to light in May 2003 when a U.S. Army team discovered over 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents in the flooded basement of Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters.  The Library is the only west coast venue chosen to host the traveling version of this exhibition, which features dozens of ancient treasures, restored and preserved by the National Archives and Records Administration.

 

Recovering a Legacy: Preserving the Iraqi Jewish Archive

September 4, 2015
The Nixon Library will offer programming in conjunction with the exhibit.  The first program is a free public lecture on Friday, September 4 at 10 am with Doris A. Hamburg, the National Archives Preservation Director who traveled to Baghdad and led the efforts to save these unique treasures. Ms. Hamburg, will provide a first-hand account about the National Archives’ efforts conserve and make available these materials and their historical significance. Attendees of the lecture will receive a two for one coupon to visit our presidential museum including Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage .

More About Doris A. Hamburg
As Director of Preservation Programs at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) since 2001, Doris A. Hamburg leads preservation efforts for permanent federal paper, photographic, audio, video, film records and artifacts held at the nation’s 28 archives and Presidential Libraries across the country.  Prior to 2001 she held several conservation leadership positions at the Library of Congress.  Ms. Hamburg holds an A.B. in medieval studies from Mount Holyoke College, M.A. in art history from Columbia University and M.S. with Certificates in Conservation of Art and Historic Artifacts and in Museum Studies from University of Delaware/Winterthur Museum Art Conservation Program.

When
Friday, September 4, 2015 10 am to 11:30 am

Location
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, CA 92886

Contact Us
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum | www.nixonlibrary.gov
nixon@nara.gov
(714) 983-9120
Join Our Mailing List
click here to RSVP

 

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