Richard Nixon photo

Remarks on Arrival at the Orange County Airport, Santa Ana, California.

August 09, 1969

WE WANT to thank all of you for giving us such a wonderful welcome home to California and to my home county, Orange County.

I am sure you have noted that we have been traveling a bit lately, and we have had some wonderful welcomes all around the world--in the Philippines, in Guam, in Djakarta, Indonesia, in Thailand, in India, in Pakistan, and then in Bucharest, Romania, then in England, and, finally, in Washington, D.C.

But I can tell you that however great they were, there is nothing like coming home and being welcomed by a group of friends from California.

I want you to know, too, that I heard about the little debate that developed over whether or not this plane could land at the Orange County Airport. I have had to make quite a few decisions in the last few days. This was one of the toughest.

The pilot came in and said, "No plane of this size has ever landed at the Orange County Airport. Do you want to try?"

I thought about it and I said, "Well, if Neil Armstrong could land on the Sea of Tranquility, we will take Air Force One into Orange County Airport."

I also want you to know that during the month--it will be not quite a month--we will be here, we will be having Cabinet meetings, and a number of people from all over the country will be coming to San Clemente and to Orange County. We know they will get the same warm welcome that you have given us.

Of all of the things that have happened since we have had the high privilege of being in Washington, D.C., in the White House, I can tell you that to bring the summer White House back to my home county, that is one of the finest things of all.

Thank you very much.

I have been trying to find a couple of others.

We brought George Murphy with us. Where is he? Senator Murphy. We can't find him. He is out campaigning right over there.

And how about Congressman Utt? He is with us here, too.

And, also, the Attorney General of the United States, Attorney General Mitchell, is with us. Come here, Mr. Attorney General.

I think you should know that one of the announcements we will be making this week will be the announcement of another Justice of the Supreme Court. There are only two people in the United States who know at this time who that man is going to be. The Attorney General is one. I will let you guess as to who the other is. [Laughter]

I think you should know that when the Attorney General came in on the plane today with his daughter and wife, I asked them what they wanted to do. We were chatting a bit about it. The Attorney General says he understands people in Orange County are for law and order. He is, too. [Laughter]

Here is Marry and Mrs. Mitchell.

So I asked her what she wanted to do. You know what? She has grown up in New York, and she has been to Florida, and she has never been to California. And, most important, she has never been to Disneyland, and she is going.

And we are glad to have the Disneyland Band and the Santa Ana High School Band. We certainly appreciated their coming out here today.

Incidentally, if you want to ask what I am going to be doing, I am going to be walking the beach during those times that we are not working. But if somebody wants to borrow a surfboard, I have got a good one. [Laughter]

Note: The President spoke at 4:45 p.m. at the Orange County Airport in Santa Ana, Calif.

A description of the President's residence in San Clemente, Calif., was released by the White House on August 11, 1969.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Arrival at the Orange County Airport, Santa Ana, California. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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