Tuesday, February 13, 1973 - 11:13am - 12:55pm
Richard Nixon, Julie Nixon Eisenhower
White House Telephone

On the eve of Valentine's Day, Julie Nixon Eisenhower convinces her father to take the family out for a family Valentine's Dinner at Trader Vic's, a California-based chain of Polynesian-themed tiki restaurants. The local Trader Vic's was three blocks north of the White House in the Statler Hilton hotel.1

President Nixon: Hello?

White House Operator: Julie--

Julie Nixon Eisenhower: Daddy?

President Nixon: Hi.

Eisenhower: Hi. 

President Nixon: Well, how are you doing?

Eisenhower: Fine. How are you?

President Nixon: Did you--are you going out to the house or not?

Eisenhower: Yeah, we are. Uh-huh. We sure are. We're going to go out around three [o'clock] because the people will be there [un]til three. We can't go before then.

President Nixon: Oh, I see. Right.

Eisenhower: So--unless you have other plans or something.

President Nixon: No, honey, no. That's great.

Eisenhower: Daddy, do you want to go out to dinner tonight? Trader Vic's or something, or . . . ? Or eat here? Or you going to go to Camp David? Or what were you thinking?

President Nixon: No, I thought we'd--I can't get to Camp David because I've got something I have to do here early Thursday morning. So . . . well, I don't know, you mean go out? Or what do you think? Trader Vic's and . . . ? Would you--you think that . . . what would everybody like? I mean, what do you think?

Eisenhower: Um . . .

President Nixon: Do you think we should go out or--would Mommy [Pat Nixon] like to or not?

Eisenhower: I think she might or--if it'd be fun for you. Or stay here and see a movie. Or whatever you sort of feel like doing.

President Nixon: Let's see . . . Trader Vic's. How is the Trader Vic's here? Pretty good?

Eisenhower: It's really good because they have a back table and all.

President Nixon: Mm-hmm.

Eisenhower: I mean, they have--it's nicely lighted and it's--

President Nixon: Well, I'll tell you, if Mommy would like to go, I think it'd be a nice idea.

Eisenhower: OK.

President Nixon: OK, so you explore it with her. And is Trish [Nixon Cox] around?

Eisenhower: Yeah, and I think she'd like to go.

President Nixon: Right.

Eisenhower: And if they don't, then we'll eat here.

President Nixon: We'll go out and say that it's kind of a Valentine's [Day] dinner.

Eisenhower: OK.

President Nixon: See, it's Valentine's coming up and we can say that--

Eisenhower: Tomorrow's Valentine's, yeah.

President Nixon: --and that "we wanted you to come out for a Valentine's dinner." OK?

Eisenhower: Good. OK.

President Nixon: Fair enough?

Eisenhower: Great.

President Nixon: All right, honey.

Eisenhower: OK, Daddy.

President Nixon: Swell. And everything's fine? OK, fine.

Eisenhower: Everything's great. OK, bye.

President Nixon: Yeah. Bye.

That evening, the Nixons and their guests walked the three blocks to the restaurant. The group included President and Mrs. Nixon, Julie and David Eisenhower, and C. G. "Bebe" Rebozo, a long-time friend of President Nixon's. After the dinner, Nixon quipped to reporters outside that "When you go in there, don't be on a diet."2

  • 1. "Nixons Take a Stroll and Then Have Feast," New York Times, 14 February 1973, p.50.
  • 2. "Nixons Take a Stroll and Then Have Feast," New York Times, 14 February 1973, p.50.

Original tape courtesy of the Nixon Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.