The President and First Lady Visit Palm Springs (1971)

Presidents Trip to Palm Springs Ca

Annenberg estate (Sunnylands)

Type Of Activity
Communications Support
Palm Springs California
Date of Activity
1 May 1971 to 2 May 1971
 33°49′26″N 116°31′49″W

01 May 71 to Palm Springs CA with President and Mrs. Nixon

The President and Mrs. Nixon went to Palm Springs in May 1971 to play some golf and get away from the press for a couple of days. We received very short notice about the planned trip and loaded our equipment in a rental truck and headed for Palm Springs.

We also immediately contacted the GTE telephone company in Palm Springs to start the installation of the circuits for the radios at Edom Hill and to the Annenberg estate, where we were installing Baker and Charlie Base stations for the USSS. We were getting the radio base stations installed in the grounds keeper’s building when Army One landed with the Presidential Party.

At 12:51 pm the President boarded Army One and flew from San Clemente. to the Palm Springs estate of U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Walter Annenberg.  President Nixon would always stay at the estate of Walter Annenberg the owner of TV Guide, Seventeen and many other publications and was the ambassador to England. The Annenberg estate known as Sunnylands came with everything including an 18 hole golf course situated in Rancho Mirage.

The President was accompanied by several gusts including, his friends Bebe Rebozo and Robert Abplanalp. Shortly after their arrival the President and his party started a round of Golf on the 18 hole course on the 240 acre estate.

Although we had the switchboard and radio equipment ready to go when the President arrived, there was still no circuits installed at the Annenberg estate. After many hours of waiting for the telephone company to install the remote keying lines, we finally tested with the switchboard and finished up at about 4AM and left the estate.  We departed Palm Springs the next afternoon for El Toro. The one thing that I learned during that trip was that I could actually get a few minutes of sleep on the back of a golf cart.

Ariel view of the Annenberg estate complete with an 18 hole golf course
The next morning the President and his guests played another round of golf. I have no idea who won but when they finished they had lunch.

At 1:55 The President boarded Army One and flew from the Palm Springs estate of U.S. Ambassador Walter Annenberg, back to the Western White House in San Clemente.

After a little more than 24 hours the President was gone and it was time to tear down all of our equipment and return to El Toro and finish the stay at San Clemente.

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