Taft’s tush

Have you seen the Taft Chair at Riverside’s Mission Inn?

When President William Howard Taft visited the baroque hotel in 1909, a special chair was built to support his 350-pound frame. This followed an infamous incident in which the 27th president got stuck in a bathtub and it took five men to haul him out. Taft is said to have initially declined the chair but was persuaded to use it, which he did under the proviso that he not be photographed in it.

It’s there in the Inn’s lobby, where anyone can take a load off — but probably not as big a load off as Taft could — and unlike Taft will welcome being photographed doing so.

A few paces away is the grandly named Presidential Lounge and portraits of the 10 presidents who’ve visited the inn.

In other excellent trivia notes, Richard and Pat Nixon were married in what is now the Presidential Lounge and Ronald and Nancy Reagan honeymooned at the inn.

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Column: Visiting remade Nixon Library with 2017 on his mind

I’d idly wanted an excuse to visit the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda since its overhaul in October. With all the comparisons of Trump and Nixon the past week or two, a light bulb went off and I decided now was the time. I visited Wednesday morning and write about the experience in Sunday’s unexpected column. Above, Army One, the helicopter that flew Nixon away from the White House on Aug. 9, 1974.

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