On December 15, 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would, on January 1, 1979, shift diplomatic recognition from the R.O.C. government on Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China in Beijing.
The shift sent tremors through Taipei and a flurry of activity ensued. In order to keep the property, the government in Taiwan temporarily sold it to a private American group, the Friends of Free China Association (FFC). To ensure the legality of the sale, FFC head Jack E. Buttram insisted on making payment for the property. Having forgotten his checkbook that day he completed the sale using a check from his son, Kevin Buttram, in the amount of $20. Taiwan was later able to repurchase the Twin Oaks estate from FFC once the U.S. Congress passed the Taiwan “FOR MANY YEARS, the estate was a gathering spot for the Hubbard family and their guests, including suitors for their two daughters, Mabel and Grace.” Relations Act and President Carter signed it into effect on April 10, 1979.
While the U.S. and Taiwan moved forward to redefine their relationship, Twin Oaks remained largely vacant for several years.