In 1969 Richard Milhous Nixon, a native of Yorba Linda, became the thirty-seventh president of the United States. This gave Yorba Linda a place not only in the history of the country but in the history of the world.
Nixon's father's ancestors came from Scotland. His mother's family came from Germany. Nixon's grandfather, George Nixon, fought in the Civil War on the Union's side, and was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. Richard Nixon's parents, Frank and Hannah, met and married in Whittier, California, in 1908. They moved to Yorba Linda in 1912. They built a comfortable home and planted a lemon grove. On January 9, 1913, Richard Nixon was born in the family home at 19061 Yorba Linda Boulevard. He attended the Quaker church, which his father had helped to build, and went to Yorba Linda School.
Richard was a very serious child. Even at the age of six he would read the newspaper and discuss current events with his father. In 1922 the family moved to Whittier, and Frank Nixon opened a gas station and grocery store. Richard helped his father with the business and did odd  jobs during his high school years. He attended Whittier High School, where his favorite subjects were history and civics. He played football and was on the debate team.
He went on to Whittier College and graduated in 1934. He worked very hard and received a scholarship to go to Duke University Law School in Durham, North Carolina.
He graduated from law school in 1937 and moved back to Whittier and joined a law firm. There he met and married Thelma Catherine “Pat” Ryan. His father nicknamed her “Pat” because she was born on the eve of St. Patrick's Day.
During World War II, he joined the United States navy as a lieutenant junior grade. During the time he served he was promoted to lieutenant commander.
After the war he returned to Wittier and ran for Congress. He was elected twice—once in 1946 and again in 1948—and he was elected a U.S. senator in 1950.
In 1954 he was chosen to run for vice president with Dwight D. Eisenhower. They won the election and served two terms.
In 1960 Richard Nixon was chosen as the Republican candidate for president of the United States. He ran against John F. Kennedy. He lost in a very close election.
In 1962 he ran for governor of California and lost to Edmund G. Brown. He remained active in politics, and in 1968 he was again chosen by the Republicans to run for president. He picked Spiro T. Agnew as his running mate, and together they defeated the Democratic candidates, Hubert H. Humphrey and Edmund S. Muskie. Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew were reelected in 1972.  In June 1972, five employees of the Nixon Reelection Committee were caught breaking in to the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate office building. They were later convicted.
In 1973, the Watergate investigation began. Evidence showed that top White House officials were also a part of the Watergate break-in. During the investigations, it became clear that President Nixon was involved in the Watergate cover-up. This led to his resignation on August 9, 1974.
Richard Nixon did many important things as president. He ended the Vietnam War. He visited China and the Soviet Union and began friendly relations with theses countries. He signed a treaty with the Soviet Union to limit nuclear weapons, and he helped to set up an agency to deal with the problems of pollution. 
After leaving office, Richard Nixon wrote his autobiography and many other books. He died on April 22, 1994, and was buried near his wife Patricia on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace.
The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace
On July 19, 1990 the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace was dedicated. In attendance were Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, and the Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush.
The library and museum are next door to the house where Nixon was born in 1913. Included in the library is a 300-seat theater and a museum. The museum contains displays on the Alger Hiss spy case; the presidential campaigns of 1960, 1968, and 1972; the Vietnam War; and Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972. There is also a replica of the White House's Lincoln Room, where Nixon made many of his most important decisions. The grounds of the library include fountains and a rose garden. Both Mr. and Mrs. Nixon are buried on the grounds.
The library contains Nixon's vice presidential papers, his personal papers since leaving office, and manuscripts for his books. The library, however, does not contain Nixon's presidential papers because they are at the Nation Archives in Washington, D.C. 
to previous section
to next section