Yorba Linda found its way into the history books Wednesday.
Richard M. Nixon was elected the 37th President of the United States, and this town where he was born has only begun to feel the effects of that election.
Nixon had barely been declared winner when the first visitors arrived - two retired couples from Los Angeles who drove out to see Nixon's birthplace.
Then representatives from the national press corps began to stream into town, seeking lifetime Yorba Linda residents who might have known the President-elect.
The telephone lines between Yorba Linda and Washington D. C. began to hum as there were inquiries about the inauguration.
It was suggested that Yorba Linda will want to change its motto from “Land of Gracious Living” to “Birthplace of Richard Nixon,” a suggestion which is being studied.
The United States had a new president - the first from the Far West - and Yorba Linda was transformed from just another suburb of Los Angeles to something special.
Characteristically, the people of Yorba Linda left little to chance in Nixon's election. The President-elect carried the city of Yorba Linda by a 4-1 margin, with 3,118 votes for Nixon, 785 for Humphrey.
Mrs. Roy Knauft, GOP city chairman for Yorba Linda, said that in the area Nixon received about 500 more votes than there are registered Republicans. There was an exceedingly high turn-out of GOP voters in the Yorba Linda area, also, which helped give Nixon such a hefty margin.
Yorba Linda and her sister cities of Orange County are credited with carrying California for Richard Nixon, giving him California's 40 electoral votes and enabling him to win the election in the electoral college.
County-wide, Nixon polled 309,654 votes to Humphrey's 146, 701 and Wallace's 32,562.
Yorba Linda's famous son has made one of the greatest comebacks in political history.
It seems appropriate that his roots should be in a community like Yorba Linda.
Pioneer residents of this semi-arid region were determined and hard-working. They changed a wind-blown, desert area into a neat citrus farm community.
To do that these early settlers - and Richard Nixon's father was one of them - had to battle not only winds and the weather, but also the developer in a legal action to obtain their water rights. It took carrying the case to the State Supreme Court - but the settlers won the water battle.
Richard Nixon was not the only Yorba Linda youngster of that era to achieve fame.
Jessamyn West was also raised here, in the same Quaker environment as the President-elect. She has been called one of America's foremost authors.
Over the years, Yorba Linda has continued to show the same determination exhibited by the early settlers.
Yorba Linda's was the first library district formed in the State of California.
The annual flower show of the Yorba Linda Woman's Club is one of the oldest continuous shows in this area.
And while Yorba Linda is Orange County's newest city, the work necessary to see this community through a four year court battle to vote on cityhood have come to be regarded as “typical” of Yorba Linda residents.
And now Yorba Linda will be remembered as the home town of the United States' first California-born president.
It couldn't have happened to a nicer place.
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