Vice President Richard Nixon may not have felt any more famous as he turned 46 last Friday, but Yorba Linda has made public testimony of its respect and admiration for its best known native son.
A big crowd turned out for the unveiling of a bronze plaque which reads: “The birthplace of Richard Milhouse Nixon who through devotion to his country rose to become Vice President of the United States of America—1952-1960.” Estimates set the number between 800 and 1000, counting the 400 school children who were released from classes.
Relatives and friends of the Vice President who were present included his mother, Mrs. Frank Nixon; his brother Don; three aunts, Mrs. Olive Marshburn, Mrs. Carey Skinner and Mrs. Martha Gibbons; his first secretary, Mrs. Evelyn Dorn; and numerous intimates and former school mates.
Mrs. Cochran unveils plaque
Master of Ceremonies Hoyt Corbit introduced the family and other close associates. And Mrs. R. C. Cochran, one of Nixon's first school teachers, had the honor of removing the covering from the plaque, which was mounted in a beautiful piece of rhyolite, quarried for the occasion in the desert.
County School Superintendent Linton T. Simmons made the dedication address and stressed the part education had played in Nixon's career, along with the good training given him by his parents and his own determination and ability.
Scrolls sealed in masonry
Scrolls were placed in a sealed copper tube and cemented in the rock base. They cried the names of many Yorba Lindans who wished to have a hand in commemorating the event. Probably all the school children signed it during classes preceding the ceremony.
It is now agreed
The house—in which Richard Nixon was born, even the Los Angeles Times now agrees—is now the property of the Yorba Linda School District, which has agreed to retain it in lasting memory of the Vice President. When the Nixons lived in it and owned what is now the school grounds it was a lemon orchard. Nixon said once, in a talk to the Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce, that his father decided the land was better for raising kids than lemons so he sold it.
Earl Nicholson, president of the Yorba Linda School Board, spoke briefly on the early history of the Yorba Linda School, and told of the board's plans for an additional school on Plumosa to relieve the present bulging classrooms.
Yorba Lindans in attendance expressed their pride in the fact that Yorba Linda has produced such a famous and highly respected citizen, and satisfaction in taking the first step to perpetuate his name.
One interesting visitor was Tom Blazina of Whittier, a former sergeant of President Eisenhower's when the latter was a lieutenant in the Mexican border service. Blazina has had several intimate visits with the president and is also a friend of Nixon. He described the ceremony as “terrific, as only a small community can do it.”
A couple of old timers who hadn't been back for a long time were Mr. and Mrs. Bob Williams. He was motorman of the Pacific Electric car when Ben Foss was conductor. That was back in the first years of the town's history.
The performance was given a great assist by the Union Oil Company's powerful sound truck which was loaned by the company.
Thanks from committee
The dedication committee, consisting of Hurless Barton, Mrs. Hoyt Corbit and Evan Herbert, expressed its thanks this week to all the people who helped to make the dedication of the Nixon home and plaque a success.
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