Countywide : Birthplace of Nixon Named a Landmark

Standing before a modest white farmhouse built from a mail-order package in 1912, dignitaries Monday dedicated former President Richard Nixon’s birthplace as a state historic landmark.

Joined by more than 600 visitors at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda, Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren eulogized the 37th president and unveiled the state historic plaque on what would have been the late president’s 82nd birthday.

Flanked by Edward Nixon, the late president’s youngest brother, and military officers, Lungren lauded Nixon as the first native Californian to become president.

Originally built on a 12-acre citrus farm, the two-bedroom home is preserved with its mahogany furniture and lace curtains. Nixon’s parents are believed to have bought the 900-square-foot home for $2,700 through a Sears & Roebuck catalogue, said library director John Taylor, also a former chief assistant to Nixon.

Nixon was the only son of four born at the Yorba Linda home, where his Quaker family struggled to maintain their orange grove. After several dry seasons, the Nixons moved to Whittier, were they opened a gas station and grocery store.


Following the service Monday, wreaths sent from the Nixon children and President Clinton and his wife were placed at the grave sites of the former president and his wife, Pat.

As drums rolled and buglers played, Lungren and high-ranking officers carried the wreaths past a row of Navy and Marine guards.

“It was beautiful, very moving,” said Marlene J. Hight, 61, a visitor from Ohio. “We didn’t know about this, but coming here and honoring his birthday was like icing on the cake.”

For some local residents, however, the event was marked in their daily planner. Carolyn Cunningham, 57, of Yorba Linda took the day off from work to spend it with her niece at the library.

“This is a way to be part of history,” Cunningham said. The library, she said, has brought “prominence to the area and has beautified the place.”