RN Boy

RN as a young boy.

As we prepare for what is sure to be a wonderful celebration of Richard Nixon’s 101st birthday anniversary this Saturday, January 11, nixonfoundation.org unveils a never before seen eighth grade school paper written by the former President himself. The topic: an autobiography.

Dated October the 25th, 1925, young Richard Nixon reflected on his upbringing, his family, his schooling thus far, and his future aspirations. Read his paper below and witness a true treasure-and of course, Happy 101st birthday, President Nixon!

A transcription of RN’s paper can be viewed below the original document.

I was born on January the ninth, nineteen thirteen in the town of Yorba Linda California. The house that I was born in was a big two story building situated in the southwest part of town. It had a large fire place in it. An irrigation canal that was used in watering the nearby ranches ran close by the house. The ranch of about fourteen acres consisted of lemons, oranges, and a few deciduous trees such as apples, pears, plums, peaches, apricots and a few others.

One of the times of the year that I looked forward to was the time that the cover crop was sown and had reached its full height. Our neighbor’s boys and my brothers and I would go out and play games in it as it would be very tall and it would make a fine place to hide. In front of our house was a hollow with some tall trees in it. This made a fine place for a crazy house as we called it. We would make passages through it and holes for somebody to fall in. We would cover these holes over with sticks and brush so that they could not be seen. We would then let somebody walk through it. One day my cousin Russel Harrison and I climbed a high tree in the hollow. My oldest brother Harold go an ax and chopped down the tree. We stayed on it and it gave us quite a scare but we were not hurt. On summer days when it was very hot we went swimming in the irrigation ditch. Sometimes the boss would catch us. He said that he would put us in jail the next time he caught us but we haven’t been there yet.

My oldest brother, sixteen years of age, was born in 1909 in Whittier California. He is light complected with light hair. He has a fine sense of humor. He likes to be out at different places liking to travel. He like to drive a car and work around machines. He is a very talkative boy liking to talk with people of his own age.

My other brother Donald is ten years of age and he was also born in Whittier. He is a rather quiet boy because he would rather make things than to talk. He is not much for studying or reading a book. He is very good at drawing and making designs and other things under that point.

My mother is a middle aged woman and was born in the state of Indiana. She like to study foreign languages bu she does not like to travel. She is rather dark complected, medium in height. She is not very talkative.

My father has a rather light complexion. He is a middle aged man of a medium height. He is a very talkative man, liking to talk about politics, current events, and happenings of the day. he is a very ready debater on any subject.

When I was nine years old, we moved from our old home to East Whittier. It was a very big change but I liked it very much.

I have attended three schools, Yorba Linda, Sunnyside, and East Whittier. In my first four years I went to Yorba Lina School. My next three years and a third I went to East Whittier. In the last six months of my seventh year I went to a northern school between Fresno and Bakersfield. I then started the eighth year at East Whittier. The subjects that I enjoyed the most were history and geography. I also like debate. One of my best chums at school was a boy named Paul Herbert. We had some fine times together.

One event that made an impression on me was the death of my youngest brother Arthur. He was born in nineteen eighteen at Yorba Linda. He was seven years old when he died. He was very well liked by everybody having a happy spirit. The cause of his death is not known, but it is generally conceded that it was caused by Tuberculosis of the brain.

One of the things that I like to do better than anything else is to read a good book, magazine, or a paper. I also like music pretty well.

My plans for the future if I could carry them out are to finish Whittier High School and college and to take post graduate work at Columbia University, New York. I would also like to visit Europe. I would like to study law and enter politics for an occupation so that I might be of some good to the people.