President Nixon: Education

Figure 1.--Here we see Richard Nixon Yorba Linda Elementary School where he began school. The photi was taken about 1920. The future President is sitting in the front row far right.

Richard attended public schools. We see Richard at the Yorba Linda Elementary School whre he began school. When the family moved to Whittier, he finish his primary education at East Whittier Elementary School. He was was elected president of his 8th-grade class. He was slated to attend Whittier High School, but his parents did not approve of this. They decided that attendance therre was why Richard's older brother Harold adopted a dissolute lifestyle. He eventually contracted tuberculosis, dieing in 1933. His parents sent him to larger Fullerton Union High School in nearby Fullerton, whrevhe had to rideccaus forccan hour each way every day. He was an excellebt student. After his freshmwn year, he movedcin with his aunt who lived in Fullerton during the week and retuened home for the weekend. He participated in athletics, playingd junior varsity football. He rarely missed a practice, but did not play very much. His forte was debating. He won several championships and was coached in public speaking and debating by Fullerton High's Head of the English Deprtment, H. Lynn Sheller. Nixon took to heart Sheller's advise. "Remember, speaking is conversation ... don't shout at people. Talk to them. Converse with them." His parents finally allowed Richard to transfer to Whittier High School for his junior year, (September 1928). He ran for student body president, but lost. He had full days as he had many chores at home and to help out at the store. He got up at 4 AM and drove the family truck into Los Angeles to purchase vegetables at the market. After returning to the store, he washed and displayed them. Then he was off to school. His mother had to take Harold, who had been diagnosed with tuberculosis. to Arizona. This meant that Richard had tohelp out more in tghe store. He had to give up football. Even so, he graduated third in his class of 207 students (1937). Nixon was offered a tuition grant for Harvard University. Money was, however, too short for this. And Harold's continued illness and the need for his their mother's care meant that Richard was needed to help out at the store. He thus entered Whittier College, a small Quaker school, where he could attend while living at home. The expenses were met by a bequest from his maternal grandfather. At Whittier he continued to be active in student politics and had more success at debating. He graduated (1934). He won a full scholarship to the Duke University Law School which he accepted. He worked part-time to help with living expenses in a National Youth Administration (NYA) job. He graduated third in his class of 25 (1937).


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Created: 11:23 PM 6/7/2013
Last changed: 11:23 PM 6/7/2013