Welcome to Richard Nixon’s Southern California! If you are wondering why I would ever start this project, let me tell you the whole story. While I began this blog some time ago and have posted several articles on Nixon, I have revamped the website and in the process lost most of my prior posts except for these: White House Church Services, Hubert Perry – Richard Nixon’s Last Surviving Classmate, Richard Nixon Plays the Rose Bowl, Presidential Golf & A Wedding, Nixon’s Fighting Spirit at the Hollywood American Legion Stadium, Dick Nixon, A Southern California Piano Man, Another Nixon Biography Based on a False Premise, and Elvis Presley: CIA Spy (the most popular post which is an April Fool’s posting that many took seriously.)
Like Nixon, I am a native Southern Californian. My first memory of President Nixon was when I was nine. The event, Nixon’s resignation from the Presidency. Thereafter, every teacher throughout my high school and college career had a dim view on Nixon, though none ever explained Watergate in depth or provided significant support for their negative assessment. Like most Americans, I assumed that Nixon was a morally corrupt individual.
While attending Cal State Fullerton in the early 1990’s, I volunteered at the Nixon Library as a means of serving the community. I did so enthusiastically, as I have an abiding interest in politics. I never imagined I would meet the former President, but I did, on several occasions. Nixon’s innate kindness and warmth immediately dispelled all my preconceptions.
I saw a glimpse of the real Richard Nixon, a man whose character was all but obliterated by a single calamitous event.
This is not an attempt to rewrite history. Instead I will flesh out Nixon’s story, which is rooted in the dream-filled, fertile soil of Southern California. I strive to do justice to Nixon, the man, bearing in mind President Clinton’s eulogy: “May the day of judging President Nixon on anything less than his entire life and career come to a close.”
I published Native Son: Richard Nixon’s Southern California, a unique map biography of President Nixon. Here’s what Senator Bob Dole commented about the map: “A very interesting map which I thoroughly enjoyed studying. An achievement in bringing forth information about the humble beginnings and what the Southern California landscape meant to the personal and political growth of Richard Nixon.”
As for me, I am an attorney with over twenty years specializing in investigation and trial work. I have extensive experience in following the evidence to craft a masterful narrative. Relative to Richard Nixon as a Southern Californian, I have studied the over six hundred oral histories archived at three universities, have conducted personal interviews with over thirty Nixon intimates, and have reviewed tens of thousands of pages of documents held at both the National Archives and Richard Nixon Foundation.
I have now completed a manuscript of Richard Nixon’s Southern California life. I will share with you the human side of Nixon, revealing for the first time the people, places and experiences that comprised the very fabric of Richard Nixon, and which made him tremendously respected by those who came to truly know him.
As for the manuscript, I provided a working draft to Ed Nixon, Richard Nixon’s last surviving brother who passed away a year ago. I was so flattered by Ed’s response: “Native Son is remarkably well done and is the best biography of my brother that I have read. Even as one who witnessed Dick’s life firsthand, I am amazed at the factual detail in which Native Son tells the story of my brother’s life. Paul Carter has crafted a fascinating, lawyerly narrative, scrupulously following the evidence in his research. By shifting the focus of Dick’s life from Washington, D.C. to Southern California, for the very first time, the true Dick Nixon is revealed. For those who have not yet made up their mind about my brother, Native Son will provide revelatory reading, and I have no doubt it will persuade those whose minds have heretofore been made up to reevaluate their assumptions and reinvest the time to take another look at his life.”
Don’t hold back, I encourage you to send questions, comments and stories related to Richard Nixon and his life.