I hadn’t the faintest idea I was having a brush with history one evening in the spring of 1929. I just knew that it was the end of a wearying, happy day.
The afternoon had seen me place well enough in several events to win my track letter. Now here I was being presented with a five-dollar gold piece as my reward for finishing second in Whittier High School’s constitutional oratorical contest. My speech, “John Marshall and the Constitution,” had just lost to one on the subject “Our Privileges under the Constitution.” I didn’t begrudge the winner of the firstplace ten-dollar piece. Richard M. Nixon had simply been the better speaker.