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Richard Mueller Nixon Letters, 1923-1930 (bulk 1926-1930): Finding Aid

Published in October 2015

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
    https://www.usna.edu/Library/sca/index.php
  • Call number: MS 426
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Richard Mueller Nixon Letters
  • Dates: 1923-1930
  • Bulk Dates: 1926-1930
  • Size: 0.6 linear feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half-manuscript box)
  • Creator: Nixon, Richard Mueller, 1910-1989
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Richard Mueller Nixon was an officer in the United States Navy and a member of the United States Naval Academy Class of 1930. Spanning from 1923 to 1930, the Nixon letters touch upon various aspects of student life at the Naval Academy, including academics, athletics, summer cruises, conduct and discipline, and the activities of Nixon's classmates.

Biography of Richard Mueller Nixon

Richard Mueller Nixon was born in Waterford, Ohio on January 26, 1910 to Milton Gregg Nixon, a farmer, and Stella Mueller Nixon. Appointed to the United States Naval Academy by Ohio Representative C. Ellis Moore in 1926, Nixon graduated as a member of the Class of 1930.

Upon graduation in June 1930, Nixon was initially assigned to U.S.S. West Virginia (Battleship: BB-48). After serving as a Civilian Conservation Corps administrator at Tahachapi, he was transferred to the Asiatic Fleet, where he served aboard the destroyers U.S.S. Tracy (DD-214) and U.S.S. Truxtun (DD-229). Towards the end of the decade, Nixon returned to the classroom, studying Ordnance Engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School.

Following the completion of his studies at the Postgraduate School, Nixon was reassigned to U.S.S. West Virginia in June 1939. On the morning of December 7, 1941, Nixon was on shore duty when the West Virginia was sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Subsequently, Nixon was attached to Maryland (Battleship: BB-46) and Tennessee (Battleship: BB-43) of the Pacific Fleet.

During the Korean War, Nixon took command of the ammunition ship U.S.S. Mount Baker (AE-4) upon her recommissioning on December 5, 1951. He would later command the repair ship U.S.S. Vulcan (AR-5). After the war, Nixon assumed command of the Naval Advanced Base in Bremerhaven, West Germany. Upon that base's transfer to West German control in 1956, he took command of the Military Sea Transportation Service Office, also in Bremerhaven.

In 1960, Nixon retired from active duty with the rank of Captain. Following his retirement from the Navy, he taught physics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York for twelve years. Richard Mueller Nixon died in San Diego, California on May 21, 1989.

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Description of Contents

The Richard Mueller Nixon Letters, comprising 0.6 linear feet of documentation, span from 1923 to 1930, with the overwhelming majority written between 1926 and 1930, while Nixon was a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. Nixon's letters touch upon various aspects of student life at the Naval Academy, including academics, athletics, summer cruises, conduct and discipline, and the activities of Nixon's classmates.

Included with the letters are several monthly report cards, postcards, greeting cards, an invitation, and a mental examination permit.

The Richard Mueller Nixon Letters are arranged into a single records series with no subdivisions. Aside from those letters in the last file of the collection, all of the letters are written by Nixon to his parents, Milton and Stella, and sister, Emily. The majority of the letters make reference to Nixon's performance in monthly exams and his studies, particularly those in Steam, Ordnance, Spanish (referred to throughout as Dago), Electrical Engineering (referred to throughout as Juice) and Physics and Chemistry (referred to throughout as Skinny). Letters written in the fall also tend to focus heavily on the Naval Academy football team and on college football in general. Letters written in the spring often make reference to Nixon's involvement with the track team, especially his efforts at pole vaulting. Nixon's summer letters are the product of his summer practice cruise experiences aboard the battleships U.S.S. Nevada, U.S.S. Florida, and U.S.S. Utah, and include descriptions of shipboard routine, as well as operations near and port calls in Panama, Guantanamo Bay, Barcelona, Rome, Naples, London, Weymouth, and the west coast of the United States. Other topics discussed by Nixon include personal finances, the Nixons' farm in Ohio, health and dental issues, aviation training, guest lecturers at the Academy, and the activities of classmates, including Alfred Lampe and a midshipman referred to simply as Johnny. Filed at the end of the collection are letters from 1925 and 1926 pertaining to Nixon's appointment to the Naval Academy.

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Arrangement

The Richard Mueller Nixon Letters are arranged chronologically by date sent. Letters written by correspondents other than Nixon are filed at the end of the collection.

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Access and Use

Access

Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Richard Mueller Nixon Letters are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of Ann Nixon Gazourian in April 2004. Accession No. 04-06.

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Related Materials

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

The Nixon Letters have been digitized in their entirety. In addition to following the links in the Container List, the materials can be accessed through the USNA Digital Collections at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16099coll20

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to Nixon's career and time as a midshipman can be found in his Midshipman Personnel Jacket (sealed until 2022) and Alumni Jacket, both available from Special Collections & Archives, Nimitz Library.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Richard Mueller Nixon Letters, MS 426

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in October 2015. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in October 2015.

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Subject Headings

These materials have been indexed in the Naval Academy Library online catalog using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.

Name and Subject Terms

  • Barcelona (Spain) -- Description and travel
  • England -- Description and travel
  • Florida (Battleship : BB-30)
  • Italy -- Description and travel
  • Midshipmen -- United States -- Conduct of life
  • Nevada (Battleship : BB-36)
  • Nixon, Richard Mueller, 1910-1989
  • United States Naval Academy -- Curricula
  • United States Naval Academy -- Examinations
  • United States Naval Academy -- Football
  • United States Naval Academy -- Midshipmen -- Cruises
  • United States Naval Academy -- Social life and customs
  • United States Naval Academy -- Students -- Correspondence
  • United States Naval Academy. Class of 1930
  • Utah (Battleship : BB-31)

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Letters Sent, 1923 November

From Columbus, Ohio.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/8/rec/1

Box 1 Folder 2

Letters Sent, 1926 June

From United States Naval Academy. Rifle and cutter drills; settling in at the Academy; complaints about church services; and trying out for the track team.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/58/rec/2

Box 1 Folder 3

Letters Sent, 1926 July

From United States Naval Academy. Drills; description of the awkward squad and weak squad (July 2); critique of some Academy officers (July 9); watch-keeping; pistol and rifle drills; learning tennis; and the family's tomato harvest back home.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/289/rec/3

Box 1 Folder 4

Letters Sent, 1926 September-November

From United States Naval Academy. Nixon's class schedule and traveling to Chicago for the dedication of Soldier Field and the Army-Navy Game.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/19/rec/4

Box 1 Folder 5

Letters Sent, 1926 December

From United States Naval Academy. Dedication of Soldier Field (December 1); grades; planning for Christmas; and speculation about summer cruise (December 14).

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/139/rec/5

Box 1 Folder 6

Letters Sent, 1927 January

From United States Naval Academy. Readjusting to Academy routine; attending a speech by Captain Anderson (January 18); and Academy athletics and gymkhana.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/182/rec/6

Box 1 Folder 7

Letters Sent, 1927 February

From United States Naval Academy. Grades and difficulties in steam and Spanish (referred to as Dago); plebe attrition and drop outs; making section leader (February 15); Academy athletics; and Hundredth Night (February 24).

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/97/rec/7

Box 1 Folder 8

Letters Sent, 1927 March

From United States Naval Academy. Grades and examinations; Masquerader's production of Cat and the Canary (March 6); demerits and conduct; and track practice.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/227/rec/8

Box 1 Folder 9

Letters Sent, 1927 April

From United States Naval Academy. Opinion of Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur (April 11); anticipation of the summer cruise; Plebe track; and examinations.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/318/rec/9

Box 1 Folder 10

Letters Sent, 1927 May

From United States Naval Academy. Grades; plebe track; preparations for summer cruise and June Week; listening to the Naval Academy Band; and Nixon's class standing for the year (May 30).

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/354/rec/10

Box 1 Folder 11

Letters Sent, 1927 June

Aboard U.S.S. Nevada. Shipboard routine, watch duty, and entertainment; fleet review at Hampton Roads; and port calls in Colon (Panama) and San Diego.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/398/rec/11

Box 1 Folder 12

Letters Sent, 1927 July

Aboard U.S.S. Nevada. Port calls in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Pedro; powder duty in the ship's turrets (July 18); and demonstration of the ship's main guns (July 23). Includes an invitation to a tea dance.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/437/rec/12

Box 1 Folder 13

Letters Sent, 1927 September

From United States Naval Academy. Comments on incoming class of Plebes and intentions to try out for track.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/451/rec/13

Box 1 Folder 14

Letters Sent, 1927 October

From United States Naval Academy. Football vs. Davis & Elkins, Drake, Notre Dame, Duke and Pennsylvania; improved meals as a second classman; explanation of bowling (October 13); and grades and examinations.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/511/rec/14

Box 1 Folder 15

Letters Sent, 1927 November

From United States Naval Academy. Lectures and experiments in physics and chemistry (referred to as Skinny) (November 1); grades and examinations; football vs. Loyola and Army; anticipation of and recap of the Army-Navy Game; and preparations for Christmas.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/583/rec/15

Box 1 Folder 16

Letters Sent, 1927 December

From United States Naval Academy. Yale star Bruce Caldwell; grades and examinations; and Admiral Nulton's views on athletics at West Point (December 18).

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/538/rec/16

Box 1 Folder 17

Letters Sent, 1928 January

From United States Naval Academy. Grades and examinations; snowy weather in Annapolis; and anticipation of expulsion of academically deficient midshipmen. Includes copies of Nixon's official Relative Standing and Marks for the term.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/604/rec/17

Box 1 Folder 18

Letters Sent, 1928 February

From United States Naval Academy. Track and pole vaulting practice; thoughts on Thomas Dixon's The Clansman; Academy athletics; grades and examinations; and complaints over expenses and finances.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/641/rec/18

Box 1 Folder 19

Letters Sent, 1928 March

From United States Naval Academy. Track and pole vaulting; Academy athletics; grades and exams; and an aviation lecture by LT Champion.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/681/rec/19

Box 1 Folder 20

Letters Sent, 1928 April

From United States Naval Academy. Anticipation of the summer practice cruise and June Week.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/654/rec/20

Box 1 Folder 21

Letters Sent, 1928 June-August

Aboard U.S.S. Florida. Cruise itinerary; liberty in Newport; description of the U.S.S. Florida; orders to transport the body of Emilio Carranza to Mexico; deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and maneuvers and firing drills off Gonaives Bay.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/724/rec/21

Box 2 Folder 1

Letters Sent, 1928 September

From United States Naval Academy. Activities during September leave, including being caught absent without leave; review of Emil Jennings in The Last Command; the near drowning of two midshipman in the Chesapeake Bay; and thoughts on Commandant Charles Philip Snyder.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/793/rec/22

Box 2 Folder 2

Letters Sent, 1928 October

From United States Naval Academy. Navy football vs. Davis & Elkins, Boston College, Notre Dame, Duke, and Pennsylvania; studies in astronomy; vision problems and re-examination; and grades and examinations.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/822/rec/23

Box 2 Folder 3

Letters Sent, 1928 November

From United States Naval Academy. Navy football vs. West Virginia Wesleyan, Michigan, Loyola, and Princeton; contraction of Catarrah Fever and resulting hospitalization; and thoughts on the sinking of S.S. Vestris.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/745/rec/24

Box 2 Folder 4

Letters Sent, 1928 December

From United States Naval Academy. Grades and examinations; recaps of Army's and Navy's football seasons; and anticipation of Christmas.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/766/rec/25

Box 2 Folder 5

Letters Sent, 1929 January-April

From United States Naval Academy. Grades and exams; Burial of Math and Skinny; Naval Academy track, including the Boston College meet and Nixon's pole vaulting; motor launch training; the possibility of African-American midshipmen; and anticipation of the summer practice cruise, including the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/859/rec/26

Box 2 Folder 6

Letters Sent, 1929 May-June

From United States Naval Academy. Grades and exams; and anticipation of June Week and the summer practice cruise. Includes a Mothers' Day card and invitation to the Farewell Ball.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/886/rec/27

Box 2 Folder 7

Letters Sent, 1929 June

Aboard U.S.S. Utah. Weather conditions and food quality crossing the Atlantic; description of the Straits of Gibraltar; and description of Barcelona and the Barcelona International Exposition.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/923/rec/28

Box 2 Folder 8

Letters Sent, 1929 July-August

Aboard U.S.S. Utah. Descriptions of Rome, and Pompeii, and disappointment in Naples; description of Weymouth, London, and other travels through England; and return to Hampton Roads and Norfolk. Includes two postcards.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/1013/rec/29

Box 2 Folder 9

Letters Sent, 1929 September-October

From United States Naval Academy. Navy football vs. Denison, William & Mary, Notre Dame, Duke, and Princeton; grades and exams; eye exams and vision problems; opinion of Naval Aviation as a passing fad; and description of Navigation and Ordnance studies.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/956/rec/30

Box 2 Folder 10

Letters Sent, 1929 November

From United States Naval Academy. Navy football vs. Pennsylvania, Georgetown, Wake Forest, and Dartmouth; grades and exams; aviation drills; and speculation over whether there will be an Army-Navy Game.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/1082/rec/31

Box 2 Folder 11

Letters Sent, 1929 December

From United States Naval Academy. Shortage of officer billets in the Navy; After Dinner Speaking; and anticipation for the Christmas holiday.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/1028/rec/32

Box 2 Folder 12

Letters Sent, 1930 January-February

From United States Naval Academy. Grades and exams; marriage and pay rates of Academy graduates; anticipation of June Week and graduation; complaints against Carvel Hall; and visiting lecturers.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/1053/rec/33

Box 2 Folder 13

Letters Sent, 1930 March-April

From United States Naval Academy. Grades and exams; anticipation and preparation for graduation and June Week; ship selection and assignment to U.S.S. West Virginia; track and pole vaulting; and logistics on getting to the West Coast after graduation.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/1178/rec/34

Box 2 Folder 14

Letters Sent, 1930 May

From United States Naval Academy. Anticipation and preparation for graduation and June Week; resignation of Chris Cagle from West Point; and track, pole vaulting, and golf.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/1118/rec/35

Box 2 Folder 15

Letters Sent, undated

From United States Naval Academy.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/1091/rec/36

Box 2 Folder 16

Appointment Letters, 1925-1926

Correspondence from Ohio Representative C. Ellis Moore and the Bureau of Navigation pertaining to Nixon's appointment and acceptance to the Naval Academy. Includes Nixon's permit for his mental examination.

Digital copy available at: http://cdm16099.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p16099coll20/id/1147/rec/37

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