Somehow, I never knew about this letter my grandmother received from then-Vice President Richard Nixon until she was gone. Why was Tricky Dick corresponding with my kin the day before he left office? Apparently, she did something of note during his failed 1960 Presidential campaign — you know, the election that John F Kennedy ultimately won. Sure, it’s a form letter, but that is an ink signature at the bottom.


January 19, 1961

Dear Mrs Graham:

Before my term of office ends on January 20, I want to tell you how deeply grateful I am for all that you did on my behalf during the 1960 campaign.

Losing the election was naturally a keen personal disappointment, but Pat and I shall always be proud of the fact that we had such a dedicated and effective group of men and women on our team, and particularly in our home state of California. My only regret is that I could not have done that extra bit which would have assured victory nationally for all of you who worked so hard for our cause.

I do believe the fact that we won a majority of the states and half the popular vote should encourage us to continue to fight for the principles we upheld in the recent campaign. I certainly intend in the future to do as much along those lines as my personal affairs will permit.

We are looking forward to our return to California when we hope there will be an opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation personally to you and others who helped make our victory there possible. In the meantime, we join in sending our thanks and very best wishes.


[Dick Nixon]

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Richard Nixon

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Source publication date: January 19, 1961

Filed under: 1960s, Documents, Letters & postcards, Notable people, Politics

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