Historical Happenings: When San Clemente Was the Center of the Political World

How Nixon came to choose San Clemente as his base is as interesting as it was improbable, Tom Marshall reports in his latest Historical Happenings column. Soon after taking office in January 1969, Nixon let it be known that he wanted to have a private residence somewhere in Southern California, where he was born and raised. This bit of news perked the interest of local resident Fred Divel. He had the perfect place for Nixon: the blufftop home of the late Hamilton Cotton.