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A Jovial Nixon Tells Strangers He’s Bob Hope, Makes Prank Phone Calls

November 4, 2009 |  8:00 am
Nov. 4, 1959, Richard Nixon

Vice President Richard Nixon interrupting early morning walk on Wilshire Boulevard to watch sidewalk repairs, lingers to talk sports with Vic Salazar, left and another worker.

Nov. 4, 1949, Times Cover

It's easy to find weird stories about Richard Nixon, before and after his presidency. Even in a paper like The Times that for years boosted his political career, it doesn't take much investigating to locate something worth rereading.

Today's example is a story of Nixon walking along Wilshire Boulevard, having a hamburger for breakfast and...wait for it.... talking to real people. The headline even announces, "Nixon Takes Stroll and Talks With Strangers."

"Normally I have hot cereal for breakfast but this is the equivalent of 11 a.m. Washington time and I feel like having lunch," he said. At least he wasn't over-analyzing it. What else did he have for lunch? Would you believe buttermilk and coffee?

His waitress didn't recognize him. "He looks like a nice gentleman," she told The Times' reporter.

"I'm Bob Hope," Nixon said.

--Keith Thursby

Nov. 4, 1959, Richard Nixon 

Nov. 4, 1959, Richard Nixon

Nov. 4, 1959, Jean Baptiste Poulin

The sad story of Jean Baptiste Poulin, local musician, who almost lived to be 100.


The Board of Supervisors asks why the MTA is switching from streetcars to buses while Los Angeles is trying to reduce smog. It’s a good question. Let’s see if I can find the answer.

Nov. 4, 1959, Career

Dean Martin, Anthony Franciosa and Shirley MacLaine star in “Career.” And it’s not on Netflix!

Nov. 4, 1959, Sports

USC President Norman Topping apologizes for an incident during the USC-Berkeley game in which USC guard Mike McKeever hit Cal halfback Steve Bates with a rolling tackle while they were out of bounds on the sideline. The referees didn't call a penalty on the play.