Richard Nixon hid one unlikely item in his Oval Office desk

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

While Richard Nixon always kept a yellow writing pad full of scribbles in hand, one of his most valuable possessions was actually secretly tucked away in his Oval Office desk.

SEE ALSO: Eyebrow-raising donation revealed in Clinton emails

"My grandfather kept a little card that listed his 10 different rules for being president," his grandson, Christopher Nixon Cox, revealed in an exclusive interview with AOL.

Nixon Cox found the little-known keepsake when his grandfather died in 1994 -- and he even revealed one of the rules that stuck with him: "Don't forget you should always have a way out of an issue."

28 PHOTOS
Take a peek inside the new Richard Nixon Library and Museum
See Gallery
Take a peek inside the new Richard Nixon Library and Museum

Inside the replica of Richard Nixon's Oval Office at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

Inside the replica of Richard Nixon's Oval Office at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

The famous 1970 handshake between Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley, which is on display at the Richard Nixon Library & Museum.

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

An inside look at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

An inside look at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

An inside look at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

An inside look at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

An inside look at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

An inside look at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

An inside look at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

An inside look at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

The opening ceremony during the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

The opening ceremony during the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

The opening ceremony during the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

The opening ceremony during the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

The opening ceremony during the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

The opening ceremony during the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

The opening ceremony during the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

Former secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

A look inside the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum 

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

Christopher Nixon Cox and Melanie Eisenhower, Nixon's grandchildren, at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

Former secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

A look inside the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum 

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

Former secretary of state Dr. Henry Kissinger at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

Christopher Nixon Cox and Melanie Eisenhower, Nixon's grandchildren, at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

Christopher Nixon Cox and Melanie Eisenhower, Nixon's grandchildren, at the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library & Museum

Photo: Richard Nixon Foundation

HIDE CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION

He gathered with several members of his family on Friday to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Richard Nixon Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., the former president's birthplace. Other important politicians, such as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former California Gov. Pete Wilson, were also in attendance.

The $15 million project includes an exact replica of the 37th president's Oval Office. It was designed in the original 1969 décor of California blue and gold, which was hand selected by first lady Pat Nixon.

The new space also features more than 300 artifacts, including the original revolver rock icon Elvis Presley gave Nixon during his impromptu visit to the White House in 1970. A photo featuring the two prominent figures shaking hands in the Oval Office is the most requested photo in the National Archives to this day.

Dr. Henry Kissinger, the former president's secretary of state, gave the keynote speech at the event.

49 PHOTOS
Richard Nixon
See Gallery
Richard Nixon
Vice President Richard M. Nixon (2L) talking to crowd. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
RICHARD NIXON (1913-1994) 37th President of the USA with wife Pat at White House on 12 June 1971 at daughter's engagement
Georges Pompidou and President Richard Nixon at palace
Nixon and Paine at Apollo 12 Launch
Security Officer's Log of the Watergate Office Building Showing Entry for June 17, 1972, Page 1/2
President Nixon Meets the Apollo 11 Astronauts on the Lawn of the White House
US President Richard Nixon delivers welcome speech in front of the White House in Washington in honor of the Soviet leader
Nov. 10, 2011 - Yorba Linda, California, U.S. - An old photo of Richard Nixon, from right, daughters Tricia, Julie and wife Pat waits to be hung at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda...//ADDITIONAL INFO: Tim Naftali, who stirred controversy while overseeing the conversion of t
Jun 05, 1974 - Cairo, Egypt - RICHARD NIXON (January 9, 1913 Ð April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States (1969Ð1974), having formerly been the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953Ð1961). A member of the Republican Party, he was the only President to resign the office as well as the only person to be elected twice to both the Presidency and the Vice Presi
Aug 05, 1969 - Malacanang, Philippines - RICHARD NIXON (January 9, 1913 Ð April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States (1969Ð1974), having formerly been the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953Ð1961). A member of the Republican Party, he was the only President to resign the office as well as the only person to be elected twice to both the Presidency and the
A half length portrait of Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife Pat, 1950. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
Politics, Personalities, USA, pic: circa 1950's, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Richard Nixon of California, pictured with his wife Pat and his two children Julie, left, and Tricia, Richard Nixon, (1913-1994) was the 37th President of the USA, but resigned in 1974 after the Watergate scandal (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
circa 1930: Members of the Whittier College football team with Richard Nixon wearing the number 12 shirt. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1754: President Richard Nixon (USA) toasts Zhou Enlai the Chinese Prime Minister during a state banquet in Beijing in1972. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
Vice Presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon making a speech on TV. (Photo by Yale Joel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES - 1953: William Knowland (L) and wife, and Joseph Martin (2R), joining Richard M. Nixon (R) and his wife (C), during the Governor's Reception. (Photo by George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
1953: Richard Nixon with his wife Thelma (Pat) Ryan and his two daughters Julie and Tricia during his first year as vice president. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
A portrait of the American Vice President Richard Nixon and his family, (from left) daughters Tricia Nixon and Julie Nixon, and wife Pat Nixon, United States, mid-20th century. Richard Nixon later served as the thirty-seventh President of the United States. (Photo by Bachrach/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon riding with Syngman Rhee during his visit. (Photo by George Skadding/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon and his wife (R) with Attorney Gen. Herbert Brownell Jr. on his daughter's wedding day. (Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Vice-President Richard M. Nixon (L) watching his wife Pat Nixon (2L) cut her birthday cake. (Photo by Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon at first formal press conference in White House. (Photo by Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon (R) with Malcolm S. Forbes and his wife, Nixon aiding Forbes during campaign for governor. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Richard M. Nixon addressing delegates at Sheraton Palace Hotel during the International Industrial Development Conference. (Photo by Nat Farbman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Vice President Richard M. Nixon (R) and his wife carrying a child. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Richard Nixon plays a rendition of "Deep in the Heart of Texas" at the piano in Miami, Fla., Friday, Aug. 9, 1968. Nixon will visit the LBJ ranch in Texas on Saturday to be briefed by the president.
FILE--Named in Watergate affair are from left to right: G. Gordon Liddy, White House Counsel John W. Dean III, Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, and Former Deputy Canpaign Manager for Nixon's Re-election Jeb Stuart Magruder. (AP PHOTO)
This combination of two images of notes provided by the National Archives and Records Administration shows two pages of notes written by President Richard Nixon's chief of staff H.R. Haldeman from a June 20, 1972, meeting with Nixon, that will undergo forensic analysis at the National Archives to see if they hold clues to one of the Watergate scandal's enduring mysteries. Researchers hope to learn what Nixon said during the infamous 18 1/2-minute gap in a tape recording of his meeting with Haldeman that day. Electrostatic detection analysis and other tools can find indented images, such as those left on a sheet of paper when a pen has written on a sheet above it. This might show evidence that certain pages were destroyed and even point to words long lost to history. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration)
** FILE ** In this 1973 file photo, Rose Mary Woods, President Richard Nixon's secretary at her White House desk, demonstrates the "Rose Mary Stretch" which could have resulted in the erasure of part of the Watergate tapes. Every year the National Security Archive, a private group at The George Washington University that publishes declassifed government documents and files large numbers of FOIA requests, gives an award to the federal agency with the worst Freedom of Information Act performance. Named the Rosemary Award, after Woods, the fifth annual award has been "won" by the FBI. (AP Photo/File)
President Richard M. Nixon is seen on a television monitor during a ceremony in Yorba Linda, Calif., Wednesday, July 11, 2007, where the previously privately operated library was officially handed over the to National Archives. The facility will be referred to as the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Former Vice President Richard Nixon announced February 1, 1968, in an open letter to the citizens of New Hampshire that he would be a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination. This picture was released by Nixon's headquarters with the announcement of his candidacy. (AP Photo/Nixon Campaign, Fabian Bachrach)
Richard Nixon is shown in an undated photo at Whittier College, center, standing, as a member of the second string football team. He was not a letter winner. He was known as "the most spirited bench warmer on the team." (AP Photo)
Richard Nixon is shown in an undated photo at Whittier College as a member of the second string football team. He was not a letter winner. He was known as "the most spirited bench warmer on the team." (AP Photo)
Richard Nixon as a teen-ager in Whittier, California. (AP Photo)
In this April 2, 1973 photo, President Richard Nixon and South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu are in profile as they listen to national anthems during arrival ceremonies for Thieu at the Western White House in San Clemente, Calif. As the last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam 40 years ago, angry protesters still awaited them at home. North Vietnamese soldiers took heart from their foes' departure, and South Vietnamese who had helped the Americans feared for the future. While the fall of Saigon two years later — with its indelible images of frantic helicopter evacuations — is remembered as the final day of the Vietnam War, Friday marks an anniversary that holds greater meaning for many who fought, protested or otherwise lived it. (AP Photo)
Richard M. Nixon is seen as a freshman at Duke Law School, Durham, N.C., 1934. (AP Photo)
Richard M. Nixon, in the back row, right, is seen with his classmates at Duke University Law School, Durham, N.C., 1937. (AP Photo)
Vice President Richard Nixon holds a baby refugee in Andau, Austria, 1956. (AP photos)
Vice President Richard Nixon and wife together at Eisenhower suite at Blackstone Hotel in Chicago in July 1960. (AP Photo)
Republican presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon entices two youthful hula dancers with a souvenir Nixon ballpoint pen after the children performed dances for him at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu on August 3, where he is staying during his two-day campaign in Hawaii. The girls are an example of Hawaii's multi-racial citizenry. The girl at right is Chinese. Nixon will begin a gruelling one-day tour of the other three major islands. Year not provided. (AP Photo)
President Richar Nixon with soldiers during his visit in South Vietnam, July 1969. Nixon mingled with the U.S. First Infantry Division at their headquarters at Di An. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this July 31,1973, file photo, H.R. Haldeman, a former top aide to President Richard Nixon, testifies before the Senate Watergate Committee in Washington. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum is declassifying and releasing 285 segments from an audio diary kept by Haldeman, from 1970 to 1973. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - The Feb. 27, 1969 file photo shows US President Richard Nixon looking across the communist wall into East Germany, from West Berlin during his stay in the divided city. Germany's Chancellor Kurt Kiesinger is seen behind Nixon. (AP Photo/file)
gina lollobrigida, richard nixon, pat nixon
President Richard M. Nixon and Dr. James C. Fletcher, NASA Administrator.
U.S. President Richard Nixon during Press Conference Regarding Middle East Crisis and Watergate, 1973
Elvis Presley poses for a photo with US President Richard M. Nixon in the Oval Office at the White House December 21, 1970 in Washington, DC.
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), 37th President of the United States, Smiling Portrait, 1969
HIDE CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION

"He had the courage and the vision to open to China and to put before the American people a new vision of world order," Kissinger said, praising his close friend.

He aided Nixon in his historic visit to China in 1972, which marked the first time a U.S. president set foot on Chinese soil.

"For once a White House public relations strategy succeeded, and performed a diplomatic function as well," Kissinger wrote in his 1979 book, "White House Years."

And though the new Richard Nixon Library and Museum gave visitors an up close and personal look into the life of the 37th president, his grandson did confess one cute item he kept in the Oval Office missing from the exhibit -- but for good reason!

"He had three dogs -- Pasha, Vicki and King Timahoe, and he actually kept Milk-Bone biscuits in the Oval Office for them. I don't think they want stale dog biscuits here," he jokingly admitted.

By: Marah Alindogan

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners