In January 1938, Nixon was cast in the Whittier Community Players production of The Dark Tower. There he played opposite a high school teacher named Thelma "Pat" Ryan. Nixon pursued her, but initially Ryan was not interested in a relationship. He began making unannounced visits to her home and would take her on Sunday drives to the Quaker Sunday School where he was a teacher. After several proposals, Ryan eventually agreed to marry the future president and they wed at a small ceremony on June 21, 1940.
After a honeymoon in Mexico, the Nixons moved to Long Beach, then settled into an apartment in East Whittier a few months later. In January 1942, they moved to Washington, D.C., where Richard Nixon took a job at the Office of Price Administration.