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Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon
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Richard Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913-April 22, 1994) served as the 37th president of the United States from 1969 to 1974. Nixon had a distinguished career in politics starting from 1937 when he went to work for the federal government until he resigned from the presidency due to the Watergate scandal.

Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, a small farming community east of Los Angeles, California on January 9, 1913. He graduated from Whittier College and then transferred to Duke University where he graduated with a law degree in in 1937.

In 1942, Nixon joined the United States Navy. He was commissioned a lieutenant and served as an operations officer with the Combat Air Transport Command serving in the Pacific theatre during World War II.

Nixon left the Navy in 1946 and ran for congress as a Republican. He won a congressional seat by attacking the New Deal Programs of Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

While a congressman, Nixon joined the House of Un-American Activities Committee which launched an investigation into the entertainment industry. During the investigation, many people in the entertainment industry were blacklisted due to accusations of being communist sympathizers.

In 1950, Nixon won a hard fought senate race in California Senate and in 1952, he was chosen by President Dwight Eisenhower as his vice presidential running mate.

In 1952, Dwight Eisenhower chose Nixon as his vice presidential running mate. Together they won easily and Nixon became the 36th Vice President of the United States serving from 1953 until 1961.

Nixon ran for president in 1960 and narrowly lost to John F. Kennedy. In 1962, he ran for Governor of California and lost but these two losses did not deter Nixon from his greatest ambition. He ran for president again in 1968 and was elected.

As President of the United States, Nixon is noted for several major accomplishments. Below are a few:

  • Ended the draft
  • Enacted new anti crime laws
  • Enforced desegregation of southern schools
  • Broadened environmental programs
  • Appointed conservative judges to the Supreme Court
  • Opened diplomatic relations with China
  • Reduced tensions with Russia and negotiated treaties to reduce strategic nuclear weapons
  • Ended the Viet Nam War
  • Established the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Negotiated disengagement treaties between Israel and it's neighboring Arab nations
  • Initiated war to fight cancer
  • Imposed wage and price controls

In 1972, Nixon was reelected by a landslide margin but within a few months of his reelection, he became embroiled in the "Watergate" scandal in which he was accused of authorizing, or knowing about, the break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee by officials of his own reelection committee during the election campaign.

Several of his administration officials resigned and some were later convicted of efforts to cover up the scandal. Although Nixon denied knowledge of the break in, subsequent tapes indicated that he had knowledge and had tried to hinder the investigation.

Faced with the certainty of being impeached, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 8, 1974. After his resignation, he was pardoned in a controversial move by Gerald Ford who had succeeded him to the presidency.

In his latter years, Nixon regained some of his prestige as an elder statesman. He wrote several books about his life and his experiences in public life, foreign policy, and his thoughts on world affairs.

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