- NAME: Richard Nixon
- OCCUPATION: U.S. President
- BIRTH DATE: January 09, 1913
- DEATH DATE: April 22, 1994
- EDUCATION: Whittier College, Duke University School of Law
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Yorba Linda, California
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Richard Milhous Nixon
- AKA: Richard M. Nixon
- Nickname: "Tricky Dick"
- AKA: Richard Nixon
- Nickname: "Red Hunter"
- Nickname: "Slick Rick"
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Richard Nixon was the 37th U.S. president and the only commander-in-chief to resign from his position, after the 1970s Watergate scandal.
Richard Nixon - Personality (2:25)
An inside look at how Richard Nixon's personality came to bear on his presidency and his legacy.
Richard Nixon served as Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower and was the Republican Nominee for President in 1960. He was elected President in 1968, won re-election in 1972, and resigned in 1974 after the Watergate scandal.
Learn about the circumstances that lead to the famous Watergate scandal.
Learn about the famous Watergate scandal and how it could be traced back to President Richard Nixon.
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This would become a Nixon campaign tactic throughout his political life. Nixon was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November, 1946. During his first term, Richard Nixon was assigned to the Select Committee on Foreign Aid and went to Europe to report on the newly enacted Marshall Plan. There he quickly established a reputation as an internationalist in foreign policy. As a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee from 1948 to 1950,
he took a leading role in the investigation of Alger Hiss, a former State Department official with a previously stellar reputation. While many believed Hiss, Nixon believed the allegations that Hiss was spying for the Soviet Union to be true. In dramatic testimony before the committee, Hiss vehemently denied the charge and his accuser Whittaker Chambers. Nixon brought Hiss to the witness stand and under stinging cross-examination, Hiss admitted that he had known Chambers, but under a different name. This brought Hiss a perjury and five years in prison. Nixon's hostile questioning of Hiss during the committee hearings did much to make his national reputation as a fervent anti-Communist.
In 1950, Nixon successfully ran for the United States Senate against Democratic Rep. Helen Gahagan Douglas. She had been an outspoken opponent of the anti-Communist scare and the actions of the HUAAC. Employing previous campaign tactics, Nixon's people distributed flyers on pink paper unfairly distorting Douglas's voting record as left-wing. The Independent Review, a small Southern California newspaper, nicknamed Nixon "Tricky Dick," a derogatory nickname that would remain with him for the rest of this life.
Richard Nixon's fervent anti-Communist reputation earned him the notice of Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Republican Party, believing he could draw valuable support in the West. At the Republican convention in 1952, Nixon won the nomination as vice president. Two months before the November election, the New York Post reported that Nixon had a secret "slush fund" provided by campaign donors for his personal use. Some within Eisenhower's campaign called for removing Nixon from the ticket.
Realizing that he might not win without him, Eisenhower was willing to give Nixon a chance to clear himself. On September 23, 1952, Nixon delivered a nationally televised address in which he acknowledged the existence of the fund but denied that any of it had been used improperly. He turned the speech back on his political enemies, claiming that unlike the wives of so many Democratic politicians, his wife, Pat, did not own a fur coat but only "a respectable Republican cloth coat." The speech was perhaps best remembered for its conclusion in which Nixon admitted accepting one political gift -- a cocker spaniel that his 6-year-old daughter, Tricia, had named "Checkers." Although Nixon initially thought that the speech had failed, the public responded to what became known as the "Checkers Speech." Nonetheless, the experience embedded a deep distrust of mainstream media in Nixon.
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