- 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"
Best Known For
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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In 1971, Chinese officials invited the American table tennis team to China for a demonstration/competition, later dubbed "ping-pong diplomacy." Then in February, 1972, President Nixon and his wife, Pat, traveled to China where he engaged in direct talks with Mao Zedong the Chinese leader. The visit brought in a new era to Chinese-American relations and pressured the Soviet Union to agree better relations with the United States.
In Latin America,
the Nixon Administration continued the long-standing policy of supporting autocratic dictatorships in lieu of socialist democracies. Most notably, President Richard Nixon authorized clandestine operations to undermine the coalition government of Chile's Marxist president, Salvador Allende, after he nationalized American-owned mining companies. Nixon restricted Chile's access to international economic assistance, discouraged private investment, increased aid to the Chilean military, and funneled covert payments to Allende opposition groups. In September 1973, Allende was overthrown in a military coup establishing Chilean Army General Augusto Pinochet as dictator.
But the foremost issue on President Richard Nixon's plate was Vietnam. When he took office, 300 American soldiers were dying per week in Vietnam. The previous administration, under President Lyndon Johnson, had escalated with war to involve over 500,000 American troops and expanded operations from the defense of South Vietnam to bombing attacks in North Vietnam. By 1969, when Nixon assumed the presidency, the United was spending between $60 and $80 million a day on the war. Nixon faced the choice escalating the war even more to secure South Vietnam from communism or withdrawing forces from an increasingly unpopular war.
President Richard Nixon proposed a controversial strategy of withdrawing American troops from South Vietnam and Air Force bombings and Army special ops operations against enemy positions in Laos and Cambodia, both of which were officially neutral at the time. He established what became known as the Nixon Doctrine (also called "Vietnamization"), replacing American troops with Vietnamese soldiers. From 1969 to 1972, troop withdrawals were estimated to be 405,000 soldiers. While Nixon's campaign promise in 1968 was to draw down the size of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the bombings of North Vietnam and incursions into Laos and Cambodia created a political firestorm. When Nixon made a televised speech announcing the invasion of U.S. troops into Cambodia to disrupt so-called North Vietnamese sanctuaries, young people across the country erupted in protest and student strikes temporarily closed more than 500 universities, colleges and high schools.
The war in Vietnam had caused domestic inflation to grow to nearly 6 percent by 1970. In order to address the problem President Nixon initially tried to restrict federal spending, but beginning in 1971, his budget proposals contained deficits of several billion dollars, the largest in American history up to that time.
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