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Richard Milhous Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th President of the United States of America, was born on January 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda in Southern California to Francis A. and Hannah Milhous Nixon. Nixon had a very rough childhood. Due to the illness of Richard’s brother, his mother was rarely around. Richard’s father was a very loud man who would beat his sons and enjoyed arguing with everyone, especially when it came to politics. Richard had to help out at the family gas station and grocery store while he was a college student.

Nixon grew up harboring resentment toward people who were born into families and privileged and could trade on their social connections. Nixon attended Duke University and graduated from law school there. After graduating, Nixon applied to become an agent with the FBI and was rejected. He was also rejected when he applied to various major law firms. Eventually, Nixon found a job in a small law firm in Southern California. Nixon served as a Naval Officer during World War II. Afterward, he began to climb up the political ladder.

He began by first serving in the U. S. House of Representatives and then in the Senate. Throughout Nixon’s career, he used smear-politics to gain victory by viciously attacking his opponents. He used the public’s fear of communism during the Cold War years to his advantage by accusing several of his political enemies of being soft on communism. In 1952, President Eisenhower agreed to allow Nixon to serve as his running mate although he never really liked him. This was because Nixon would help Eisenhower win California. Six weeks before the election, a bombshell was dropped on the campaign.

An illegal secret political fund of Nixon’s was discovered and publicized. Although Nixon was encouraged to withdraw from the ticket, he, instead, went on television and delivered a speech not about receiving bribes or money but about a little dog that his daughter had named Checkers. Eisenhower was convinced to keep Nixon on the ticket when he heard of the positive response of the American people to the “Checkers Speech. ” Eisenhower and Nixon later won the 1952 election by a massive landslide. In 1956, Nixon was, once again, on the Republican ticket as the vice-presidential candidate.

During his second term, Nixon became more active. Eisenhower sent him on tours of South America and the Soviet Union. In 1960, Nixon was unanimously nominated to run for the presidency. Many people were very confident in Nixon’s ability to win the election quite easily because his opponent, John F. Kennedy, was little known nationally and had a reputation as a playboy in Washington circles. However, Kennedy took advantage of the new, modern campaigning techniques and used the television more than personal contact.

The presidential debate between Nixon and Kennedy was the first one ever televised. Kennedy came off as very strong, confident, and appeared to be in control. Nixon, on the other hand, refused to wear make-up and appeared haggard and almost ghost-like. The election of 1960 was one of the closest in history with Kennedy winning by only 100,000 votes nationwide. In 1962, Nixon ran for governor of California. He ended up losing soundly to Pat Brown. After this loss, Nixon made a comment at a press conference that “you don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.

Nixon claimed that the press conference was going to be his last. He then took a job as a Wall Street lawyer but returned to campaigning in 1966. In 1968, Nixon was running for the presidency for the second time. Nixon pretty much avoided speaking about the issue of the Vietnam War. The only thing that he had to say was that he would find an “honorable end” to the war. The Democrats, however, were badly split over the war and pretty much tore themselves apart. Nixon eventually gained a close victory over Hubert Humphrey.

Upon gaining the presidency, Nixon focused more on foreign affairs than he did on the affairs of the United States. Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and John Erhlichman handled most of the domestic policies and tried to shield Nixon from many of the trivial daily details of the administration. The Vietnam War was the major obstacle in the new president’s designs and was the thing that destroyed his predecessor. Before Nixon was even inaugurated, he had Henry Kissinger engaging in secret peace talk with North Vietnam ih hopes of speeding up American withdrawl from Vietnam.

Eventually, on January 28, 1973, a cease-fire was established and the United States was allowed to remove its 23,7000 trooped and end its twelve-year involvement in Vietnam. Domestically, Nixon opposed federal welfare services. He also implemented the New Economic Policy, which called for a ten percent tax on many imported goods, a repeal of certain excise taxes, tax breaks for industries undertaking new investment, and a ninety-day freeze on wages, prices, and dividends designed to halt inflation.

Initially, these policies were successful but inflation once again began to accelerate and the cost of living began to rise again, which negatively impacted many segments of American society. Despite the finally peaceful outcome of the Vietnam situation, and all of his diplomatic accomplishments, Nixon’s vicious, unrelenting policies and his blatant scoffing of the anti-war movement had triggered some serious domestic upheavals. One example of which would be the shooting of fifteen students at a Kent State anti-war demonstration. The public was visible dissatisfied with the president from around 1970 on.

This only made Nixon’s insecurity grow. It was this paranoia that led Nixon to form the Special Investigations Unit, which was also known as the “plumbers. ” This outfit was illegally equipped by the CIA and sent on missions to embarrass and discredit any potential Democratic opponents. Nixon also form an outfit names the Committee to RE-elect the President (CREEP), which collected $60 million, much of which was in violation of existing campaign laws, and disbursed funds for “dirty tricks” which included tapping the phone of the chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Agents of the plumbers were involved in the tapping of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D. C. Agents employed by officials of CREEP were arrested at the Watergate on June 17, 1972. This event occurred only four months before the election and prompted Nixon and his leading aides to cover-up White House and CREEP involvement in Watergate. On June 23, Nixon approved a plan that included promises of clemency and the payment of “hush money” to the men arrested at Watergate in order to divert the blame from himself. This plan, however, did not work.

Some of the people found guilty of performing illegal acts, not just Watergate, included Nixon’s chief of staff, his chief domestic adviser, two attorney generals, three White House counsels, his personal attorney, his campaign finance chairman, his deputy campaign manager, and his appointments secretary. Nixon was re-elected in 1972 by beating George McGovern. Nixon received 60. 7 percent of the vote. Soon after, in 1973, Vice-President Agnew was forced to resign when it was revealed that he had cheated on his income taxes and had taken more than $100,000 in payoffs from contractors between 1966 and 1972.

Nixon’s last 16 months in office were plagued by legal defeats and personal humiliations. After it was learned that Nixon had tapes of conversations that later incriminated himself and others, he fought to keep the tapes from the prosecutors but failed. Nixon’s reputation was also damaged by the tapes revealing that he wanted to get revenge on a number of “enemies. ” The Internal Revenue Service also assessed Nixon nearly $300,000 in back taxes. On July 27, the House Committee on the Judiciary approved three articles of impeachment against him involving obstruction of justice and the abuse of presidential power.

“Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office,” the first article concluded, “engaged personally and through his subordinates and agents in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede and obstruct investigations . . . to cover-up, conceal and protect those responsible and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful activities. ” The second article charged Nixon with using the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and IRS to harass opponents of the administration. It also charged him with maintaining “a secret investigative unit within the office of the President” that “engaged in covert and unlawful activities.

The third accused him of obstruction of justice for refusing to cooperate with Congress in the inquiry. The Democrats and a small group of Republicans on the committee approved all of the articles of impeachment. The House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee issued a report in which they concluded that “the charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice . . . may be taken as substantially confessed by Mr. Nixon. ” They agreed with Democrats on the committee that Nixon had “committed certain acts for which he should have been impeached and removed from office. ”

On August 8 at 8:00 in the evening, Nixon addressed the nation. He announced that he would be resigning from the office of president and it would be going into effect at noon on August 9, 1974. Nixon was the first president in American history to resign his office. Gerald Ford assumed the presidency after Nixon’s resignation, telling Americans that “our long national nightmare is over. ” Ford subsequently pardoned Nixon of all crimes associated with the Watergate scandal. This act angered many of the nation’s citizens and was a significant factor in Ford’s failure to be re-elected in 1976.

Nixon resigned from the California bar, but was disbarred in New York, which prevented him from practicing law. In 1974, Nixon almost died from a blood clot. After this, Nixon’s luck seemed to get better. He received a large fee for authoring his memoirs. He also gave an interview to television personality David Frost for $750,000. Nixon died from complications of a stroke on April 22, 1994 in New York City. His funeral drew people from around the globe. These people included every president who was still living.

A Eulogy was given by President Clinton in which he dwelled on Nixon’s great accomplishments, particularly in foreign affairs, rather than on his constitutional crimes such as those pertaining to the Watergate scandal. Summary Richard Milhous Nixon’s life started out being kind of tough but he eventually went on to be able to do great things such as becoming the President of the United States of America. Throughout his life, Richard Nixon did many things that were very great and very impressive but he was also responsible for doing many things that were definitely not so great and impressive.

Nixon had a very impressive career when it came to foreign affairs but his career was far less impressive when you look at what was happening in the United States. If Nixon hadn’t been quite so paranoid and insecure in his own abilities, he would have made a far better president. After all, it was his paranoia and his insecurities that led him to forming the “plumbers” and to authorizing the things that ended up going on at the Watergate complex, which eventually led to his resignation from the Presidency.

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Home » President » Richard Milhous Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th president of the United States (1969-1972), was born on January 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California. Nixon was one of the most controversial politicians of the twentieth century. He built his political career on the communist scare of the late forties and early fifties, but as president he achieved dtente with the Soviet Union and opened relations with the People’s Republic of China. His administration occurred during the domestic upheavals brought on by the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.

He was re-elected in 1972 by an overwhelming margin, but less than two years later he was forced to become the first man to resign the presidency amid the scandal and shame of Watergate. He staged a difficult political comeback in 1968, after purportedly retiring from politics, and by the end of his life, he had shed some of the scourge of Watergate and was once again a respected elder statesman, largely because of his record on foreign policy. He died on February 22, 1994. His writings include three autobiographical works, Six Crises (1962), RN: the Memoirs of Richard Nixon (1978), and In the Arena (1990).

Early Political Career Nixon came from a southern-California Quaker family, where hard work and integrity were deeply-rooted and heavily emphasized. Always a good student, he was invited by Harvard and Yale to apply for scholarships, but his older brother’s illness and the Depression made his presence close to home necessary, and he was attended nearby Whittier College, where he graduated second in his class in 1934. He went on to law school at Duke University, where his seriousness and determination won him the nickname “Gloomy Gus.

He graduated third in his class and applied for jobs with both large Northeastern law firms and the FBI His applications were all rejected, however, and he was forced to go home to southern California, where his mother helped get him a job at a friend’s local law firm. At the outbreak of World War Two, Nixon went to work briefly for the tire-rationing section the Office of Price Administration in Washington, DC, and eight months later, he joined the Navy and was sent to the Pacific as a supply officer.

He was popular with his men, and such an accomplished poker player that he was able to send enough of his comrades-in-arms’ money back home to help fund his first political campaign. Shortly after returning from the war, Nixon entered politics, answering a Republican party call in the newspaper for someone to run against the five-term Democratic Congressman, Jerry Voorhis. Nixon seemed the perfect man for the job, and he was welcomed generously by the California Republican party, who considered him “salable merchandise. ”

The style of Nixon’s first campaign set the tone for the early part of his political career, where he achieved national renown as a fierce anti-Communist. He accused Congressman Voorhis of being a communist, and even went so far as to have campaign workers make anonymous calls to voters stating that as a fact and advising that a vote for Nixon was therefore the best move. This sort of straightforward communist-baiting was new at the time, and fear of the Soviet Union, who appeared to be spreading its influence throughout Asia (China fell to Mao Tse-tsung’s communist forces in 1949), made it a particularly persuasive tactic.

Of course I knew Jerry Voorhis wasn’t a communist,” Nixon later said, “but I had to win. ” Nixon defeated Voorhis with sixty percent of the vote, and upon taking his seat in Congress, he became the junior member of the infamous House Committee on un-American Activities. Nixon’s dogged pursuit of Alger Hiss, a former adviser to Franklin Roosevelt and one of the organizers of the United Nations, brought him national exposure.

Hiss had been accused of being a communist and of transmitting secret State Department documents to the Soviets, and though many believed him innocent, Nixon fiercely pushed the case forward, eventually getting Hiss convicted of perjury and jailed. At the age of thirty-five, Nixon was a national figure, and he rode this fame to an easy victory in his senate race against three-term Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas in 1950, once again adopting a communist-baiting campaign strategy. He accused Ms. Douglas, who opposed the activities of the House un-American Activities Committee, of being “pink right down to her underwear.

In return, Douglas dubbed Nixon with his long-time nickname, “Tricky Dick. ” Nixon was only in the US Senate for a year-and-a-half when, in 1952, the Republican national convention selected him to be General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s running mate. Much of Nixon’s success and notoriety up to that point had been built on the political and personal ruination of his honest Democratic foes, and Nixon was expected to do much of the dirty work of campaigning, leaving Eisenhower to take the “high road,” remaining pure and untarnished by messy politicking.

Nixon performed his task admirably, casting doubt on the abilities and patriotism of his and Eisenhower’s Democratic opponent, Adlai Stevenson. Nixon himself had to face close scrutiny during the campaign, and when the New York Post announced that he had received secret campaign contributions from wealthy sources, he was nearly pushed off the ticket. Instead of giving up, Nixon went on national, prime-time television and appealed directly to the voters. He delivered what has come to be known as the “Checkers Speech,” fully exposing his financial situation and revealing that he was not a wealthy man.

The speech was an unprecedented success, and thousands of telegrams of support were received by the Republican National Committee. Nixon remained on the ticket and became vice-president when Eisenhower overwhelming defeated Stevenson. When Eisenhower decided to run again in 1956, Nixon’s presence on the ticket was not assured; however, Nixon pressured the president into making a decision, refused Eisenhower’s offer of a cabinet position, and the Republican ticket once again contained Richard Milhous Nixon as the vice-presidential candidate.

In the second campaign, Nixon moved away from his muck-raking, communist-baiting techniques, and the press began speaking of a “New Nixon. ” Because of Eisenhower’s apparent support, Nixon was considered by many the Republican heir-apparent, and he became more active in his second term. Eisenhower sent him on tours of South America, where his motorcade was spat upon and attacked, and the Soviet Union, where Nixon challenged Nikita Kruschev to an impromptu debate, known as the “Kitchen Debates. ”

Nixon was unanimously nominated at the Republican convention in 1960, and only fourteen years after first running for office, he was one election away from the presidency. Many were confident of Nixon’s ability to win the election easily, being a prominent, national figure running against the young, inexperienced John F. Kennedy, who was little known nationally and had a reputation as a playboy inside Washington circles. Kennedy, however, took advantage of modern campaigning techniques, which employed the television more than personal contact, and he was given a big push by the first-ever televised presidential debates.

The healthy, attractive, charming Kennedy came off as strong, confident, and in control, while Nixon, who refused to wear make-up, looked haggard, almost ghost-like. The election was one of the closest in history, with Kennedy winning by only 100,000 votes nationwide. Some of the most crucial votes came in Cook County, Illinois, which was controlled by party boss Richard Daley, and many suspected election fraud, but Nixon refused to demand a recount, stating that it would be political suicide if he lost.

Nixon ran for governor of California in 1962, but he had never been a locally active politician and his years in Washington had made him out of touch with the situation in California. He lost soundly to incumbent Pat Brown. In a press conference shortly after the results were announced, Nixon berated the media for giving him a hard time since the Hiss case, urged greater fairness in political coverage, and claimed that this would be his last press conference. “You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore,” he said.

He took a job as a Wall Street lawyer, but soon tired of private life and took to the campaign trail in 1966, stumping successfully for Republican congressional candidates and bringing himself once again into the heart of Republican party affairs. After a grueling four-continent tour during which he familiarized himself with foreign affairs, the dogged Nixon was back in the electoral arena again, running for president a second time in 1968. Nixon avoided the tricky issue of the Vietnam War, stating only that he would find an “honorable end” to the war.

He let the Democrats, badly split over the war, tear themselves apart, further setting himself apart by running on a “Law and Order” campaign that blamed America’s most visible, divisive problems on the liberal Democrats. Nixon’s appeal to the “forgotten Americans,” who felt themselves ignored in the upheavals of the sixties, brought him a close victory over Hubert Humphrey. Presidency Upon election, Nixon pledged that he would bring America together, but his margin of victory had been slim and based mostly on white, middle-class, hawkish, and patriotic voters.

As president, he concentrated mostly on foreign affairs, hoping to bring about a generation of peace and a new world order. Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and John Erhlichman, a top campaign official and one of Nixon’s closest advisors, handled much of domestic policy and shielded Nixon from many of the irksome daily details of the administration, leaving Nixon free to concentrate on foreign policy. Nixon often by-passed the Defense and State Departments, instead working closely with National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, a former Harvard professor and newcomer to official foreign policy circles.

The Vietnam War, which had destroyed Nixon’s predecessor, was the major obstacle to the new president’s designs. Even before his inauguration, Nixon had Kissinger engage in secret peace talks with North Vietnam, hoping to speed American withdrawal from Vietnam. Early in his term, Nixon announced a gradual replacement of American fighting forces with South Vietnamese, planning to have all American troops out of Vietnam by the end of 1970.

However, Nixon did not want to be the first president to lose a war, and he could not be satisfied with a simple withdrawal from Vietnam, being convinced, as were many Americans, that abandoning South Vietnam to the communists would invite further communist aggression in the region. Nixon had to face a vigorous anti-war movement, and he appealed to the “silent majority,” another version of his “forgotten Americans,” who he felt supported his foreign policy. He pledged not to back down, and in early 1970 escalated the war, authorizing bombings on North Vietnam and attacks on Cambodia.

After his reelection, Nixon once again ordered an escalation in the bombings, which Alexander Haig, Kissinger’s deputy, described as “brutalizing” the north. Two weeks after the bombings began, Nixon announced that peace negotiations were soon to resume, and by January 28, 1973, a cease fire was established that allowed the US to remove its reaming 23,700 troops and end its twelve-year military involvement in Vietnam. Domestically, Nixon adhered to a standard Republican spending-cut program, cutting back and opposing federal welfare services and proposing antibusing legislation.

He also implemented the New Economic Policy, which called for a 10 percent tax on many imports, repeal of certain excise taxes, tax breaks for industries undertaking new investment, and a ninety-day freeze on wages, prices, and dividends designed to halt inflation. These policies were initially successful, causing American exports to become cheaper and improving the balance of trade, but when the wage and price commissions began to give way to pressures from both labor and business interests, inflation accelerated again, inaugurating a decade-long rise in the cost of living that negatively impacted many segments of American society.

But Nixon is best remembered for his foreign policy achievements, despite his failure to bring a speedy, or even “honorable,” end to the Vietnam War, and Kissinger’s inability to end the Middle East tensions that were brought on by Israel’s victory over Arab countries in the Six-Day War of 1967. Perhaps this notoriety is based on the fact that Nixon was one of the few presidents in American history who practiced foreign policy by design, setting certain goals and moving steadily, if sometimes secretly and ruthlessly, toward them, instead of merely reacting to the conditions of world affairs as had many chief executives in the past.

He repudiated his anti-Communist past and became the first US president to visit the Soviet Union when he traveled to Moscow in May of 1972. He sought peace with the opposing super-power and initiated negotiations with the Soviet Union to limit nuclear weapons, which resulted in the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT).

At the same time, he was making secret contact with the other great communist nation, the People’s Republic of China, which he visited publicly in February, 1972, thus opening official diplomatic relations with China for the first time since the communist takeover in 1949. Despite the finally-peaceful outcome of the Vietnam situation, and his diplomatic accomplishments, Nixon’s vicious, unrelenting policies and his blatant scoffing of the anti-war movement had ignited serious domestic upheavals, including the shooting of fifteen students at a Kent State anti-war demonstration.

The visible public dissatisfaction with the president, which could be seen outside the White House from 1970 on, exacerbated Nixon’s famous insecurity and brought out what some of his aide’s called Nixon’s “dark side. ” The paranoia that resulted led Nixon to form the Special Investigations Unit, known as the “plumbers,” an outfit illegally equipped by the CIA and sent on missions to embarrass and discredit potential Democratic opponents.

He also formed the Committee to RE-elect the President (CREEP), which collected $60 million, much in violation of existing campaign laws, and disbursed funds for “dirty tricks” which included tapping the phone of the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Nixon needed little of this help to secure re-election in 1972, as he faced a badly divided Democratic party headed by a self-righteous and indecisive George McGovern. Nixon won the election with 60. ercent of the vote, but a host of revelations in 1973 undermined Nixon’s presidency and finally brought him to resign. The involvement of the CIA, supposedly under Nixon’s direction, in a military coup that overthrew Chile’s Salvador Allende, the Western Hemisphere’s first popularly-elected Marxist, was exposed, and Vice-President Agnew was forced to resign when it was revealed that he had cheated on his income taxes and had taken more than $100,000 in payoffs from contractors between 1966 and 1972.

The IRS also disclosed that Nixon himself owed more than $400,000 in back taxes and penalties, and critics pointed out that the Nixon administration had raised subsidies to milk producers, who then donated over a half-million dollars to the Republican party. The final blow came when Nixon’s involvement in the plumbers’ Watergate burglary was revealed by investigative reporters. Nixon’s involvement was documented on audio tapes of White House conversations, which Nixon refused to turn over to investigators.

Nixon cited “executive privilege” and national security as reasons for keeping the tapes, but his appeal to the Supreme Court was rejected. A few days later, the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach the president on three counts. Nixon finally released the incriminating tapes, and over the next few days both Republican and Democratic Senators, enough to get a conviction, indicated that they would vote against the president if articles of impeachment were offered by the House. On August 9, 1974, before the House could vote to impeach him, Nixon resigned the presidency, the first incumbent ever to do so.

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