Search This Blog

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon was born on January 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California to Francis "Frank" Anthony Nixon and Hannah Milhous Nixon.

He was named after the medieval English king Richard the Lionheart.

The Nixon family ranch failed in 1922, and the family moved to Whittier, California where Frank Nixon opened a grocery store and gas station.

His mother was a devout Quaker and Richard's upbringing was marked by Quaker observances of the time, such as refraining from alcohol, dancing, and swearing.

Herbert Hoover was the only other United States President to belong to the Quaker faith.

Richard had four brothers: Harold (1909–33), Donald (1914–87), Arthur (1918–25), and Edward (born 1930).

Two of his brothers died of tuberculosis and at the age of twelve, Richard was found to have a spot on his lung. Eventually, the spot was found to be scar tissue from an early bout of pneumonia.

He went to local public schools. Richard graduated from Whittier High third in his class of 207 students in 1930.

Nixon at Whittier High School in 1930.

He attended Whittier College from 1930-34 and graduated with a history degree.

Nixon graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1937, returning to California to practice law.


Nixon began practicing law in 1937. He tried his hand at owning a business which failed.

He served in the United States Navy during World War II, rising to become a lieutenant commander before resigning in March 1946.


Richard Nixon first entered politics after  answering a newspaper ad from a wealthy Republican group of businessmen seeking a new inexperienced candidate to finance and support.

In 1947, Nixon was elected a U.S. Representative. Then, in 1950 he became a U.S. Senator.

Nixon campaigns for the Senate in 1950

When in the House, he was a member of House Un-American Activities Commission, a group of Congressmen that tried to expose people in the United States who might have been Communists.

Nixon's pursuit of the Hiss Case established his reputation as a leading anti-communist, and elevated him to national prominence.

He served in that capacity until being elected Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower in 1953.

People accused Nixon of receiving illegal money contributions to his Republican vice-presidency campaign. On September 23, 1952, in one of the first political uses of television to appeal directly to the populace, Richard Nixon delivered the "Checkers speech", refuting accusations of improprieties with contributions to his campaign. Nixon said the family Cocker Spaniel, Checkers ,was the only gift he'd received "The kids love that dog, and I want to say right now that regardless of what they say, we're going to keep it," he declared.

Nixon served for eight years as vice president, from 1953 to 1961.

Nixon waged an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy.
Nixon's presidential campaign wasn't helped by his appearance during their TV debates. Whilst Kennedy looked tanned and good-looking, Nixon unwisely refused to use any TV make up and looked tired and haggard in comparison, which didn't help his cause.

 In 1962, Nixon lost the election for governor of California to Pat Brown. After losing, Nixon said "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore", leading many experts to say that Nixon's political career was over.


In 1968, Richard Nixon became the Republican candidate for President with Spiro Agnew as his Vice President. He defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey and American Independent George Wallace. Nixon received 43% of the popular vote and 301 electoral votes.

Richard Nixon chose the Wilson desk as his Oval Office desk because he believed it was used by Woodrow Wilson, but it was actually used by Henry Wilson, Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant.

Richard M. Nixon

Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972 opened diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Nixon initially escalated the Vietnam War, but ended US involvement in 1973.

Richard Nixon was the first person to make a phone call to the moon, when he spoke with Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

Though he presided over Apollo 11, he scaled back manned space exploration.

In 1972, Nixon was the obvious choice for renomination with Agnew as his running mate again. He was opposed by Democrat George McGovern. He won with 61% of the vote and 520 electoral votes.

Richard Nixon is the only person in US history to be elected Vice President twice and President twice.

A scandal called "Watergate" in which Nixon attempted to protect men ordered to burglarize the Democratic National Headquarters cost him much of his political support in his second term. On August 8, 1974, Richard Nixon announced he was resigning — the first USA President to do so — in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

Nixon announces the release of edited transcripts of the Watergate tapes, April 29, 1974.

Richard Nixon was the first President to visit all 50 states.

Richard Millhouse Nixon was the first US president whose name contains all the letters from the word "criminal." The second was William Jefferson Clinton.


Richard Nixon was an excellent poker player. He was so good that his first campaign for the House of Representatives was mostly funded by $,6,000 poker winnings from his time in the navy.

Nixon was an accomplished pianist. He wrote his own concerto, aptly titled "Richard Nixon Piano Concerto #1," which he played on primetime TV's Jack Paar Program in 1963.

Nixon showcased his pianist skills at other various events including playing "God Bless America" on the Grand Ole Opry stage and accompanying singer Pearl Bailey in a performance at the White House.

Richard Nixon first became acquainted with red haired Pat Ryan at a Little Theater group when they were cast together in The Dark Tower. He asked Pat Ryan to marry him the first night they went out.

Nixon courted the redhead he called his "wild Irish Gypsy" for two years and they married at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California, on June 21, 1940.

They had two daughters, Patricia, known as Tricia, and Julie.

Nixon was very fond of his wife's home-made meatloaf and had a liking for the curious combination of cottage cheese and ketchup.

Although Pat Nixon was a Methodist and Richard Nixon was a Quaker, they attended whichever Protestant Church was nearest to their home, especially after moving to Washington.

Photo of First Lady Pat Nixon

During his time at the White House Nixon had as pets Vicky, a French poodle, Pasha a terrier, and King Timahoe, an Irish setter.


After Richard Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, he retired to San Clemente, California.

In 1974, Nixon was pardoned by President Gerald Ford.

After his downfall, Nixon submitted to a series of interviews by David Frost, which later became a play and movie, Frost/Nixon.

In retirement, Nixon's work as an elder statesman, authoring several books and undertaking many foreign trips, helped to rehabilitate his public image.

Nixon died of a stroke on April 22, 1994 ten months after his wife Pat passed away.

Nixon's funeral took place on April 27, 1994 in Yorba Linda, California. In attendance were current President Bill Clinton and former Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H. W. Bush,  all with their wives.

Five U.S. presidents  attend the funeral of Richard Nixon

No comments:

Post a Comment