204 Facts About Nixon


Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th president of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974.

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Nixon was born into a poor family of Quakers in a small town in Southern California.

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Nixon graduated from Duke Law School in 1937, practiced law in California, then moved with his wife Pat to Washington in 1942 to work for the federal government.

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Nixon was the running mate of Dwight D Eisenhower, the Republican Party's presidential nominee in the 1952 election, and served for eight years as the vice president.

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Nixon ran for president in 1960, narrowly lost to John F Kennedy, then failed again in a 1962 race for governor of California, after which it was widely believed that his political career was over.

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Nixon ended American involvement in Vietnam combat in 1973, and with it, the military draft, that same year.

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Nixon's visit to China in 1972 eventually led to diplomatic relations between the two nations, and he then concluded the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union.

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Nixon presided over the Apollo 11 Moon landing, which signaled the end of the Space Race.

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Nixon was re-elected with a historic electoral landslide in 1972 when he defeated George McGovern.

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Nixon undertook many foreign trips, rehabilitating his image into that of an elder statesman and leading expert on foreign affairs.

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Nixon suffered a debilitating stroke on April 18,1994, and died four days later at age 81.

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Richard Milhous Nixon was born on January 9,1913, in what was then the township precinct of Yorba Linda, California, in a house built by his father, located on his family's lemon ranch.

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Nixon's mother was a Quaker, and his father converted from Methodism to the Quaker faith.

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Nixon's upbringing was influenced by Quaker observances of the time such as abstinence from alcohol, dancing, and swearing.

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Four of the five Nixon boys were named after kings who had ruled in medieval or legendary Britain; Richard, for example, was named after Richard the Lionheart.

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Nixon attended East Whittier Elementary School, where he was president of his eighth-grade class.

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Nixon played junior varsity football, and seldom missed a practice, though he rarely was used in games.

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Nixon had greater success as a debater, winning a number of championships and taking his only formal tutelage in public speaking from Fullerton's Head of English, H Lynn Sheller.

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At the start of his junior year in September 1928, Nixon's parents permitted him to transfer to Whittier High School.

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At Whittier, Nixon suffered his first election defeat when he lost his bid for student body president.

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Nixon then drove to the store to wash and display them before going to school.

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Nevertheless, Nixon graduated from Whittier High third in his class of 207.

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Nixon was offered a tuition grant to attend Harvard University, but with Harold's continued illness requiring his mother's care, Richard was needed at the store.

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Nixon remained in his hometown, enrolled at Whittier College in September 1930, and his expenses were met by a bequest from his maternal grandfather.

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Nixon played for the basketball team; he tried out for football, and though he lacked the size to play, he remained on the team as a substitute and was noted for his enthusiasm.

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Nixon was snubbed by the only one for men, the Franklins, many of whom were from prominent families, unlike Nixon.

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Nixon responded by helping to found a new society, the Orthogonian Society.

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Nixon kept his scholarship, was elected president of the Duke Bar Association, inducted into the Order of the Coif, and graduated third in his class in June 1937.

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Nixon received no response to his letter of application, and learned years later that he had been hired, but his appointment had been canceled at the last minute due to budget cuts.

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Nixon returned to California, was admitted to the California bar in 1937, and began practicing in Whittier with the law firm Wingert and Bewley.

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Nixon's work concentrated on commercial litigation for local petroleum companies and other corporate matters, as well as on wills.

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In later years, Nixon proudly said he was the only modern president to have previously worked as a practicing attorney.

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In January 1938 Nixon was cast in the Whittier Community Players production of The Dark Tower.

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Nixon described it in his memoirs as "a case of love at first sight"—for Nixon only, as Pat Ryan turned down the young lawyer several times before agreeing to date him.

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Once they began their courtship, Ryan was reluctant to marry Nixon; they dated for two years before she assented to his proposal.

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Nixon was assigned to the tire rationing division, where he was tasked with replying to correspondence.

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Nixon did not enjoy the role, and four months later applied to join the United States Navy.

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Nixon's application was approved, and he was appointed a lieutenant junior grade in the United States Naval Reserve on June 15,1942.

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Later, Nixon was transferred to other offices to work on contracts and finally to Baltimore.

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Nixon flew to California and was selected by the committee.

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Nixon contended that Voorhis had been ineffective as a representative and suggested that Voorhis's endorsement by a group linked to Communists meant that Voorhis must have radical views.

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Nixon won the election, receiving 65,586 votes to Voorhis's 49,994.

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In June 1947, Nixon supported the Taft–Hartley Act, a federal law that monitors the activities and power of labor unions, and he served on the Education and Labor Committee.

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Nixon was the youngest member of the committee and the only Westerner.

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On February 18,1947, Nixon referred to Eisler's belligerence toward HUAC in his maiden speech to the House.

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The Nixon Library cites this bill's passage as Nixon's first significant victory in Congress.

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Nixon first gained national attention in August 1948, when his persistence as a HUAC member helped break the Alger Hiss spy case.

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In 1948, Nixon successfully cross-filed as a candidate in his district, winning both major party primaries, and was comfortably reelected.

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In 1949, Nixon began to consider running for the United States Senate against the Democratic incumbent, Sheridan Downey, and entered the race in November.

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Nixon and Douglas won the primary elections and engaged in a contentious campaign in which the ongoing Korean War was a major issue.

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Nixon tried to focus attention on Douglas's liberal voting record.

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Nixon maintained friendly relations with his fellow anti-communist, controversial Wisconsin senator Joseph McCarthy, but was careful to keep some distance between himself and McCarthy's allegations.

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Nixon criticized President Harry S Truman's handling of the Korean War.

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Nixon supported statehood for Alaska and Hawaii, voted in favor of civil rights for minorities, and supported federal disaster relief for India and Yugoslavia.

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Nixon voted against price controls and other monetary restrictions, benefits for illegal immigrants, and public power.

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Nixon had no strong preference for a vice-presidential candidate, and Republican officeholders and party officials met in a "smoke-filled room" and recommended Nixon to the general, who agreed to the senator's selection.

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Nixon emotionally defended himself, stating that the fund was not secret, nor had donors received special favors.

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Nixon painted himself as a man of modest means and a patriot.

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Nixon attended Cabinet and National Security Council meetings and chaired them in Eisenhower's absence.

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On his return to the United States at the end of 1953, Nixon increased the time he devoted to foreign relations.

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Nonetheless, Nixon acted in Eisenhower's stead during this period, presiding over Cabinet meetings and ensuring that aides and Cabinet officers did not seek power.

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Nixon's spirits buoyed, Nixon sought a second term, but some of Eisenhower's aides aimed to displace him.

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Eisenhower and Nixon were reelected by a comfortable margin in the November 1956 election.

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In early 1957, Nixon undertook another foreign trip, this time to Africa.

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Nixon advised the President to sign the bill, which he did.

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Eisenhower suffered a mild stroke in November 1957, and Nixon gave a press conference, assuring the nation that the Cabinet was functioning well as a team during Eisenhower's brief illness.

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In Montevideo, Uruguay, Nixon made an impromptu visit to a college campus, where he fielded questions from students on US foreign policy.

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The trip was uneventful until the Nixon party reached Lima, Peru, where he was met with student demonstrations.

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Nixon went to the historical campus of National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, got out of his car to confront the students, and stayed until forced back into the car by a volley of thrown objects.

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At his hotel, Nixon faced another mob, and one demonstrator spat on him.

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In 1960 Nixon launched his first campaign for President of the United States.

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Nixon faced little opposition in the Republican primaries and chose former Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.

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Nixon campaigned on his experience, but Kennedy called for new blood and claimed the Eisenhower–Nixon administration had allowed the Soviet Union to overtake the US in ballistic missiles.

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The campaign was clouded by public suspicion that Nixon viewed the office as a stepping stone for another presidential run, some opposition from the far-right of the party, and his own lack of interest in being California's governor.

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Nixon hoped a successful run would confirm his status as the nation's leading active Republican politician, and ensure he remained a major player in national politics.

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In 1963 the Nixon family traveled to Europe, where Nixon gave press conferences and met with leaders of the countries he visited.

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In 1964, Nixon won write-in votes in the primaries, and was considered a serious contender by both Gallup polls and members of the press.

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Nixon was even placed on a primary ballot as an active candidate by Oregon's secretary of state.

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Nevertheless, as late as two months before the 1964 Republican National Convention, Nixon fulfilled his promise to remain out of the presidential nomination process and instead gave his support to the eventual Republican nominee, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater.

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Nixon was one of the few leading Republicans not blamed for the disastrous results, and he sought to build on that in the 1966 Congressional elections.

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Nixon campaigned for many Republicans, seeking to regain seats lost in the Johnson landslide, and received credit for helping the Republicans make major gains that year.

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Pat Nixon did not always enjoy public life, being embarrassed, for example, by the need to reveal how little the family owned in the Checkers speech.

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Nixon still managed to be supportive of her husband's ambitions.

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Nixon believed that with the Democrats torn over the issue of the Vietnam War, a Republican had a good chance of winning, although he expected the election to be as close as in 1960.

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Nixon selected Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew as his running mate, a choice which Nixon believed would unite the party, appealing both to Northern moderates and to Southerners disaffected with the Democrats.

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Nixon appealed to what he later called the "silent majority" of socially conservative Americans who disliked the hippie counterculture and the anti-war demonstrators.

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Nixon waged a prominent television advertising campaign, meeting with supporters in front of cameras.

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Nixon stressed that the crime rate was too high, and attacked what he perceived as a surrender of the United States' nuclear superiority by the Democrats.

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Nixon promised "peace with honor" in the Vietnam War and proclaimed that "new leadership will end the war and win the peace in the Pacific".

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Nixon did not give specifics of how he hoped to end the war, resulting in media intimations that he must have a "secret plan".

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On October 22,1968, candidate Nixon received information that Johnson was preparing a so-called "October surprise", abandoning three non-negotiable conditions for a bombing halt, to help elect Humphrey in the last days of the campaign.

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Whether the Nixon campaign interfered with negotiations between the Johnson administration and the South Vietnamese by engaging Anna Chennault, a fundraiser for the Republican party, remains a controversy.

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Nixon became the first non-incumbent vice president to be elected president.

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Nixon was inaugurated as president on January 20,1969, sworn in by his onetime political rival, Chief Justice Earl Warren.

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Nixon spoke about turning partisan politics into a new age of unity:.

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Nixon followed up by sending Kissinger to China for clandestine meetings with Chinese officials.

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Nixon made a point of shaking Zhou's hand, something which then-Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had refused to do in 1954 when the two met in Geneva.

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Nixon said he was suspicious of Kissinger, though the National Security Advisor referred to their meeting as his "encounter with history".

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The following day, Nixon met with Zhou; the joint communique following this meeting recognized Taiwan as a part of China and looked forward to a peaceful solution to the problem of reunification.

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Americans took their first glance into everyday Chinese life through the cameras that accompanied Pat Nixon, who toured the city of Beijing and visited communes, schools, factories, and hospitals.

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When Nixon took office, about 300 American soldiers were dying each week in Vietnam, and the war was widely unpopular in the United States, the subject of ongoing violent protests.

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Nixon sought an arrangement that would permit American forces to withdraw while leaving South Vietnam secure against attack.

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Nixon approved a secret B-52 carpet bombing campaign of North Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge positions in Cambodia beginning in March 1969 and code-named Operation Menu, without the consent of Cambodian leader Norodom Sihanouk.

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In mid-1969, Nixon began efforts to negotiate peace with the North Vietnamese, sending a personal letter to their leaders, and peace talks began in Paris.

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In July 1969, Nixon visited South Vietnam, where he met with his US military commanders and President Nguyen Van Thieu.

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Nixon soon instituted phased US troop withdrawals, but authorized incursions into Laos, in part to interrupt the Ho Chi Minh trail passing through Laos and Cambodia and used to supply North Vietnamese forces.

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Nixon announced the ground invasion of Cambodia on April 30,1970, against North Vietnamese bases in the east of the country, and further protests erupted against perceived expansion of the conflict, which resulted in Ohio National Guardsmen killing four unarmed students at Kent State University.

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When news of the leak first appeared, Nixon was inclined to do nothing; the Papers, a history of United States' involvement in Vietnam, mostly concerned the lies of prior administrations and contained few real revelations.

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Nixon was persuaded by Kissinger that the Papers were more harmful than they appeared, and the President tried to prevent publication, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the newspapers.

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Nixon had been a firm supporter of Kennedy during the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion and 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

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Nixon maintained close relations with the Cuban-American exile community through his friend, Bebe Rebozo, who often suggested ways of irritating Castro.

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Nixon used the improving international environment to address the topic of nuclear peace.

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In 1973, Nixon encouraged the Export-Import Bank to finance in part a trade deal with the Soviet Union in which Armand Hammer's Occidental Petroleum would export phosphate from Florida to the Soviet Union, and import Soviet ammonia.

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In 1973, Nixon announced his administration was committed to seeking most favored nation trade status with the USSR, which was challenged by Congress in the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

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Nixon believed Israel should make peace with its Arab neighbors and that the US should encourage it.

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Israel suffered heavy losses and Nixon ordered an airlift to resupply Israeli losses, cutting through inter-departmental squabbles and bureaucracy and taking personal responsibility for any response by Arab nations.

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When Soviet Premier Brezhnev threatened to unilaterally enforce any peacekeeping mission militarily, Nixon ordered the US military to DEFCON3, placing all US military personnel and bases on alert for nuclear war.

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Nixon made one of his final international visits as president to the Middle East in June 1974, and became the first President to visit Israel.

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Nixon was far more interested in foreign affairs than domestic policies, but he believed that voters tend to focus on their own financial condition and that economic conditions were a threat to his reelection.

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In 1970, Congress had granted the president the power to impose wage and price freezes, though the Democratic majorities, knowing Nixon had opposed such controls throughout his career, did not expect Nixon to actually use the authority.

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Nixon's options were to limit fiscal and monetary expansionist policies that reduced unemployment or end the dollar's fixed exchange rate; Nixon's dilemma has been cited as an example of the Impossible trinity in international economics.

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Nixon then announced temporary wage and price controls, allowed the dollar to float against other currencies, and ended the convertibility of the dollar into gold.

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Nixon's policies dampened inflation through 1972, although their aftereffects contributed to inflation during his second term and into the Ford administration.

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Nixon advocated a "New Federalism", which would devolve power to state and local elected officials, though Congress was hostile to these ideas and enacted few of them.

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Nixon eliminated the Cabinet-level United States Post Office Department, which in 1971 became the government-run United States Postal Service.

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Nixon broke new ground by discussing environmental policy in his State of the Union speech in 1970.

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Nixon saw that the first Earth Day in April 1970 presaged a wave of voter interest on the subject, and sought to use that to his benefit; in June he announced the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Nixon vetoed the Clean Water Act of 1972—objecting not to the policy goals of the legislation but to the amount of money to be spent on them, which he deemed excessive.

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In 1971, Nixon proposed health insurance reform—a private health insurance employer mandate, federalization of Medicaid for poor families with dependent minor children, and support for health maintenance organizations.

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In 1974, Nixon proposed more comprehensive health insurance reform—a private health insurance employer mandate and replacement of Medicaid by state-run health insurance plans available to all, with income-based premiums and cost sharing.

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Nixon was concerned about the prevalence of domestic drug use in addition to drug use among American soldiers in Vietnam.

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Nixon called for a War on Drugs and pledged to cut off sources of supply abroad.

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Nixon presidency witnessed the first large-scale integration of public schools in the South.

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Nixon sought a middle way between the segregationist Wallace and liberal Democrats, whose support of integration was alienating some Southern whites.

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Federal aid was available, and a meeting with President Nixon was a possible reward for compliant committees.

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Nixon opposed busing personally but enforced court orders requiring its use.

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Some scholars, such as James Morton Turner and John Isenberg, believe that Nixon, who had advocated for civil rights in his 1960 campaign, slowed down desegregation as president, appealing to the racial conservatism of Southern whites, who were angered by the civil rights movement.

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Nixon endorsed the Equal Rights Amendment after it passed both houses of Congress in 1972 and went to the states for ratification.

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Nixon pushed for African American civil rights and economic equity through a concept known as black capitalism.

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Nixon had campaigned as an ERA supporter in 1968, though feminists criticized him for doing little to help the ERA or their cause after his election.

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Nixon spoke with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during their moonwalk.

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Nixon called the conversation "the most historic phone call ever made from the White House".

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Nixon was unwilling to keep funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at the high level seen during the 1960s as NASA prepared to send men to the Moon.

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Nixon canceled the Air Force Manned Orbital Laboratory program in 1969, because unmanned spy satellites were a more cost-effective way to achieve the same reconnaissance objective.

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On May 24,1972, Nixon approved a five-year cooperative program between NASA and the Soviet space program, culminating in the 1975 joint mission of an American Apollo and Soviet Soyuz spacecraft linking in space.

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Nixon believed his rise to power had peaked at a moment of political realignment.

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Nixon nominated two Southern conservatives, Clement Haynsworth and G Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court, but neither was confirmed by the Senate.

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Nixon entered his name on the New Hampshire primary ballot on January 5,1972, effectively announcing his candidacy for reelection.

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The following month, Nixon was renominated at the 1972 Republican National Convention.

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Nixon was ahead in most polls for the entire election cycle, and was reelected on November 7,1972, in one of the largest landslide election victories in American history.

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Nixon downplayed the scandal as mere politics, calling news articles biased and misleading.

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In July 1973, White House aide Alexander Butterfield testified under oath to Congress that Nixon had a secret taping system and recorded his conversations and phone calls in the Oval Office.

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In November, Nixon's lawyers revealed that a tape of conversations held in the White House on June 20,1972, had an.

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Nixon admitted he had made mistakes but insisted he had no prior knowledge of the burglary, did not break any laws, and did not learn of the cover-up until early 1973.

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One researcher suggests Nixon effectively disengaged from his own administration after Ford was sworn in as vice president on December 6,1973.

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Legal battle over the tapes continued through early 1974, and in April Nixon announced the release of 1,200 pages of transcripts of White House conversations between himself and his aides.

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In light of his loss of political support and the near-certainty that he would be impeached and removed from office, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9,1974, after addressing the nation on television the previous evening.

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Nixon said he was resigning for the good of the country and asked the nation to support the new president, Gerald Ford.

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Nixon went on to review the accomplishments of his presidency, especially in foreign policy.

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Nixon defended his record as president, quoting from Theodore Roosevelt's 1910 speech Citizenship in a Republic:.

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Nixon's speech received generally favorable initial responses from network commentators, with only Roger Mudd of CBS stating that Nixon had not admitted wrongdoing.

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Nixon left while devoting half his address to a recitation of his accomplishments in office.

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Nixon's resignation had not put an end to the desire among many to see him punished.

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Nixon, contacted by Ford emissaries, was initially reluctant to accept the pardon, but then agreed to do so.

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Ford insisted on a statement of contrition, but Nixon felt he had not committed any crimes and should not have to issue such a document.

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Nixon was under subpoena for the trial of three of his former aides—Dean, Haldeman, and John Ehrlichman—and The Washington Post, disbelieving his illness, printed a cartoon showing Nixon with a cast on the "wrong foot".

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Congress instructed Ford to retain Nixon's presidential papers—beginning a three-decade legal battle over the documents that was eventually won by the former president and his estate.

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In December 1974, Nixon began planning his comeback despite the considerable ill will against him in the country.

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Nixon maintained an office in a Coast Guard station 300 yards from his home, at first taking a golf cart and later walking the route each day; he mainly worked on his memoirs.

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Nixon had hoped to wait before writing his memoirs; the fact that his assets were being eaten away by expenses and lawyer fees compelled him to begin work quickly.

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Nixon had wanted to return to China but chose to wait until after Ford's own visit in 1975.

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Nixon remained neutral in the close 1976 primary battle between Ford and Reagan.

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The Carter administration had little use for Nixon and blocked his planned trip to Australia, causing the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser to withhold its official invitation.

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In 1976, Nixon was disbarred by the New York State Bar Association for obstruction of justice in the Watergate affair.

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Nixon was welcomed by the Leader of the Opposition, Margaret Thatcher, as well as by former prime ministers Lord Home and Sir Harold Wilson.

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In 1978, Nixon published his memoirs, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, the first of ten books he was to author in his retirement.

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Nixon visited the White House in 1979, invited by Carter for the state dinner for Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping.

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Nixon had a private meeting with Deng and visited Beijing again in mid-1979.

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Nixon supported Ronald Reagan for president in 1980, making television appearances portraying himself as, in biographer Stephen Ambrose's words, "the senior statesman above the fray".

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Nixon wrote guest articles for many publications both during the campaign and after Reagan's victory.

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Nixon joined former Presidents Ford and Carter as representatives of the United States at the funeral of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

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Nixon visited the Soviet Union in 1986 and on his return sent President Reagan a lengthy memorandum containing foreign policy suggestions and his personal impressions of Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.

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In 1986, Nixon addressed a convention of newspaper publishers, impressing his audience with his tour d'horizon of the world.

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Former President Nixon was distraught throughout the interment and delivered a tribute to her inside the library building.

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Nixon suffered a severe stroke on April 18,1994, while preparing to eat dinner in his home at Park Ridge, New Jersey.

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Nixon was taken to New York Hospital–Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan, initially alert but unable to speak or to move his right arm or leg.

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Nixon's funeral took place on April 27,1994, in Yorba Linda, California.

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Richard Nixon was buried beside his wife Pat on the grounds of the Nixon Library.

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Nixon was survived by his two daughters, Tricia and Julie, and four grandchildren.

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At its peak, the line to pass by Nixon's casket was three miles long with an estimated 42,000 people waiting.

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Clinton, whose wife served on the staff of the committee that voted to impeach Nixon, met openly with him and regularly sought his advice.

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Tom Wicker of The New York Times noted that Nixon had been equalled only by Franklin Roosevelt in being five times nominated on a major party ticket and, quoting Nixon's 1962 farewell speech, wrote,.

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Richard Nixon's jowly, beard-shadowed face, the ski-jump nose and the widow's peak, the arms upstretched in the V-sign, had been so often pictured and caricatured, his presence had become such a familiar one in the land, he had been so often in the heat of controversy, that it was hard to realize the nation really would not "have Nixon to kick around anymore".

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Hunter S Thompson wrote a scathing piece denouncing Nixon for Rolling Stone, entitled "He Was a Crook".

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Nixon himself did not consider the environmental advances he made in office an important part of his legacy; some historians contend that his choices were driven more by political expediency than any strong environmentalism.

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Nixon saw his policies on Vietnam, China, and the Soviet Union as central to his place in history.

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Historian Keith W Olson has written that Nixon left a legacy of fundamental mistrust of government, rooted in Vietnam and Watergate.

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Nixon's career was frequently dogged by his persona and the public's perception of it.

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Nixon was often portrayed with unshaven jowls, slumped shoulders, and a furrowed, sweaty brow.

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Nixon had a complex personality, both very secretive and awkward, yet strikingly reflective about himself.

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Nixon was inclined to distance himself from people and was formal in all aspects, wearing a coat and tie even when home alone.

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Nixon thought that was what had brought him to the edge of greatness.

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Haldeman, Nixon said that Washington was "full of Jews" and that "most Jews are disloyal", making exceptions for some of his top aides.

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Nixon believed that putting distance between himself and other people was necessary for him as he advanced in his political career and became president.

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