Richard M. Nixon
Numerous articles and books have been written, and plays and
films produced, on Richard Nixon. Much
of that work, however, has focused on Watergate and
The Miller Center at the University of Virginia is a wonderful source for political history. Go to http://millercenter.virginia.edu/ and note especially the link http://www.whitehousetapes.org/, where you may find audio links of the presidents’ voices. Actors often listen to recordings and watch films and video of historical characters they are portraying in order to understand their characters better.
Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace: http://www.nixonfoundation.org/
Biography of President Richard Nixon
The 37th President of
1942 he applied for and received a Navy commission and was assigned to duty in
the Pacific. He won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1946; in 1948 he took
the lead role, as a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, in
investigating espionage charges against Alger Hiss, who had spied for the
After a painstaking
political comeback that astonished political friends and foes alike, he was
elected President in 1968 winning re-election in 1972 by an historic margin.
While in office he opened the door to the People's Republic of
The central event of the the years Richard Nixon served as President --influencing virtually every aspect of U.S. foreign and domestic policy, causing substantial cultural and social upheaval, and leading ultimately to Watergate -- was the Vietnam war.
President Nixon took office in January 1969, he became responsible for the
lives of 540,000 young Americans who had been sent to
In January 1973, the
Paris Peace Accords were signed, ending direct
A few months after the war ended, President Nixon was charged with complicity in blocking the FBI's investigation of the June 1972 Watergate break-in. In a political atmosphere made even more corrosive by Democratic control of Congress, residual tension over Vietnam, and the nation's deepening economic and energy-supply woes, the investigation was broadened to include matters ranging from the President's conduct of the Vietnam war to his income tax returns and security expenditures ordered by the Secret Service at his and Mrs. Nixon's personal residences.
After the House
Judiciary Committee passed three Articles of Impeachment in July 1974 and the
Supreme Court ordered the release of White House tapes that appeared to
implicate the President further in Watergate, he decided to resign on
after Watergate, meanwhile, Congress drastically cut aid to
he resigned the Presidency, President and Mrs. Nixon returned to their home in
President Nixon traveled throughout the
In the spring of 1991,
after his first meeting with Boris Yeltsin in
His ten books, all bestsellers, include Six Crises (1962); his memoirs; and his last, Beyond Peace (May 1994). In 1985, he became the first former President voluntarily to give up lifetime Secret Service protection, saving taxpayers $3 million a year.
Dole had been part of a Republican minority in 1975 that had decried Democrats'
decision to abandon
Inside Look at Richard Nixon's Life
This 9 minute
video project was produced by President Nixon's 16 year-old granddaughter,
Melanie Eisenhower, daughter of Julie Nixon Eisenhower and David Eisenhower,
for her 11th grade AP American History class. Miss Eisenhower used
her high school's television studio to complete the project.
Music includes "Shambala" written by Danny Moore, performed by Three Dog Night, and "
Download a copy of this biography:
Birth certificate does not give a birth weight --- Complete Book of U.S. Presidents says he weighed 11 pounds.
Constitution Oratorical Champion, 1928 – Represented West Coast in National Oratorical Contest.
Constitutional Oratorical Champion, 1929 and 1930.
General Manager of Student Body – 1930.
Interscholastic Federation Gold Seal Award for scholarship
Harvard Award for best all-around student
1st in Class with honors
Majored in history and government
Graduated 2nd in his class
Member Southern Conference Championship Debating Team, 1933
Southern Conference Intercollegiate extemporaneous speaking champion, 1934
President of Class, 1930
Vice-president of Student Body, 1933
Student Body President, 1934
First President of Orthogonians (known as the “Square Shooters”)
Majored in Constitutional law, Administrative Law, and Federal Taxation
3rd in Class
Order of Coif – National Scholastic Fraternity for honor law students
Admitted to Bar
in 1937 –
June 1942 – March 1944
at Naval Air Base in
South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command (SCAT) and served at Lavella,
to Fleet Air Wing 8 –
to Navy Department of Aeronautics,
for Meritorious and Efficient Performance at
Nixon Grocery – helped out in family business --- would go
Joined Wingert & Bewley in
After two years, became junior partner in Bewley, Knoop, & Nixon.
1940 – Joined with other businessmen in forming Citra-Frost Company for manufacturing frozen orange juice – (failed in two years).
Jan.-June. – Tire rationing section of Office of Price Administration in
1961 – Joined
the law firm of Adams, Duque & Hazeltine in
1963 – Joined the law firm of Mudge, Stern, Baldwin, & Todd which later became known as Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, and Alexander.
1974 – Private citizen.
Member of Board
President Whittier 20-30 Club, 1939
University Alumni Association of
U.S. Congressman (Room 528 –
September, 1952: Nixon’s Checkers Speech
No other vice presidential candidate,
not even Theodore
Nixon included in the broadcast, though, two sections that greatly irritated Eisenhower. First, Nixon demanded that all candidates do what he was doing—open their finances to public inspection. Eisenhower had always been very private about his wealth and income and did not welcome this move. Second, at the end, instead of resigning from the ticket, Nixon put the decision in the hands of the Republican National Committee, which, it so happened, was stacked with numerous Nixon supporters. It was an audacious political-power move, and Eisenhower saw it as such.
Thus, in many respects, the Checkers Speech made both politicians wary of the other and, perhaps, set a tone for the next 8 years that undermined their relationship.
Note: The $18,000 slush fund in 1952 would be $128,000 in 2005.
See this link for the text and a portion of the broadcast: http://www.watergate.info/nixon/checkers-speech.shtml
See this link for text and complete audio: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/richardnixoncheckers.html
This is another link with the text, including the announcer lead-in: http://flag.blackened.net/daver/misc/checkers.html
Pat Hillings on Hannah Nixon's telegram http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/37_nixon/filmmore/ra_telegram.html
Richard Nixon has been featured on 48 Time Magazine covers; another 6 featured topics closely related to Nixon. You may click the photos below for larger ones.
PBS The American Experience Richard M. Nixon
Web site ©1997-2002 WGBH Educational Foundation.
Roger Morris on Nixon's ambition
PBS American Experience The Presidents Film
I think his ambition is undoubtedly rooted in part in the example of his father who was an enormously hard worker. It's certainly fueled by his mother ambition, which is very substantial. Hannah Nixon is, I think, forever trying to make up for the, not a bad marriage in an emotional sense, but a bad marriage in a social and economic sense. She wants success for all her sons and especially for this middle son who is patently talented and has this drive anyway. In part, it's fed by all of the peer reinforcement and pressure which comes of a small community which begins to celebrate the achievements of this, not quite prodigy, but obviously talented child.
Roger Morris on Nixon's opponents http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/37_nixon/filmmore/ra_politician.html
There's a real
sense that here's someone who's ticketed for something big and his opponents in
the Democratic Party and the liberals of Southern California, I think sensed
that, if not know it very early on. So there's a great feeling of uneasiness
and dismay about how far and how fast he's climbing. But these are because of
the combination of smear politics in
Pat Hillings on
Nixon and the Jews
Nixon and the Jews
Mr. Greenberg writes Slate's "History Lesson." He is finishing a book about Richard Nixon's place in American culture.
Richard Nixon's reputation as a hateful, vindictive anti-Semite was reinforced late last month when the National Archives, which has been releasing the 3,700 hours of Nixon's tape-recorded White House conversations in installments since 1996, dropped another batch.
Nixon tapes are released, the next-day stories invariably highlight the most
outrageous tidbits, which typically include some anti-Jewish slurs. This
go-round was no exception. Along with Nixon's apparently unserious threat to
BG: This stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's
going down the drain.
RN: You believe that?
BG: Yes, sir.
RN: Oh, boy. So do I. I can't ever say that, but I believe it.
BG: No, but if you get elected a second time, then we might be able to do something.
As the Chicago
Tribune noted, Nixon, Graham, and Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman
also cracked anti-Semitic jokes, discussed which journalists were Jewish, and
As in the past, the recent reports of Nixon's Jew-bashing were followed by professions of shock. (The Anti-Defamation League's press release is here.) Such shows of indignation are probably on balance a good thing, reaffirming as they do that the president shouldn't be seeking revenge against a particular ethnic group. Yet they also betray either an incredibly short memory or a measure of disingenuousness. Have journalists forgotten the identical slurs heard on earlier tapes? Or the stories in 1994 reporting that, according to Haldeman's then-just-published diaries, Graham spoke to Nixon of "Satanic" Jews? Nixon's loyalists are no less opportunistic. For them the periodic disclosures serve as occasions to pen op-eds explaining why their benefactor, despite the slurs, really wasn't a Jew-hater. (The late Herb Stein, Nixon's [Jewish] chief economist, wrote one of these apologias in Slate.)
Defending Nixon from charges of anti-Semitism has occupied his supporters for a half-century. The accusations date to the postwar years, when the American right remained closely tied to the unvarnished anti-Semites of the '30s who railed against the "Jew Deal." Although Nixon never publicly voiced any of this old-fashioned bigotry, some of his political kinsmen did, and his strident anti-communism played with the Jew-hating fringe. (Extreme anti-communism always contained an anti-Semitic component: Radical, alien Jews, in their demonology, orchestrated the Communist conspiracy.) In Nixon's early campaigns, anti-Semitism was a latent theme.
When the Republicans nominated Nixon as their vice-presidential candidate in 1952, some opponents accused him of anti-Semitism. Nixon had Murray Chotiner, his (Jewish) campaign manager, secure the ADL's stamp of approval. Still, into the summer voters inundated campaign headquarters with letters asking about Nixon's feelings toward Jews. The candidate sometimes responded himself, with his characteristic earnestness. "I want to thank you for … your courtesy in calling my attention to the false rumor that I am anti-Semetic [sic]," he wrote in one reply. "I am enclosing a copy of a letter which Murray Chotiner has sent to these people which, I believe, is self-explanatory." The questions were kept alive by a brief flap over the revelation that in 1951 Nixon had bought a home whose deed prohibited its resale or rental to Jews. And they haunted him in his 1956, 1960, and 1962 campaigns as well. The anti-Semitism issue loomed large enough in the 1960 presidential race that Newsweek's Raymond Moley devoted a column to defending Nixon while New York's (Jewish) Sen. Jacob Javits did likewise on the Senate floor.
When Nixon was
elected president in 1968, a general feeling existed, said his (Jewish) aide
William Safire, that "Nixon just doesn't like Jews." To combat this
impression, Nixon loyalists emphasized things Nixon did that were "good
for the Jews." The main example was his delivery of arms to a besieged
What rendered the apologias untenable was the public release of White House tape transcripts during the 1974 Watergate endgame. Safire recalled that Arthur Burns, a (Jewish) friend whom Nixon appointed Federal Reserve chairman, "felt especially incensed about the ethnic slurs on the tapes. [Leonard] Garment, [Nixon's (Jewish) counsel], Stein and I all felt that sinking sensation in an especially personal way. It simply did not fit in with all we knew about Nixon's attitude toward Jews, and it fit perfectly with most Jews' suspicions of latent anti-Semitism in Nixon, which all of us had worked so hard to allay."
Since 1974, the publication of aides' memoirs and the release of more tapes have shown that Nixon made anti-Semitic references more often than Safire and others suspected. Sometimes, he simply grouped all Jews together in an unseemly way ("[Supporters of] the arts, you know—they're Jews, they're left wing—in other words, stay away"). Other times, he was more explicit (calling supporter Robert Vesco, who later fled the country to escape criminal charges, "a cheap kike"). Sometimes he chalked up nefarious behavior to Jews ("The IRS is full of Jews," he told Haldeman, when the IRS commenced an audit of the Rev. Billy Graham. "I think that's the reason they're after Graham, is the rich Jews").
At least once the anti-Semitism appears to have had hard consequences. As Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein first reported in The Final Days, and as White House memos later confirmed, Nixon feared that a "Jewish cabal" at the Bureau of Labor Statistics was skewing data to make him look bad, and he instructed his aide Fred Malek to tally up the Jewish employees at the bureau—a count that probably resulted in the demotion of two Jews. (It later forced Malek's own resignation from George Bush's 1988 presidential campaign.)
Still, Nixon's loyalists haven't shied from defending him. Garment has argued that Nixon's words on the tapes are just private mutterings, too fragmentary to allow the conclusion that he was anti-Semitic. Others have used the "some of his best aides were Jewish" rejoinder, pointing to Burns, Chotiner, Garment, Safire, Stein, and of course Henry Kissinger (about whom Nixon privately made anti-Semitic comments). Still others, including Nixon Library Director John Taylor in a 1999 letter to Slate, contend that when Nixon said "Jews," he really meant something like "anti-war liberals," at whom he was justifiably angry.
claims can be easily countered. To the dismissal of Nixon's remarks as just
"private," one could argue that private comments are actually more
revealing than public remarks of someone's true feelings, especially since
overt anti-Semitism has become taboo. And this response, like
Perhaps most important, all these apologias for Nixon seem aimed at keeping him free of some permanent stigma, of being branded with a scarlet A. But this is ultimately just a semantic concern. There's no way to settle whether Nixon was an anti-Semite—not just because you can't peer into someone's soul, but also because there's no litmus test for anti-Semitism. No, Nixon didn't hate all Jews personally, nor did he use unreconstructed Henry Ford-style anti-Jewish appeals—though, of course, virtually no major public figure in the last 50 years has. Yet clearly he thought and spoke of Jews as a group, more or less united in their opposition to him, possessing certain base and malign characteristics, and worthy of his scorn and hatred. You don't have to call that anti-Semitism if you don't want to. But there's no denying it represents a worldview deserving of the strongest reproach.
HNN: This column first appeared on Slate.com and is reprinted with permission of the author.
The following presents a sense of “politics” in
From history of the California Republican Assembly (CRA): background on the nomination in 1952: http://www.pa-ra.org/hist/page4.htm
Gearing Up Again
At the 18th Annual Convention
the November, 1951 Board of Directors meeting in
This move followed a similar action by 17 Republican leaders, including Nixon and Knowland.
Markell Baer presided over the 29th Annual Convention
of CRA in
Richmond, too, was skeptical of the
David Ingalls spoke on behalf of Senator Taft's presidential candidacy. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge spoke for Eisenhower. Harold Stassen spoke for himself. Senator Knowland delivered the main address.
the June 3 primary of 1952, the
In those days of cross-filing, Senator Knowland won the nomination of both parties, making his November run a mere formality.
The CRA, which had helped spawn the political career of Richard Nixon, and which made him a narrow choice for its senatorial endorsement in 1950, played another key role in his becoming the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 1952.
from a letter written by past CRA president Markell
Baer to fellow past-president Dick Krugh in 1975,
recall the intrigue of the 1952 National Convention in
that convention, I was appointed the Chief Page for
the way to
the Convention, I was finally assigned in charge of the special telephone from
the Convention to Warren's and Eisenhower's headquarters. The night when
Eisenhower was nominated, I first got a call for Earl Warren, and learned Earl
had been offered the Vice Presidency nomination and had promptly refused. Days
later, Eisenhower's office in
"With Earl's emphatic refusal to Eisenhower, I was told to get Senator Knowland. I did so, and he came to the office where I was and with his father walked up and down, arm in arm, discussing the matter. The father kept saying Bill would be pushed aside and wreck his career, and besides the father almost daily telephoned him regarding affairs at the Tribune (as I personally know) and would not be able to do so with Bill running around as Vice President. Meanwhile, the father's wife sat with me and cried over and over, that Bill should not give in, and I tried to console her. Well, Bill finally did refuse. And that was it.
"Being told to return to the said phone the next morning, I did so, and soon came a call to get Nixon. I called in the pages and was told he was at the Stockyard Inn and so reported. Then someone in Eisenhower's headquarters phoned me that I had given misinformation, that history was at stake, and it was serious, and I must produce Nixon at once, or else!
I left my post, and personally hurried to the said
"Soon after returning to my telephone post, he appeared, in better shape, and again I explained all that had happened. We called a taxi and about an hour later, there he was on the platform with Eisenhower, waving to the crowd of delegates, and was nominated. Since then he has at times talked to me of this affair and laughed about it.
Past President, 1949-1950"
Where would history have led us if Markell Baer had not been able to locate Dick Nixon that fateful day at the Stockyard Inn?
Murray Chotiner, who served as CRA president in 1944-45, was one of Nixon's top confidantes, and would later serve as a key White House aide. He died from the effects of an auto crash in 1974. He had served Nixon for three decades.
Warren's quest for the presidency was at an end. The curious period during
which he was the darling of the CRA was also drawing to a close. The first time
(1942) that CRA held a pre-primary endorsing convention, they endorsed
By 1962, CRA members were circulating petitions calling for the impeachment of Chief Justice Earl Warren.
in November 1952, CRA members were beside themselves with joy. Dwight David
Eisenhower and Richard Milhouse Nixon had carried the
Republican Party to national victory. Twenty California Republicans were
elected to Congress. Ike-Nixon carried
For the first time since the New Deal began in 1932, the Grand Old Party had captured the White House.
CRA enjoyed tremendous power and importance in
A Gathering of Winners
It is easy to visualize the euphoric atmosphere of the 2Oth
Annual CRA Convention in
Speakers at the 1953 convention included Robert Kirkwood, newly elected Controller of California, James Silliman, the new Speaker of the State Assembly, and at the Saturday night banquet, new U.S. Senator Thomas Kuchel. Kuchel was another California Republican who enjoyed a period of support by CRA, but who, like Earl Warren, would later fall into disfavor with the organization over what were considered to be "liberal" attitudes.
When Governor Warren addressed a luncheon meeting of the '53 convention, he was introduced as "the friend of the California Republican Assembly."
Richard Nixon, who had enjoyed CRA support when he ran for the House and
Senate, had this to say about the organization in 1953: "Volunteer
organizations are the lifeblood of a political party. That is why all
Hal Ramser, who served as CRA President in 1954-55, once wrote that he could recall nothing terribly exciting about his year as president, except for an undefined "hassle" with some San Diego Republicans. The Period was certainly one of relative happiness for CRA members, because Republicans controlled state politics, and California Republican Nixon was part of the White House team.
22nd CRA Convention was held
Robert H. Power was CRA President in 1955-56. During that year, the group did what Power calls "research in depth" on UNESCO, the controversial United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
to Power, the national American Legion convention that year had condemned
UNESCO in what Power regarded as a "scurrilous" report. After CRA did
a study and report praising UNESCO, its findings were published by the United
States Commission for UNESCO, which labeled the CRA work as "one of the
three best reports" on the scope and activities of UNESCO written in the
Principal researchers of the UNESCO study were identified as John Phillips (later a CRA President) and Betty Merritt.
CRA News headline in July 1955 proclaimed that a gentleman named Howard Jarvis
was chairman of the "We Want Ike" rally scheduled for the Pan Pacific
Pre-Primary Endorsement Once Illegal
An April, 1955 edition of CRA News revealed that the State Republican Central Committee wanted to endorse certain party candidates in the 1956 primary election, and CRA was invited to participate in the preprimary endorsement process. CRA refused, pointing out that it opposed any pre-primary endorsing by any official state party organization, and would have no part of it. Such a policy was, after all, illegal, CRA correctly pointed out.
Nixon spoke to the banquet meeting of a CRA Board gathering in
the 1956 national election campaign heated up, Senator Knowland
was cheered by an audience of more than 500 as he spoke to a
During that presidential campaign year, CRA boasted of more than 11,000 members.
the 1956 Republican National Convention was held in
November of that year, the Ike-Nixon ticket swept to an even more impressive
win than in 1952.
1957, George Milias replaced Robert Fenton Craig as
CRA President. At a Board meeting that year, Craig praised Senator Knowland (who spoke at the meeting) as one of the founders
of CRA Craig noted that the organization had grown to 116 units. That Board
Knowland made it clear that he favored a statewide water project.
the 1958 CRA Convention, delegates endorsed Senator Knowland
for governor, Goodwin Knight for the U.S. Senate and Assemblyman Caspar Weinberger of
The Democrat Brown Era
Weinberger, incidentally, was picked by the Capitol Press group as the most able member of the legislature.
The CRA choices won their primaries, but all were defeated in the Democrat sweep later that year. The sweep included the election of Attorney General Edmund (Pat) Brown, Sr. as governor.
1958, a series of columns by political observer Jack McDowell in the San
Francisco Call-Bulletin detailed how CRA members (including state
vice-president Bill Nelligan) were actively trying to
overcome the "old guard" Republican leadership in
Nelligan, who was also a labor official, chaired a committee of San Francisco Republicans who called upon the party to include labor and other minority factions in the party organization. A report to that effect was drawn up by Nelligan and his vice- chairman, Leon Markel. They conferred with San Francisco Mayor George Christopher on the matter. Nelligan would later serve as CRA President in 1963-64. President in 1958 was John Phillips. He was succeeded in 1959 by Gardiner Johnson, a man who would play a key role in CRA's move toward a more conservative viewpoint.
Johnson made no bones about his support of Richard Nixon for the Presidency, after Eisenhower had completed the legal two-term limit. In fact, Johnson is reported to have told the 1959 CRA Fact-Finding Committee to not waste its time on the matter of Nixon.
Nixon (is) an outstanding and unusually-qualified candidate for the
Presidency," wrote Johnson, "and the Resolutions Committee should so
report." At the CRA Convention in
in early 1959, the intra-party struggles in
note: The internecine fight in
In 1960, Harvey Mydiand succeeded Gardiner Johnson as president of CRA Nixon got strong CRA backing for President. The record of other endorsements is not available.
Kennedy Wins - By A Hair
The great TV debates of 1960 between Nixon and the handsome
young John F. Kennedy ushered in the showbiz age of electronic politics. Makeup
became more important than issues. Kennedy rode the TV waves to a narrow
victory. Uncertainty about the accuracy of the vote count in
editor was in
In 1961, CRA helped the Republican Party pick up the pieces and start again. Kennedy was in the White House and Pat Brown sat in the governor's seat.
The gubernatorial election of 1962 became a major focus of CRA concern. Possible candidates included Goodwin Knight, Lieutenant Governor Harold Powers, Assemblyman Joe Shell... and Nixon.
a December 1961 Board meeting in
was also in 1961 that Earl Warren fell forever out of favor with CRA During the
year, his liberal interpretations of the Constitution as Chief Justice had
embittered old friends. On
For an analysis of Nixon’s golf swing, see http://beauproductions.com/golfswingsws/#start
Richard M. Nixon, 1954
Appropriately titled "Socks," this photo catches
Vice President Richard M. Nixon preparing to play
golf with President Dwight D. Eisnhower at
George Tames/The New York Times Photo Archives
Richard Nixon and
Richard Nixon consulted with
Bush was born in Columbus, Ohio,
attended Yale University, served in France in World War I, was successful in
several businesses, was a senator from Connecticut, a strong supporter of
President Eisenhower, holder of several offices in the U.S. Golf Association,
and one of the earliest supporters of the United Negro College Fund. One of his sons (George H.W. Bush) and one of
his grandsons (George W. Bush) became presidents of the
Nixon and Woody Hayes
maintained a relationship with President Richard M. Nixon, even during the difficult
years of Watergate. Nixon, a man intimately acquainted with risk, appreciated
Woody’s propensity for risk-taking: “He could have quit [after] three national
championships and seven Big Ten championships. He had to know that it was a
risk to stay on. It is a rule of life that if you take no risks, you will
suffer no defeats. But if you take no risks, you will win no victories. Woody
did not believe in playing it safe. He played to win.”
Hayes had continuing relationships with other
Maintaining his presidential closeness, Hayes was invited to Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as well, although he didn’t seem to have the relationship with Reagan that he had had with earlier presidents.
commented at his memorial that “the last nine years of Woody Hayes’ life
were probably his best. He made scores of inspirational speeches all over the
country. He gave all of the honorariums from those speeches to the Woody Hayes
Cancer Fund at