Richard "Dick" Milhous Nixon
1969 - 1974
Richard Milhous Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California on January 9, 1913. He is the only president that was born in California.
His ancestors lived in county Kildare, Ireland.
Richard work in his parents grocery store/gas station.
He once worked at a game booth at the Slippery Gulch Rodeo.
He attended Whittier College and then won a scholarship to Duke University Law School.
Richard played football at Whittier College.
Richard Nixon was 5' 11' and weighed about 175 pounds.
Richard Nixon: seventh cousin twice removed of William Taft, eighth cousin once removed of Herbert Hoover.
On June 21, 1940 he married Pat Ryan married in a Quaker service in Riverside, California. Pat was her nickname. Her given name was Thelma.
Richard Nixon was one of two Presidents who was a Quaker. Hoover was the other president.
In the Navy during World War II, Nixon's bunkmates taught him to play poker. He became such as dedicated player that he once turned down a chance to have dinner with Charles Lindbergh when it conflicted with a game. He also won a great deal of money and used his winnings ($6,000) to partially finance his first congressional campaign.
Richard Nixon was a Republican.
He was Vice President under Dwight Eisenhower. When Eisenhower died Nixon cried. He said about Eisenhower, "Everybody loved Ike. But the reverse was that Ike loved everybody."
Richard M. Nixon.
Library of Congress
(Click for larger image.)
Nixon became famous as result of the Alger Hiss investigation. Hiss was an official in the State Department. He was accused of giving government documents to the Soviet Union. He denied the charges. Nixon found documents that lead to Hiss's conviction.
He lost the 1960 presidential election to John Kennedy. In the first televised presidential debate Nixon looked nervous, pale and was sweating. Kennedy was tan and calm. People watching tv thought Kennedy won the debate. People listening on the radio thought Nixon had won the debate. Some think it was the turning point in the election.
Nixon believed that Kennedy stole the 1960 Presidential election. He lost by 118,550 votes. The Republicans thought there was voter fraud in Texas and Illinois. Mayor Daley and Kennedy's running mate Lyndon Johnson were from those two states where fraud had taken place previously.
Speaking to reporters about his health, Nixon once claimed that he had never had a headache during his whole life.
Nixon called J. Edgar Hoover his closest friend in politics.
The 1968 election featured three candidates for president. Richard Nixon a Republican, Hubert Humphry a Democrat and George Wallace from the American Independent Party. Nixon won a close election by 500,000 votes.
Just after he became president, he was all most knocked down by the water pressure in the shower. It was like a fire hose and he didn't know how to operate the shower.
Nixon had some anti-Semitic feelings he some times Kissinger as "my Jew-boy."
Nixon dyed his sideburns to hide the fact that his hair was turning gray.
When he took office he used Woodrow Wilson's desk in the office. He had always admired Wilson. I another private office he used the desk Dwight Eisenhower had used in the Oval Office. In his living quarters he used the Lincoln desk that Abe had used in his summer house.
He liked to eat cottage cheese with ketchup on it. (Note: I tried it and it was ok, but I won't be eating it again.) As part of his last meal at the White House, he enjoyed a plate of cottage cheese and pineapple slices. This was his usual lunch. Nixon had the cottage cheese flown in every week from Knudsen's dairy in Los Angeles. He also enjoyed meatloaf.
He was above average at golfing and bowling. He had a bowling ally installed at Camp David and rolled his best game there (204).
Nixon used yellow legal pads to take notes and write speeches.
Nixon enjoyed playing the piano at parties and have people sing along with his playing. He and Vice President Spiro played a duet at the Gridiron Club annual party. Their closing number was "God Bless America."
During the funeral of French president Georges Pompidou, Nixon declared: "This is a great day for France."
Nixon was the first president to address the Russian people on Russian TV.
Richard Nixon was elected to two terms. (1968 and 1972)
When he won his second team he had everyone from his first term to turn in there resignation. He later admitted it was a mistake.
President Nixon was the first president to refer to China as the "People's Republic of China." That was the name adopted after the communist take over in 1950.
He was the first president in 120 years to have both the Senate and the House of Representatives controlled by the opposing party.
When he was campaigning for Republicans in 1970, a group of war protestors threw rocks, eggs and vegetables at him and his motorcade. It was the first time that a mob had physically attacked a President of the United States.
One of Nixon's favorite movies was "Patton." He watched it numerous times.
His Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Nixon was sworn in with his hand on two family Bibles.
President Nixon was the first president to visit all 50 states and the first to visit China. He also met with Emperor Hiroshima in Anchorage, Alaska, which was the first-ever meeting of a U.S. President and a Japanese monarch.
Nixon spent two million dollars fixing up Camp David.
On April 29, 1969, Nixon hosted the largest "Negro party" to be held at the White House. The party was a tribute to Duke Ellington on his 70th birthday. (Ellington's father had been a butler at the White House.) Musical stars at the party included Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, Cab Calloway, David Brubeck and Mahalia Jackson. The party lasted until 2:00 am the next day. That may have been a record for Nixon and late night parties.
On July 20, 1969, Nixon talked to astronauts on the moon from the White House by radio-telephone. It was the longest telephone call ever made.
Richard Nixon was President during the War in Vietnam.
Nixon thought the protest were organized by the Communist. On May Day 1972 seven thousand protesters were arrested and were detained in the Washington Football Field. It was the largest mass arrest in U.S. History.
In 1969, Nixon visited Bucharest. Huge crowds came out to greet him. He was the first president since WW II to visit Bucharest.
The 26th Amendment was passed. It changed the voting age from 21 to l8.
Nixon was the first U.S. President to attend a regular season National Football League game while in office. He was a big football fan.
On December 1, 1969 the first lottery of the new Selective Service Act (the draft) took place. All the dates from the year were placed in a fish bowl. The drawing of the dates determined the order in which 19 year olds would be selected in the draft. The first date pulled was September 14.
In 1969, President Nixon set a record for travel by a president. He went to 14 countries and logged 75,443 travel miles that year. (Most of the presidents after him traveled more in their first two years in office.)
In February, 1971 Nixon had the microphones and tapes set up to record people in the Oval Office, the Executive Office Building office and Camp David. The recording ended up being the evidence that forced him to resign from the presidency.
In June of 1971, A U.S. team of Table Tennis players visited China. they were the first Americans to visit China since the early 1950's. The newspapers referred to it as "Ping Pong diplomacy."
Nixon visited Springfield, Illinois to sign the bill that make Abraham Lincoln's house a national monument.
In 1973, Nixon held a party for 591 American Prisoners of War (Vietnam) and their wives at the White House. It was the biggest formal dinner ever held at the White House.
Richard Nixon invited race car drivers to bring race cars to the White House for a car show and a reception. He was trying to get race car fans to vote for him.
Nixon signed the bill to build the first re-usable space shuttles.
President Nixon was named man of the year by Time Magazine in 1972.
Nixon was the first president to visit China.
George Wallace, former governor of Alabama and strong segregationist list was running for president in 1972. He was campaigning in Maryland he was shot by Arthur Bremer. Wallace was paralyzed from the waist down and had to drop out of the race. Bremer wanted to kill either Wallace or Nixon. (When Nixon visited Wallace in the hospital he wore TV makeup knowing there would be cameras at the hospital.
In 1972, Nixon easily defeated George McGovern for president. It was a landslide vote with Nixon getting 60% of the popular vote.
President Nixon was the first president to visit Moscow. One night he couldn't sleep so he got up and roamed around the Kremlin all by himself.
He had a French poodle named Vickie, a Yorkshire Terrier named Pasha, and an Irish Setter name King Timahoe. (When he was Vice President he had a Cocker Spaniel named Checkers.
Nixon was the first President to visit a Jewish state.
Nixon was known to have a fire in the fire place at the same time he had the air Conditioner on in the office.
His term was often referred to as "the imperial presidency," because of the power he sought and the large staff that he employed.
One of the more humorous events during Nixon's presidency was a visit to by the singer Elvis Presley. Nixon like Elvis's music. When Elvis visited the White House he gave Nixon a gun as a present.
Elvis asked the president if he could help in the war on drugs. Nixon took an honorary badge out of the drawer and gave it to Elvis. Elvis walked around the desk and said what else do you have in that drawer. (See the National Archives for pictures and details.)
Nixon was the only president who resigned. (August 9, 1974) He resigned to avoid being impeached.
Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon's Vice President, resigned in 1973 to avoid criminal prosecution. Agnew was replace as Vice President by Gerald Ford.
President Nixon was on the cover of Time Magazine 56 times. More than any other person.
On August 8th, 1973 Richard Nixon became the first president to resign. He resigned because he was going to be impeached. (Removed from Office due to the Watergate scandal)
Vice President Ford became president.
He broke with tradition and established a private library in Yorba Linda, California. The Presidential Papers Act of 1978 which decreed that Presidents don't own their papers was not enacted until after Nixon left office.
While he was retired he negotiated a contract dispute between the umpires and Major League Baseball.
Richard Nixon died in New York City on April 22, 1994. He was 81.
Five presidents and first ladies attended Nixon funeral: Bill and Hillary Clinton, George and Barbara Bush, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, and Gerald and Betty Ford.
After losing the 1962 governor's race in California, Nixon state: "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore." He thought he had received unfair treatment by the press.
In a speech to the American people after the Watergate scandal he stated: "I am not a crook."
"If any individual wants to be a leader and isn't controversial, that means he never stood for anything."
Nixon in reemergence to the Soviet Union and difference between them and the U.S. "We want peace. They want the Middle East."