Richard Nixon

Topics: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, President of the United States Pages: 6 (1663 words) Published: December 16, 2014


Throughout the course of history in the United States there have been controversial individuals. These people bring attention to themselves through good deeds or misdeeds. This is the case for the 37th president of the United States. His name was Richard Milhouse Nixon. His rise to power and fall from grace will forever be a topic of debate and discussion.

Nixon was born on january 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California. He was the second of five children born to Frank Nixon and Hannah Milhouse Nixon. His early years had tragedy when his younger brother died from illness in 1925. When he was 20, his bother whom he admired greatly died of tuberculosis. He did well in high school graduating as salutatorian but had to attend to a local college because his parents couldn’t afford a more expensive school. After graduating he got a full scholarship to Duke University law school. He returned back home to practice law where he met Thelma Caterine Ryan. The two were married in 1940, they had two daughters Trisha and Julie.

In 1942 Nixon and his wife moved to Washington. He found a job in the office of price administration under Roosevelt. He served in the military by joining the navy, although he never saw combat he acquired the rank of lieutenant commander. In November 1946 he is elected to congress being a 5 term liberal democrat. During his campaign for the senate in 1950 he was given the nickname “Tricky Dick” by a news paper in california, this nickname stuck with him for the rest of his life. He was given the nick name for the campaign tactics he used and his anti communist reputation.

Dwight Eisenhower becomes aware of Nixon’s reputation and needing support from the west, he taps Nixon to become his presidential running mate. While vice president under Eisenhower he impressed his critics with his knowledge of foreign affairs. He expanded the power of the vice president under his term with Eisenhower, this included helping obtain passage of the 1957 civil rights bill. The Eisenhower presidency was rough as Eisenhower was very sick. Since the vice president takes over when the president is unable to fulfill his duties Nixon was a stand in as president. Nixon and Eisenhower, discussed what the duties of the vice president should be if the president becomes disabled. The agreement they came up with was accepted by other presidents until the 25th amendment was established, which set up the rules for succession.

In 1960 Nixon ran for president, his democratic opponent was John F. Kennedy a senator from Massachusetts. During the campaign both candidates felt they had nothing to lose by having debates. Theses debates were the first debates ever to be televised to the American public. The two appeared as opposites on tv, Kennedy wore a dark suit, makeup, and had been coached on debate techniques. Nixon, on the other had had no makeup, wore a suit that blended him in the background, had lost weight and was recovering from the flu. The election was close however Nixon lost by one hundred twenty thousand votes. He went back to his home town in California and wrote a book about his life and started practicing law. In 1962 they encouraged him to run for governor and he lost again. In his defeat he blamed the media and is quoted as saying “ you wont have Nixon to kick around anymore.” He moves his family to New York city after losing in the election and practiced law there. Nixon decides to run for president again in January 1968. During this period of time the Vietnam war was engulfing the nation in protests, on campuses and in the media. Nixon's campaign receives a boost because due to the Vietnam turmoil current president Lyndon Johnson decides not to run for reelection. The next democratic candidate who and won the primaries was senator Robert Kennedy. Kennedy was assented leaving vice president Hubert Humphrey as the candidate for president. Nixon had promised to end the Vietnam war, restore...
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