What consequences did
the Watergate Scandal have on Richards Nixon's presidency?
Richard Milhous Nixon was born
into a working class family on January 9, 1913, in the town of Yorba Linda
California. Growing up, he worked and studied diligently, excelling
at Whittier College and then ranking in the top percentile at Duke
University Law School. After studying away from home, Nixon came back to
California to practice law. On his return he met his wife, Thelma
Catherine (Pat) Ryan. Soon after he enlisted in the US
His political career
began in 1946 when he entered congress by defeating Jerry Voorhis. He drew
national attention as he worked on some extremely visible projects, such as [?}. His
next move was into the Senate when he was victorious over Congresswoman, Helen Gahagan
Douglas. His tactic for winning the Senate race, labelling his opponent a pro-communist sympathizer,
was roundly criticized. Two years later Nixon
was nominated as the vice presidential running mate for Dwight D.
Eisenhower. He was almost removed from his nomination when it was
made public that he had accepted eighteen thousand dollars. Nixon, an excellent
speaker, prepared a televised speech in his defense. As Vice President, he
campaigned and rallied for the Republican Party. He made a name for
himself as a great motivator. He traveled across the country and across
the globe, giving his party a vigorous sentiment.
After Eisenhower 's
second term, Nixon emerged as the new leader of the Republican Party. He
was to run against John F. Kennedy, but Kennedy, a bit younger and well liked
by the American people, won the election. Nixon then returned to
California, where he challenged Edmund G. Brown for Governor. Again Nixon
was defeated. He removed himself from politics and moved to New York City
in 1962. In 1968 Richard Nixon decided to run once again for President.
With a successful media campaign and anti-Vietnam war sentiment, Richard
Nixon successfully won the office against Hubert Humphery.
Nixon, as President,
focused on international affairs. He withdrew hundreds of thousands of
troops out of Vietnam while the war was still being fought. He was also
responsible for the military involvement involvement in Cambodia. Nixon later credited these actions (which
were not in the public interest) to the withdrawal of all US troops and
the releasing of American prisoners of war. Nixon had successful talks in
China and in the USSR..
In 1972, Nixon faced
re-election against George S. McGovern, and he won by a large margin. In
the middle of his second term, allegations arose about an attempted burglary
at the Watergate Hotel. There was also talk of wiretapping at the
Democratic National Committee headquarters on June 17, 1972. These actions
took place in Washington, DC, and were linked to Nixon's advisors. This
was the tip of the iceberg. As the investigations continued more and
more fraudulent practice was found. With extensive media coverage there was
no way of avoiding controversy. White House recordings were found and
made public. The Nixon Taxes showed inconsistencies due to alleged illegal
campaign contributions. The public was unsympathetic. He had lost the
trust of the American People. Vice President Agnew, resigned due to
charges of bribery, and Gerald Ford replaced him. Then a federal grand jury found
Nixon a coconspirator in a conspiracy to obstruct justice. While
Nixon was away on foreign policy issues, the court ordered more recordings
to be released. One of them revealed Nixon ordering the FBI to stop the
investigation concerning the Watergate Scandal. With overwhelming
evidence mounting against him, Nixon decided to resign the presidency of the United
States or face impeachment. Vice President Gerald Ford assumed the role of President.
- 9 January 1913, Richard Nixon was
born in Yorba Linda, California, to a working class family.
- 1934, Graduated second in his
class at Whittier College in Whittier, California.
- 1937, Graduated third from Duke
University Law School.
- 1940, Richard Married Thelma
Catherine (Pat) Ryan
- 1942, He enlisted in the United
States Navy and served in WWII. He worked his way up to lieutenant
commander before he left the armed forces.
- 1946, claimed victory over Jerry
Voorhis, and became congressman in California.
- 1950, won an office in the
Senate, This is also when He began to receive national attention.
- 1952, Nixon was the Vice
Presidential running mate of Dwight D Eisenhower.
- 1960, Richard Nixon ran for
President and was defeated by John F. Kennedy.
- 1968, He became President of the
United States with Vice President Agnew.
- 1969, withdrawal of us troops
from Vietnam begins.
- 1969, The Apollo Moon
- 1972, Historic Visits to China
and the USSR.
- 1972, Watergate Scandal unfolds
in Nixon's peak.
- 1973, Vice President Agnew
resigns and Gerald Ford replaces him.
- 1974, Richard Nixon resigns in
order to avoid impeachment.
There are several biographical
overviews (biography.com) of Richard
Nixon on the World Wide Web. The Washington
Post has a site dedicated to the him. The White house
offers an official site and The
Richard Nixon Foundation is a site dedicated to preserving the integrity of the
Nixon family. There are also some Nixon Audio and video archives available. The debate
between Nixon and Kennedy is also online as well Nixon's negotiations in China. The
Scandal is covered from all angles, including a
There is a variety of information regarding Nixon's tenure as president.
Since Nixon's campaign used media extensively, there is an abundance of
links to speeches that he gave. Some notable speeches such at the, "I am
not a crook," (see some political cartoons) when he denied involvement in the Watergate coverup, and the "You
won't have Nixon to kick around anymore." speech are available through
the History Channel web site.
Also check the following links for useful
Arrogance of Power: The Secrete World of Richard Nixon, is a
biographical account of Richard Nixon told without sympathy for the
ex-president. Richard Nixon wrote his own account of his life in The
Memoirs of Richard Nixon, a book in which Nixon reveals
some information in his own words. American Foreign Policy since
the Vietnam War: The Search for Consensus from Nixon to Clinton,
(1999) by Richard A. Melanson, describes some of Nixon's accomplishments in foreign
policy. The Contender: Richard Nixon, the Congress Years,
1946-1952 (1994), by Irwin F. Gellman describes Nixon's pre-presidential
political career. The Final Days/the Classic, Behind-the-Scenes
Account of Richard Nixon's Dramatic Last Days in the White House by Bob
Woodward and Carl Bernstein paints a picture of the Watergate Scandal as it
John F. Kennedy