Humphrey and third-party candidate George C. His accomplishments while in office included revenue sharing, the end of the draft, new anticrime laws, and a broad environmental program.
As he had promised, he appointed Justices of conservative philosophy to the Supreme Court. One of the most dramatic events of his first term occurred in , when American astronauts made the first moon landing. Some of his most acclaimed achievements came in his quest for world stability.
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During visits in to Beijing and Moscow, he reduced tensions with China and the U. His summit meetings with Russian leader Leonid I. Brezhnev produced a treaty to limit strategic nuclear weapons. In , his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, negotiated disengagement agreements between Israel and its opponents, Egypt and Syria. In his bid for office, Nixon defeated Democratic candidate George McGovern by one of the widest margins on record. Within a few months, his administration was embattled over the so-called "Watergate" scandal, stemming from a break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee during the campaign.
The break-in was traced to officials of the Committee to Re-elect the President. A number of administration officials resigned; some were later convicted of offenses connected with efforts to cover up the affair. Richard Milhous, future President, was born and raised in a humble Quaker home where as a child he was expected to pitch in at the family grocery store and gas station, alongside his education. His younger brother Arthur died in of tuberculosis when he was only seven years old.
Richard was twelve at the time and the death affected the family greatly. Just eight years later, in , when Richard was twenty years old, his elder brother Harold, who was twenty-three also died from tuberculosis. Richard himself was suspected of having the deadly disease around the same time that Arthur died, when a spot was discovered on his lung.
As a result of this he was banned from playing any sports at school, although it was later discovered that it was just scar tissue from an earlier bout of pneumonia. It is possible that as he got older, he was needed to help out in the family grocery store and travelling an hour before and after school meant he could not help out as much as was needed.
Attending the local school freed up his time to help the family out more. In September , Richard enrolled at Whittier College in his hometown. He had an active college life, performing in drama productions, playing in a number of sports teams, as well as being an active member of the student body government. She would be known as Pat for the rest of her life, rarely being referred to by her first name.
However, tragedy struck when Pat was just twelve years old when her mother Kate died of cancer. Just five years later, when Pat was just 17 years old, her father died of silicosis, a lung disease caused by the inhalation of minute particles of silica dust and which was a common mining disease. From this time on Pat was completely self-reliant.
She accepted an opportunity to drive an elderly couple across the country to New York and then she decided to stay there, taking a job at Seton Hospital North of New York which was a tuberculosis hospital. Pat utilized the skills she had gained caring for both her parents in the job, and as a perk of the role she was able to live at the hospital which was run by the Catholic Sisters of Charity, and she saved what ages she received towards attending college in the future. By she had enough money saved and she moved back West, enrolling at the University of Southern California where she majored in merchandising, graduating in with distinction.
Following college Pat tried to find work in a department store to utilise her career, however she could not find a position. In order to make ends meet she took a teaching job in Whittier, California where she met the young lawyer Richard Nixon in Richard was smitten with Pat almost from the first meeting and the pair courted for two years before marrying on 21 June in Riverside, California and honeymooning in Mexico.
The couple lived in California for two years but then in January they moved to Washington D. Pacific Fleet. He was promoted again in June to the rank of Commander in the Naval Reserve before retiring from the Naval Reserve in Their second daughter Julie was born on 5 July He defeated Humphrey and independent candidate George Wallace to become the 37th President.
Once in office, he proposed the Nixon Doctrine to establish a strategy of turning the fighting of the war over to the South Vietnamese people. American involvement in the war declined steadily until all American combat troops left in After the withdrawal of American soldiers, fighting was left to the South Vietnamese army.
Although well-supplied with modern arms and equipment, their fighting capability was marginal due to corruption and low morale. A lack of adequate funding for maintenance and supplies was due primarily to increasing cutbacks by the United States Congress in response to constituents voicing opposition to an already unpopular war. Nixon secretly ordered bombing campaigns in Cambodia in March code-named Menu , to destroy what were believed to be the headquarters and large numbers of soldiers of the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam.
In ordering the bombings, Nixon realized he would be extending an unpopular war as well as breaching Cambodia 's "official," but insincere neutrality. During deliberations over Nixon's impeachment, his unorthodox use of executive powers over the ordering of these bombings was considered as an article of impeachment, but the charge was dropped as it was not a violation of Constitutional powers. Nixon also made the world's longest distance phone call to Neil Armstrong while Armstrong was on the moon. Responding to mounting public concern, the Environmental Protection Agency was established through initiatives undertaken by the Nixon Administration on December 2, , to preserve the national and global environment and ecology.
Relations between the Western and Eastern power blocs changed dramatically in the early s. As tension between the two communist nations reached its peak in , Nixon decided to use their conflict to shift the balance of power towards the West in the Cold War. In what would be known as playing the "China Card," Nixon sought to improve relations with communist China in order to balance America's relations with the Soviet Union.
In , a move was made to improve relations when China invited an American table tennis team to play there; hence the term "Ping Pong Diplomacy. In October , communist China was formally admitted into the United Nations. In February , Nixon became the first U. The first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks were concluded the same year.
Nixon supported the wave of military coups in South America. Through Kissinger, he gave at least implicit help to Augusto Pinochet's coup in , and then helped set up Operation Condor.
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In the presidential election, Nixon was re-elected in one of the largest landslide election victories in U. He carried 49 of the 50 states, losing only the traditional Democratic state, Massachusetts.
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On January 2, , Nixon signed a bill that lowered the nationwide highway and interstate maximum speed limit to 55 miles per hour 90 kilometers per hour in to order to conserve gasoline during the energy crisis. This law also proved effective in lowering vehicle accident fatalities and remained in effect until George H. Bush 's administration in the late s. In light of the near certainty of both impeachment proceedings due to the Watergate scandal by the House of Representatives and his income tax underpayment conviction by the Senate, on August 9, , Nixon became the only United States president to resign his office.
In October , The Washington Post reported that the FBI had determined Nixon aides had spied on and sabotaged numerous Democratic presidential candidates as a part of operations that led to the infamous Watergate scandal.
Early life and congressional career
During the campaign, five burglars were arrested on June 17, , in the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D. They were subsequently linked to the White House. This became one of a series of major scandals involving the Committee to Re-Elect the President, including the White House enemies list and assorted "dirty tricks.
The American left rallied against Nixon and successfully coalesced with various student movements opposed to the Vietnam War. Nixon himself downplayed the scandal as mere politics, but when his aides resigned in disgrace, Nixon's role in ordering an illegal cover-up came to light in the press, courts, and congressional investigations.
It was alleged that Nixon had evaded taxes, accepted illegal campaign contributions, and harassed opponents in executive agencies. In the midst of this mounting crisis, several individuals and groups emerged to support Nixon, not because they considered him innocent but to uphold the stature of the Presidency, which was vital for global stability. Sun Myung Moon , founder of the Unification Church, was notable among these supporters. His secret recordings of White House conversations were subpoenaed, and revealed details of his complicity in the cover-up.
Nixon was named by the grand jury investigating Watergate as "an unindicted co-conspirator" in the Watergate Scandal.
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He lost support from some in his own party as well as much popular support after what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre of October 20, , in which he ordered Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor in the Watergate case, to be fired, as well as firing several of his own subordinates who objected to this move. The House Judiciary Committee opened formal and public impeachment hearings against Nixon on May 9, Despite his efforts, one of the secret recordings, known as the "smoking gun" tape, was released on August 5, , and revealed that Nixon authorized hush money to Watergate burglar E.
Howard Hunt. In light of his loss of political support and the near certainty of both impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate, he resigned on August 9, , after addressing the nation on television the previous evening. He never admitted wrongdoing, though he later conceded errors of judgment.
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