Richard M. Nixon – 37

Richard M. Nixon served as the 37th President of the United States from 1969 to 1974.

After completing his first term in office, Nixon ran for presidency for a second time and won. However, he was faced with certain impeachment in the U.S. Congress during his second term, so he decided to resign in 1974.

Early Life

Richard Nixon was born in California. After his early education, he graduated from the law school and started a career in the government. He also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve during World War II. In 1946, Nixon began his political career. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1946.

After completing his term, he ran for the Senate and was elected as a Senator in 1950. Even before he became President, Nixon was noted for being staunchly opposed to communism. This was the time when the Cold War was at its peak and there was great opposition to communism in the United States.

Richard Nixon Presidential Campaign flyer 1946

American-President-Richard Nixon Presidential Campaign flyer 1946

Election as President

Nixon first ran for the office of the President in 1960. He lost to John F. Kennedy. In 1968, Nixon ran once again and won the election.

Important Events during Presidency

When Nixon became President, United States was deeply involved in the Vietnam War. President Nixon took steps to mitigate and finally end the U.S. involvement in the costly war. He also played an important role in defusing tensions between U.S. and Soviet Union while also improving ties with China.

One of the important events during his presidency was the Apollo 11 moon landing. With the landing of an American crew of astronauts on the moon, including Neil Armstrong, the moon race came to an end with American victory.

Nixon and Watergate Scandal

Watergate scandal refers to the discovery of abuse of power by the Nixon administration. This included the use of FBI and other state institutions to coerce political rivals. Officials in the Nixon government also endorsed bugging the offices of political opponents in a bid to blackmail them. These illegal measures came to light in the early 1970s and were collectively known as the Watergate scandal.

Nixon had remained an immensely popular President throughout most of his first term. When the Watergate scandal surfaced, Nixon’s popularity plummeted. Soon after the discovery of the scandal, the U.S. Congress launched an investigation.

Impeachment and Resignation

President Nixon and his administration tried to obstruct the investigations into the Watergate scandal. This was because a lot of the evidence suggested that the President was directly involved in many of the illegal activities. It was also revealed that Nixon taped many of the conversations in his offices. The Supreme Court ordered President Nixon to release the tapes of these conversations. The tapes confirmed the guilt and involvement of the President.

Faced with the threat of certain impeachment, Nixon stepped down from the office of the President on August 9, 1974. He remains the only American President to have resigned from the office. Following his resignation, the next President Gerald Ford granted him presidential pardon. This saved him from being sentenced.

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