Chapter 32: Nixon, Ford, Carter (1969-1981)

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    Chapter 32: Nixon, Ford, Carter

  • The U.S. Achieves the First Moon Landing

    The Apollo program was the United States spaceflight effort which landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. Conceived during the Eisenhower administration and conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Apollo began in earnest after President John F. Kennedy's 1961 address to Congress declaring his belief in a national goal of "landing a man on the Moon" by the end of the decadein a competition with the Soviet Union for supremacy in space.
  • Nixon Becomes the First U.S. President to Travel to China

    On Monday, February 21, 1972, President Richard M. Nixon arrived in Beijing, China, in the Spirit of '76, the presidential jet. He was greeted only by occupants of an unmarked vehicle and no crowd. Nixon was informed that he would be at his first meeting with Premier Zhou En Lai in just three hours. It was customary at the time to quickly get important figures to their meetings so that nothing could interfere with diplomatic proceedings.
  • Televised Senate Hearings on Watergate Begin

    Television cameras covered the Watergate hearings gavel-to-gavel, from day one until 7 August. 319 hours of television were amassed, a record covering a single event. All three commercial television networks then in existence--NBC, CBS, and ABC--devoted an average of five hours per day covering the Watergate hearings for their first five days.
  • Richard Nixon Becomes the First U.S. President to Resign

    Richard M. Nixon, who was elected President in 1968 and re-elected in 1972, resigned from office effective at noon on August 9, 1974. His move came amid impeachment proceedings in Congress related to the "Watergate" break-in and other politically motivated crimes. Vice President Gerald Ford became the 38th President, and subsequently pardoned Nixon. However, several of Nixon's aides and other members of his administration were tried and convicted for crimes or the subsequent cover-up.
  • Gerald Ford Signs the Helsinki Accords on European Security

    In the summer of 1975 Gerald Ford traveled to Helsinki, Finland, joining Prime Minister Harold Wilson, President Giscard d’Estaing, and the leaders of 30 other nations to sign the Helsinki Accords. Drafted by these 35 nations, the accord, or Final Act, was the result of two years of negotiations.While U.S. participation was heavily criticized at home, from both the left and the right, Ford believed it was his most significant foreign policy acheivement.
  • U.S. Celebrates the Bicentennial of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence

    The United States Bicentennial was a series of celebrations and observances during the mid-1970s that paid tribute to the historical events leading up to the creation of the United States as an independent republic. The Bicentennial culminated on Sunday, July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Jimmy Carter Negotiates the Camp David Accords to Promote Peace in the Middle East

    The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter. The second of these frameworks, A Framework for the Conclusion of a Peace Treaty between Egypt and Israel, led directly to the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, and resulted in Sadat and Begin sharing the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize. Little progress was achieved on the first framework however, A Framework for Peace in the Middle East, which dealt with the Palestinian territories.
  • American Hostages Held in Iran are Set Free

    The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States. Fifty-two US citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamic students and militants took over the Embassy of the United States in support of the Iranian Revolution.
  • U.S. Boycotts the Moscow Summer Olympics

    The 1980 Summer Olympics boycott of the Moscow Olympics was a part of a package of actions initiated by the United States to protest the Soviet war in Afghanistan. It preceded the 1984 Summer Olympics boycott carried out by the Soviet Union and other Communist friendly countries.