Nixon portrait

(VUS.13) Richard Nixon – “I am not a crook”

  • Nixon takes office

    Nixon takes office
    Nixon is best remembered as the only President to resign after association with the Watergate Scandal. He also brought an end to the Vietnam War, normalized relations with China, and worked towards a détente (cooling off) in the Cold War. “Peace with Honor” in Vietnam and “Law and Order” at home were his campaign promises. OVERVIEW
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    Richard Nixon Administration

    Nixon is best remembered as the only President to resign after association with the Watergate Scandal. He also brought an end to the Vietnam War, normalized relations with China, and worked towards a détente (cooling off) in the Cold War. “Peace with Honor” in Vietnam and “Law and Order” at home were his campaign promises. OVERVIEW
  • Warning to Vietnam (VUS.13b)

    Warning to Vietnam (VUS.13b)
    Warning to Vietnam (VUS.13b)
  • Revenue Sharing

    Revenue Sharing
    Nixon asks that Congress be granted authority to consolidate federal aid programs to states and cities. This would give states and localities greater control over responding to the needs of the people with fewer “strings attached” to grant money from the Federal Government.
  • Vietnamization Proposed (VUS.13b)

    Vietnamization Proposed (VUS.13b)
    Nixon proposes a plan whereby the United States and North Vietnam would agree to withdraw forces from South Vietnam. By training the South Vietnamese Army to fight the communists, America would be clear to withdraw, honorably. Read more about Vietnamization
  • Withdrawal in the works (VUS.13b)

    Withdrawal in the works (VUS.13b)
    Nixon announces a plan to withdraw 25,000 U.S. troops from South Vietnam by August 31.
  • “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” (VUS.15c)

    “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” (VUS.15c)
    Neil Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon. The goal of John Kennedy came to pass, a man was on the moon by the end of the decade. This event showed America’s resurgence as a leader in science and technology. MORE
  • Vietnamization as a policy (VUS.13b)

    Vietnamization as a policy (VUS.13b)
    Nixon affirms his desire to withdraw U.S. troops from southeast Asia and declares that individual nations will bear a larger responsibility for their own security. Initially referred to as the "Guam Doctrine," this statement later becomes known as the "Nixon Doctrine."
  • Reversing Latin American Policy (VUS.9a)

    Reversing Latin American Policy (VUS.9a)
    Nixon declares that Latin America must be responsible for its own social and economic progress. This reverses the policies in place during imperialism and under the “Good Neighbor Policy”.
  • North Vietnam Rejects Peace (VUS.13b)

    North Vietnam Rejects Peace (VUS.13b)
    Nixon reveals that North Vietnam has rejected the administration's secret peace offers. He proposes a plan for the gradual and secretive withdrawal of troops.
  • The Draft (VUS.13b)

    The Draft (VUS.13b)
    Nixon signs the Selective Service Reform bill, ensuring that draftees are selected by a lottery system. This also changes the rules of who is permitted to be drafted. The following April, Nixon would sign an executive order ending occupational and parental deferments for the draft. American public opinion of the war policies is declining quickly.
  • The First Earth Day

    The First Earth Day
    For a “Conservative”, Nixon had an amazing environmental record! The nation was moved by the publication of Rachel Carson’s book, “The Silent Spring”, which raised awareness concerning the use of toxic pesticides. MORE
  • Expanding the War into Cambodia (VUS.13b)

    Expanding the War into Cambodia (VUS.13b)
    Nixon announced that the Vietnam War would now involve attacking the communist guerrillas along the Ho Chi Minh Trail which supplied the Vietcong in South Vietnam. Nixon is looking like a liar – talking about peace but now expanding the war – American public opinion against the war continues to grow.
  • Kent State Massacre

    Kent State Massacre
    This was the pinnacle of domestic protest against the Vietnam War. The National Guard of Ohio opened fire on anti-war demonstrators, killing 4 students. There were many movements, marches and demonstrations – mostly across college campuses – urging a change in policy. MORE
  • Nixon, the Environmentalist

    Nixon, the Environmentalist
    After the publication or Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”, and motivated by other reports of the worsening environmental conditions due to pollution, Nixon puts forth a plan to reorganize the federal agencies that handle environmental problems.
  • Postal Reform

    Postal Reform
    Nixon approves and signs the Postal Reorganization Act, which establishes an independent United States Postal Service. This makes the USPS responsible for maintaining its own budget and shrinking control of Congress over the Post Office.
  • Nixon’s Popularity Rises (VUS.13b)

    Nixon’s Popularity Rises (VUS.13b)
    In a televised address, Nixon proposes a five-point peace plan for Indochina. The plan includes a "cease-fire in place" and the negotiated withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.
  • DUCK! (VUS.13b)

    DUCK! (VUS.13b)
    While at a campaign rally in California, demonstrators taunt Nixon and throw objects at him. He is not trusted because he seems to continue delaying the withdrawal from Vietnam.
  • Assistance to Labor

    Assistance to Labor
    Nixon signs the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970, which gives the secretary of labor the responsibility of setting workplace safety standards for jobs in the United States.
  • Oooh, that Smell

    Oooh, that Smell
    Nixon signs a clean air bill which mandates that car manufacturers reduce certain pollutants by 90 percent - continuing his efforts to improve the environment.
  • Save the Gators!

    Save the Gators!
    Nixon delays the construction of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal in order to stop environmental damage. Even though the canal would have benefitted commerce, the environment was too important.
  • Recording the White House (VUS.13b)

    Recording the White House (VUS.13b)
    Taping systems are activated in the White House. The Oval Office is outfitted with a voice-activated system and the Cabinet Room with a manual system. Nixon was a little paranoid, but more importantly he wanted his conversations to be recorded so that his “greatness” would be preserved. Over the next several months, more areas would be actively recording. Ooops.
  • “The Pentagon Papers” (VUS.13b)

    “The Pentagon Papers” (VUS.13b)
    The New York Times begins to publish secret internal documents referred to as the "Pentagon Papers," a development which leads the White House become increasingly fearful of further disclosures. Within a week, a special unit named the "Plumbers" is created to stop the leaks. Nixon would issue an injunction to stop the printing, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the NY Times. MORE
  • 26th Amendment

    26th Amendment
    Old enough to be drafted, but not old enough to vote!?! This amendment extended suffrage to 18-year-olds. Unfortunately, the youth vote (18-25) has the lowest voter turnout. MORE
  • More revenue sharing

    More revenue sharing
    Nixon signs an Emergency Employment Act, earmarking $2.25 billion for the creation of public service jobs at state and local levels.
  • Nixon Visits China (VUS.13b)

    Nixon Visits China (VUS.13b)
    A joint communiqué, later known as the Shanghai Communiqué, is released by the United States and China. It calls for both countries agree to increase their contacts, and for the United States to withdraw gradually from Taiwan. This maneuver was designed to increase tension between China and the Soviet Union – it worked. MORE
  • Busing Crisis in Schools (VUS.14a)

    Busing Crisis in Schools (VUS.14a)
    A way to integrate existing schools was to simply put students on busses and take white students to black schools, and black students to white schools – unpopular in both communities. Nixon dismisses busing as a means of achieving racial integration and seeks legislation that would deny court-ordered busing.
  • “The Mad Bomber” (VUS.13b)

    “The Mad Bomber” (VUS.13b)
    On national television, Nixon states that he has ordered the mining of North Vietnamese ports and the bombing of military targets in the North Vietnam. How can he want peace but increase bombing? Nixon believed that to secure the best possible peace agreement, the US needed to negotiate from a position of strength. Unfortunately for Nixon, he looked like a liar.
  • Détente? A summit in Moscow (VUS.13d)

    Détente? A summit in Moscow (VUS.13d)
    Nixon arrives in the Soviet Union for a summit meeting. He is the first sitting President to visit the U.S.S.R. Nixon hopes for unilateral arms reduction and ceasing of nuclear testing. MORE
  • Watergate Break In (VUS.13b)

    Watergate Break In (VUS.13b)
    Police seize James McCord, Frank Sturgis, and three Cubans inside Democratic Headquarters in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate Hotel. They confiscate cameras, wiretapping materials, and $2,300 in cash. At first, it seems like a petty break in, but “the plumbers” were attempting to bug the office to get inside information to help re-elect Nixon. The president likely did not know of the plan. MORE
  • Watergate got worse! (VUS.13b)

    Watergate got worse! (VUS.13b)
    Nixon orders Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman to tell the F.B.I. not to go any further with its Watergate investigation, justifying his actions on national security grounds. This is where the cover-up began, and the President could be implicated with illegal activity.
  • Answering to the people (VUS.13b)

    Answering to the people (VUS.13b)
    In a news conference, Nixon declares that no one on the White House staff, in the administration, or anyone "presently employed" was involved in the Watergate break-in. Technically, not a lie – but he sure is going to look like a fool in a couple of years!
  • Clean Water Act

    Clean Water Act
    To make rivers and streams safe for fishing and swimming, Nixon advocated and signed this extension of Environmental Protection.
  • Revenue Sharing Bill

    Revenue Sharing Bill
    Nixon endorses a bill which calls for revenue sharing with the states and grants over $30 billion to state and local governments over the course of five years. Nixon believes that the states and localities are better suited to determine what programs are necessary to help their people. By making money available without strings attached, Nixon believes more people will be helped.
  • Still an environmentalist

    Still an environmentalist
    Nixon enhances the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the sale and use of pesticides. Again, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” plays a role in raising public awareness of environmental issues, in this case pesticides, which could poison the world.
  • ncreasing Social Security (VUS.10d)

    ncreasing Social Security (VUS.10d)
    Nixon provides more than $5 billion in benefits for the aged, blind, and disabled, while also increasing Social Security taxes. As the cost of living and health care was on the rise, more assistance was essential.
  • Nixon Wins Re-Election

    Nixon Wins Re-Election
    Nixon wins the presidential election in a landslide, but Congress remains in Democratic hands. The Committee to Re-Elect the President (“CREEP” for short) had done is job by playing many dirty political tricks.
  • Roe v Wade (VUS.15a)

    Roe v Wade (VUS.15a)
    Using interpretation of the 9th Amendment, the Supreme Court struck down state laws which banned abortions – providing for the enhanced debate of “Pro-Life” and “Pro-Choice”. This decision is also considered a case of judicial activism in protecting / extending individual rights. MORE
  • Peace with Honor, Finally! (VUS.13b)

    Peace with Honor, Finally! (VUS.13b)
    Paris Peace Accords are signed by all parties at war in Vietnam. American forces begin withdrawing during the cease-fire.
  • There might be some tapes (VUS.13b)

    There might be some tapes (VUS.13b)
    Testifying before the Senate Watergate Committee, Federal Aviation administrator Alexander Butterfield confirms the existence of an Oval Office taping system. There might be some evidence that could convict the President.
  • “You can’t have my tapes” (VUS.13b)

    “You can’t have my tapes” (VUS.13b)
    Claiming executive privilege, Nixon refuses to turn over subpoenaed tapes to the Senate Watergate Committee, chaired by Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC). This sets up a battle between the two branches of government - the Supreme Court would ultimately decide!
  • The Vice-President draws bad press

    The Vice-President draws bad press
    Vice President Agnew comes under scrutiny for charges stemming from campaign contributions he received while in office from persons who were later given government contracts. Agnew vehemently denies the charges in a press conference.
  • No apology – Just denial

    No apology – Just denial
    Nixon denies involvement in the Watergate cover-up in a televised address.
  • VP Resigns

    VP Resigns
    Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns to avoid making the Nixon Administration look bad. Agnew pleads "no contest" to charges stemming from a kickback scheme he ran while Governor of Maryland. Agnew is fined $10,000 and sentenced to three years’ probation. Nixon needs a new Vice President. MORE
  • “I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln”

    “I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln”
    Gerald Ford is nominated as vice president. After being confirmation by Congress, he is sworn in on December 6. This follows the rules of succession based on the 25th Amendment.
  • OPEC Oil Embargo after losing war with Israel Sparks Energy Crisis

    OPEC Oil Embargo after losing war with Israel Sparks Energy Crisis
    The Organization of Oil Producing Countries (OPEC), leveled an embargo against the United States in response to the American-Israeli foreign policy agreements. The price of gas and heating oil would rapidly rise, a bad combination with a slow economy. The shortage was so bad that gas stations would regularly run out of gas – sparking an interest in oil conservation policy. MORE
  • War Powers Act (VUS.13b)

    War Powers Act (VUS.13b)
    Passed over Nixon’s veto, this law reduced the war-making powers of the President by requiring permission from Congress to sustain extended military action. This law does not prevent the President from taking bold military action, but provides for some checks and balances to the role of Commander in Chief. MORE
  • Help to the workers

    Help to the workers
    Nixon increases the minimum wage to $2 with the likelihood of future increases and broader coverage.
  • Court Orders Nixon to Give Up the Tapes (VUS.13b)

    Court Orders Nixon to Give Up the Tapes (VUS.13b)
    In an 8-0 ruling, the Supreme Court orders that Nixon turn over sixty-four tapes to the Senate Watergate Committee. The tapes disclose Nixon's knowledge and participation in the cover-up of the Watergate burglary. But, there were nearly 20 minutes of conversation that had been “accidentally” erased.
  • Preparing for impeachment (VUS.13b)

    Preparing for impeachment (VUS.13b)
    Three articles of impeachment are brought against Nixon by the House Judiciary Committee: obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and the unconstitutional defiance of its subpoenas. Things look desperately bad for President Dick Nixon!
  • Busted in Public! (VUS.13b)

    Busted in Public! (VUS.13b)
    Three new transcripts are released, showing that Nixon ordered a cover-up less than a week after the break-in. Nixon issues a statement with the transcripts indicating that he withheld this evidence from his lawyers and from those who support him on the Judiciary Committee.
  • Resignation (VUS.13b)

    Resignation (VUS.13b)
    Facing probable impeachment, Nixon resigns the presidency, effective at noon the next day, in a televised address. MORE
  • Outta Here!

    Outta Here!
    Nixon leaves for California. His letter of resignation is sent to Kissinger, thus making Gerald Ford the thirty-eighth President of the United States.