Richard Nixon

Article

July 5, 2022

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States (1969–1974) and also the 36th Vice President of the United States (1953–1961), serving while in office as President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Nixon is the only person to have been elected both vice president and president of the United States. At the same time, he is also the only American president who resigned from his office.

Election

He ran for the presidency for the first time in 1960, but was narrowly defeated by John F. Kennedy (interestingly, their presidential debate was televised for the first time in history). In 1967, he met a young television and theater producer, Roger Ailes, who began working for him as a media expert for his election campaign, media coach and public relations manager. Nixon defeated the Democratic candidate, Hubert Humphrey, in the 1968 election, and four years later he soundly defeated George McGovern, who won only the state of Massachusetts. Nixon's personal court photographer was Oliver F. Atkins.

Foreign Policy

During his presidency, relations with the Soviet Union and China were normalized. He also initiated agreements to reduce the number of strategic nuclear weapons, SALT I. In 1972, he became the first American president to visit the PRC and meet with Chinese leader Mao Zedong. As part of improving relations between the United States and Communist China, which was directed against the Soviet Union, the US stopped recognizing the Republic of China and recognized the People's Republic of China instead. He also began the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, which was the beginning of the so-called "Vietnamization" of the war, but at the same time extended the bombing to the neighboring states of Cambodia and Laos. The bombing of Cambodia between 1970 and 1973 killed up to 150,000 people. In 1972, he ordered the months-long bombing of North Vietnam as part of Operation Linebacker, the most massive bombing of North Vietnam since the end of Operation Rolling Thunder in 1968. The "Secret War" in Laos continued until 1973. Also a historic step was his decision in 1971 to leave the Bretton Woods international monetary system established at the time and the convertibility of the US dollar for gold. In 1973, he supported a military coup against the democratically elected left-wing government in Chile and the establishment of the military dictatorship of General Pinochet. In the fall of 1973, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declared an embargo on oil exports to the United States and other countries that supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War, which caused an oil shock in the world. He appointed Henry Kissinger as foreign minister.

Watergate Affair

In domestic politics, his tenure as US President was marred by the Watergate affair. It broke out on June 17, 1972, when the police arrested five people in the Watergate complex, where the Democratic Party was based, who had installed listening devices there. The White House denied having anything to do with the break-in until August 5, 1974, when it admitted that it had known about the Watergate affair from the beginning and had deliberately lied. On August 8, 1974, Nixon announced his resignation from the presidency and was replaced by Gerald Ford the following day.

Government of Richard Nixon

After the presidency

Nixon resigned in the wake of the Watergate affair. His place was then taken by Vice President Gerald Ford. Nixon died on April 22, 1994, as a result of a stroke he had suffered four days earlier. A week later, at the Pinkpop Festival, Rage Against the Machine performed Tire Me, a song celebrating Nixon's death, for the first time.

Visits in Czechoslovakia

Richard Nixon unofficially visited Czechoslovakia twice. It first flew on March 23, 1967 as part of its Euro