Miller Center

Richard Nixon (1913 – 1994)

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Life in Brief: Schoolchildren absorb at least one fact about Richard Milhous Nixon: He was the first and (so far) the only President of the United States to resign the office. Before the spectacular fall, there was an equally spectacular rise. In a half-dozen y… more life in brief »

Essays about Richard Nixon

Facts about Richard Nixon

37th President of the United States (1969 – 1974)
January 9, 1913, Yorba Linda, California
Political Party
April 22, 1994
Whittier College (1934); Duke University Law School (1937)
Society of Friends (Quaker)
June 21, 1940, to Thelma “Patricia” Catherine Ryan (1912–1993)
Patricia (1946– ); Julie (1948– )
Lawyer, Public Official
Yorba Linda, California

Six Crises (1962); RN (1978); The Real War (1980); Leaders (1982); Real Peace (1983); No More Vietnams (1985); 1999:Victory without War (1988); In the Arena (1990); Seize the Moment (1992); Beyond Peace (1994)

Richard Nixon Exhibits

‘This Will be Forgotten’

When former President Richard Nixon agreed to televised interviews with David Frost in return for $1 million, he didn't know what he was in for. Three years after Nixon resigned the presidency, the British television personality would confront him on camera with previously unpublished transcripts from his first recorded conversation with White House political operative Charles W. "Chuck" Colson following the Watergate break-in. "The real significance" of the excerpts from the June 20, 1972, conversation, wrote Frost's researcher, James Reston, Jr., in The Conviction of Richard Nixon, "lay in the chemistry of the interview. Here was Frost at the very outset of the Watergate narrative with new and highly damaging material. What else did he have? How many new tapes would he spring? How sure could Nixon be that his old lines of defense would hold?" The confrontation is memorialized in a current Broadway play, "Frost/Nixon." In the conversation Frost quoted, Nixon and Colson minimized the importance of Watergate in comparison to another scandal which in the news at the time involving IT&T and expressed the hope that the break-in would soon be forgotten. Please note that because this recordings suffers from particularly poor sound quality, we have been unable to confirm with confidence the transcript used by Frost. That original transcript is available here.

‘Kicking Nixon Around’

In this telephone call, the only two men to have ever beaten Richard Nixon in elections compared notes. The call took place the day after the November 6, 1962, mid-term elections. Pat Brown, a Democrat, had won re-election as Governor of California, beating Republican challenger and former Vice President, Richard M. Nixon. In publicly conceding on the morning of November 7, Nixon had blamed the press for his defeat, famously declaring to gathered reporters that "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." Political commentators regarded Nixon's political career over.

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Featured video:

Address to the Nation Announcing Decision To Resign the Office of President (August 08, 1974)

Presidential Speech Archive

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Ken Hughes

Mr. Hughes coordinates the team of scholars reviewing and transcribing President Richard M. Nixon’s White House tapes, as part of the Presidential Recordings Project at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.

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