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

‘A Global Enemies List’

On October 25, 1971, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution introduced by the Albanian and Cuban delegations to admit mainland China to the United Nations and to expel Taiwan (Nationalist China). It was a major defeat for the Nixon administration's foreign policy. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations George H.W. Bush publicly blasted the vote as a "moment of infamy." Newspapers reported that Bush was "visibly shaken." Vice President Spiro Agnew charged that the United Nations had become a "paper tiger." It stung all the more because the Nixon administration was caught by surprise. Bush had gone into the UN debate confident that he had the numbers to defeat the measure, having been assured by a number of African nations that they would vote with the United States. At the last minute, however, a number of those delegations switched their vote in favor of the Albanian resolution or abstained. In succeeding days, US officials identified a list of seven nations that they believed had betrayed them by renegging on commitments they had given: Belgium, Cyprus, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia, and Trinidad and Tobago. A frequent source of frustration for the United States and other large nations has been that in the UN General Assembly each member nation, regardless of size or power, has one vote. The intentional effect of that is to give a voice to smaller nations, such as Botswana, and new nations, such as Qatar, which had achieved independence only a month before this conversation took place (September 3, 1971). At the time of the vote, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger was about to return from Beijing where he was laying the groundwork for Nixon's own visit. He was informed of the result enroute to Washington.

‘Nixon and the Amchitka Nuclear Test, November 1971’

On November 6, 1971, the United States conducted a controversial high-yield nuclear weapons test beneath Amchitka Island, Alaska. Earlier that day the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 4–3 vote, had declined to issue an injunction to halt the test.

‘LBJ, Nixon, and John S. McCain, Sr., Jr., and III’

John S. McCain III, currently a Republican Senator from Arizona and Republican nominee for President in the 2008 Presidential election, was a U.S. Navy pilot during the Vietnam War. In October 1967 he was shot down over North Vietnam, taken prisoner, and held captive as a prisoner of war for five and a half years. His father, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command during much of the time his son was a POW. We've compiled transcripts of the most substantive mentions of the McCain family in the LBJ and Nixon recordings.

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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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