Richard Nixon

37th President of USA

Presidential Elections

  • Republican Party
  • Won with 31,785,480 popular votes and 301 electoral votes
  • runner up - Hubert H. Humphrey with 31,275,166 popular votes and 191 electoral votes

  • Republican Party
  • Won with 41,167,319 popular votes and 520 electoral votes
  • runner up - George McGovern with 29,168,50917 popular votes and 17 electoral votes

Vietnam War

  • wanted to withdraw 540,000 U.S. troops from South Vietnam over a period of time
  • would allow South Vietnamese to gradually take over they're own war efforts
  • goal was not to end war, but win it without losing more American lives
  • American "doves" disapproved and protested


  • April 29, 1970 - Nixon suddenly ordered American troops to wipe out enemy forces in neutral Cambodia with the South Vietnamese forces
  • caused riots all throughout U.S.
  • June 29, 1970 - ended up withdrawing troops
  • worsened tension between "hawks" and "doves"

War Powers Act

  • November 1973
  • caused by opposition in Congress to expansion of presidential war-making powers
  • president must give report to Congress within 48 hours after getting troops involved in international affairs


  • Détente = "relaxed tension"
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Nixon's national security adviser, secretly met with North Vietnamese to discuss ways to end Vietnam War.
  • allowed Nixon to negotiate with communist countries--China and Russia
  • result - Great Grain Deal of 1972. three-year contract to sell minimum of $750 million worth of food to Soviets
  • result - an anti-ballistic missile treaty. limit of only two clusters of missiles
  • result - Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) stopped production of long-range missile weapons for five years
  • Both U.S. and Soviets continued with multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles and enhanced the Arms Race.

Watergate, Impeachment, Resignation

  • June 17, 1972
  • members of the Republican Committee for the Re-election of the President (AKA CREEP) were caught burglarizing the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate apartment-office complex in Washington
  • led to other schemes other CREEP members were involved with
  • 29 people were indicted, pleaded guilty, or convicted of other crimes related to the Watergate burglary by early 1974


  • Nixon originally denied being involved in the Watergate burglary, but wouldn't give up the tapes of his conversation recordings.
  • Used separation of powers and executive privilege as an excuse to not release the evidence
  • October 1973 - V.P. Agnew was impeached for accepting bribes from contractors
  • Agnew was replaced by Ford, and Nixon was in danger of being impeached as well
  • October 20, 1973 - "Saturday Night Massacre" Archibald Cox issued subpoena for tapes and other related documents


  • Nixon was charged with obstruction of the administration of justice
  • Was later also charged with abusing his powers and showing contempt of congress by disregarding the subpoenas
  • August 5, 1974 - Nixon released three recordings of conversations from June 23, 1972
  • Revealed Nixon's ties to the Watergate burglary
  • Congress advised him to resign respectfully rather than be impeached
  • August 8, 1974 - Nixon resigned on TV