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Richard Milhous Nixon

von Friedemann Winkler

  • Englisch-Referat (Jahrgang 12)
  • 5 Minuten
  • 15 Punkte


Richard Milhous Nixon

I will tell you something about Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th president of the USA. He is the only person who was elected twice to the Vice Presidency and twice to the Presidency, and the only president who resigned that office.
Richard Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California. His parents were Francis Nixon and Hannah Milhouse. He was raised by his mother as an evangelical Quaker. That means he had to resign things like alcohol, swearing and dancing.
Nixon attended Fullerton High School from 1926-28 and Whittier High School from 1928-30. He graduated first in his class; showing a great interest for Shakespeare and Latin. He won a full scholarship from Harvard so that he didn’t have to pay study fees, but since it did not cover living expenses, Nixon's family was unable to afford to send him away to Harvard. So he attended Whittier College, a local Quaker school where he was elected pupil president. In 1934, he graduated second in his class and went on to Duke University School of Law, where he received a full scholarship.
Later Nixon returned to California, and began working on family law cases in a small-town office. The work was mostly routine, and Nixon generally found it to be dull, although he was entirely competent.
It was during this period that he met his wife Pat, a high school teacher; they were married on June 21, 1940 and had two daughters Tricia and Julie.
During World War II, Nixon served as an officer in the Navy. There he became a professional poker player, winning a large sum that helped to finance his first campaign for Congress.

In 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was President, he was elected Vice President although he was only 39 years old.
One notable thing of the campaign was Nixon's innovative use of television, that resulted in a flood of support, prompting Eisenhower to keep him on the ticket.
Nixon demonstrated that the office could be a springboard to the White House. Nixon was the first Vice President who actually temporarily ran the government. He did that three times when Eisenhower was ill.
In 1960, he ran for President on his own but lost to John F. Kennedy, although the race was very close all year long.
In 1962, Nixon lost a race for Governor of California. In his concession speech, Nixon accused the media of favoring his opponent Pat Brown, and stated that it was his "last press conference" and that "You don't have Nixon to kick around any more."
However, he was able to rebuild his reputation in the republican party and later he defeated Humphrey and George Wallace to become the 37th President of the United States.
Once in office, he proposed the Nixon Doctrine to establish a strategy of turning over the fighting of the war to the Vietnamese. But he had to realize that the Vietnam War couldn’t be won, so he made a peace agreement in 1973, that actually was like capitulation.
In 1972 Nixon was re-elected in one of the biggest election victories in U.S. political history, defeating George McGovern and getting over 60% of the popular vote. He carried 49 of the 50 states, losing only in Massachusetts.
Notable in his policy was the fight against inflation and the disarmament in times of cold war.
But in order to stay in power Nixon evaded taxes, accepted illegal campaign contributions, ordered secret bombings, and harassed opponents with wiretaps, break-ins and executive agencies like FBI and CIA.
The strategy went well until five burglars were caught when they installed hidden cameras in the Watergate complex and it was found out that they were linked to the White House.
Then Nixon’s secret recordings of White House conversations were presented and revealed details of his complicity in the cover-up. Nixon was named by the grand jury investigating Watergate as "a co-conspirator" in the Watergate Scandal. He lost support from some in his own party as well as much popular support and finally Nixon had to resign before his Legislative period was over.
In his later years Nixon enjoyed more success than could have been anticipated at the time of his resignation. He gained great respect as an elder statesman in the area of foreign affairs, being consulted by both Democratic and Republican successors to the Presidency.
Further tape releases, however, removed any doubt of Nixon's involvement both in the Watergate cover-up and also the illegal campaign finances and government surveillance that were at the heart of the scandal.

On April 18, 1994, Nixon suffered a major stroke at his home in Park Ridge, New Jersey, and died four days later in the age of 81. He was buried beside his wife Pat Nixon on the grounds of the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California.

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