9 January, marks the birthday of America’s 37th President, Richard Nixon. A Navy veteran of WWII, Nixon won his first race for elective office by defeating an incumbent Congressman in his home state of California in 1946. He would win the highest office in the land in 1968 in a close election and again in 1972 in a landslide. He would resign the office of President on 8 August, 1974. Nixon’s administration would be remembered for establishing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, and signing Title IX in 1972 prohibiting gender bias at colleges and universities receiving Federal aid. Nixon was also the first President to make an official State Visit to the Soviet Union.
UW-Madison History Professor Stanley I. Kutler wrote extensively on the Nixon administration, publishing several books including ‘Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes’ a book that resulted from his successful lawsuit against the National Archives, and Nixon, to force the release of tape recordings of conversations made by the Nixon White House and long suppressed from public scrutiny.
One of the most enduring and identifiable figures in American politics, his name was the correct answer provided by the first contestant to successfully win the one million dollar prize on the game show – ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’.