President Richard Nixon was the leader
of our nation from 1969-1974.
The power of the President reached its
highest peak under President Nixon.
Radio and TV increased the President’s
ability to speak directly to voters as
technology was now present more than
The public view of Nixon was different than
those who worked in Washington DC. His
political opponents felt Nixon was only
focused on how to gain power for himself.
This was displayed in various ways.
Nixon failed to consult with Congress about
international issues involving the U.S. He
also used public funds to remodel his
private homes and used the CIA and FBI to
collect information about his political
Since the end of World War II, the U.S. had
refused to establish diplomatic relations with
Nixon was a strong anti-Communist, however
he wanted to create a more predictable
situation in Asia compared to events that
almost led to nuclear war. (Korean & Vietnam
Wars, Cuban Missile Crisis)
Nixon’s most important role was allowing
communication to occur between the leaders of
China, the Soviet Union, and the United States.
President Nixon announced to
the United States on TV he
planned on visiting
Nixon became the first U.S.
President to visit China.
His goal in meeting with the
leaders of China was to
“exchange views on questions
of concern”, “return to
normalization” and “reduce
tensions” between the
Reopening relations with China was Nixon’s
greatest foreign policy achievement.
As a symbolic gesture between the two leaders
of a successful meeting, China gave the United
States two pandas, Ling Ling and Xing Xing.
President Nixon believed
strongly in the policy of
détente (relaxing of
Nixon wanted to stop the
build-up of nuclear weapons.
He became the first
President to visit Moscow
where the Soviets signed an
agreement with the U.S.
Terms of the agreement were
the U.S. would sell American
grain to help the Soviets food
shortage and the Soviets
would limit the development
of defensive missile systems.
President Nixon’s first term had ended.
It was viewed as a positive success due to
progress on Vietnam War and relations with
China and the Soviet Union.
Nixon would run for re-election in 1972 facing
Democratic opponent George McGovern, a
senator from South Dakota.
McGovern Presidential Ad (CLICK HERE)
What was the ad informing the public about
How did the ad say the people put an end to it?
Nixon Presidential Ad (CLICK HERE)
What are 3 reasons the youth of America
should consider re-electing him?
Which campaign ad shows a more positive
Nixon defeats the Democratic
nominee George McGovern.
The win was one of the biggest
presidential victories in U.S.
The re-elected president won
every electoral college vote in all
by 2 states, Massachusetts and
Americans soon learned their
own government was corrupt.
In 1973, Nixon’s Vice President
Spiro Agnew resigned.
It was discovered he had taken
bribes when he was the
Governor of Maryland.
Under the 25th Amendment,
Nixon now had to appoint a
new Vice-President. Gerald
Ford, a Michigan Congressman
was chosen to serve as his new
After the resignation of Vice-
President Agnew, an even
greater scandal begin to surface.
In 1972, a group of former CIA
agents were part of Nixon’s
They were working to help him be
re-elected as President and arrested
for breaking into the Watergate
complex in Washington D.C..
The Watergate was the
Democratic Party headquarters
of Nixon’s opponent McGovern.
Two reporters from the
Washington Post Newspaper
were the first to report possible
links between the break in and the
As a result Congress created a
committee to investigate the incident.
A hearing (meeting) was called to
discover what role President
Nixon might have played in the
Watergate break in.
President Nixon tried to cover up
an investigation of the Watergate
break in, claiming it was an issue
of “National Security”
In the Senate hearings, a
stated that Nixon had
participated in trying to
cover up his role in the
Watergate break in.
The assistant told Congress
that Nixon secretly recorded
all of his own White House
The Senate knew the
“secret” tapes could prove
Nixon’s involvement in the
Watergate Scandal and
demanded Nixon to hand
over all tapes.
Nixon claimed he had
“Executive Privilege” as the
President of the U.S. and
refused to hand over the
He claimed Congress had no
authority to question members
of the executive branch (White
House) without Presidential
Due to the President’s
failure to cooperate, the
Supreme Court heard the
United States v. Nixon case
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled
that Nixon must turn over the
tapes to Congress.
The ruling was based on the
Constitutional principle that
no one is above the law,
including the President.
The “Secret Tapes” were now
handed over to the Senate
Committee handling the
investigation of Watergate.
Nixon Video Clip (CLICK HERE)
Pay attention to the President’s attitude and
assume the reason for this attitude as you
When President Nixon turned over some of the
secret tapes, some of the conversations were
One tape had a gap of 18 minutes and was blamed on
“accidental” erasure by Nixon’s secretary.
Americans believed the missing conversations
were part of an effort for Nixon to hide evidence.
As the investigation continued, the tapes proved
Nixon had a desire to punish political opponents
and to slow the Watergate investigation.
Nixon’s supporters begin to suggest he step down
or face the being impeached (removed) as
President by the Senate
When the tapes were made public,
they revealed Nixon had lied
when he said he was not involved
in the cover-up.
The U.S. Congress voted to begin
impeachment trial of President
Members of the Republican Party
told Nixon removal from office
would occur without a doubt and
a liability they Republicans could
Nixon had to determine if he
wanted to go through with the
impeachment trial or resign from
Nixon Video Clip (CLICK HERE)
Start @ 1:20 mark if it doesn’t load there.
As you watch the clip think:
Did Nixon tell the truth when he made this
On August 8, 1974, Nixon gave his final
address to the United States.
He became the first President and only one to
Lower public confidence in
Showed the growth of
Presidential power created new
ways for abuse.
The Supreme Court determines
the law of the land based on the
Constitution, not the President.
Watergate Scandal (CLICK HERE)
As you watch the clip, pay attention to the role
journalists from the Washington Post had on
Gerald Ford became the next
Ford had never been elected as
President, but was appointed as
Nixon’s Vice President when Spiro
Agnew was forced to resign.
One of Ford’s first acts as
President was to pardon Nixon
for any crimes he had
“I simply was not convinced that the country
wanted to see an ex-President behind bars. We are
not a vengeful people; forgiveness is one of the
roots of the American tradition. And Nixon, in my
opinion, had already suffered enormously….But I
wasn’t motivated by concern over the state of his
health. It was the state of the country’s health at
home and around the world that worried me…”
President Nixon decided to conduct an interview
with reporter David Frost in 1977.
Nixon was interested in being interviewed and
would be paid $600,00 along with 20% of the
profits made from the interview.
12 interviews occurred and were cut down to 4 90
When the episodes aired, 45 million viewers
Last part of Frost / Nixon Interview