Richard M. Nixon

1494 WORDS

Richard M. Nixon

Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968, but many of his moments of triumph and failure occurred before this time. So many of these early accomplishments, along with his major accomplishments while in office as well, have been shadowed by the Watergate scandal. From this, we are able to see how vital the President of the United States really is. It shows us what is expected of the President, while in and out of office. The President represents his country, and the people do not tolerate it when their president does not represent them in a good way. Richard Nixon is a prefect example of all these things. He also shows how no one is above the law, not even in the highest position of government.

Born into a small lemon farm in California, Richard Nixon lived on the edge of poverty. The lemon ranch in which he lived in was not profitable and his father was constantly changing jobs and professions. Richard showed signs of leadership and political interest as early as the age of 7. By then, he was reading newspapers and discussing politics with his father. He also had a skill for music, and later became a accomplished pianist.

Richard Nixon was offered a scholarship to Harvard University, but was forced to put it down, for his family needed him at home. He eventually enrolled in Whittier College, were he graduated 3rd in his class. After he graduated from Whittier, he applied for a scholarship to Duke University Law School in North Carolina, and in 1937 he graduated with honors.

Now Nixon had to think about his future. He decided to return to California, where he was hired by the respected law firm of Wingert and Bewley. He remained in this profession until he was offered a job with the government in the Office of Price Administration. But, this job did not last long. Within the same year, America had entered the war, and in the following year, Nixon joined the navy. It was during the war when Nixon learned to play Poker. He became so good at it, he rarely lost. Later, much of his campaign money was earned this way. Richard Nixon won his first campaign in 1946, and became a member of the House of Representatives. He of course was representing California, his home state.

Nixon was also assigned to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). This committee was mostly concerned with Communists in the United States. On August 3, 1948, Whittaker Chambers, a Time Magazine editor who had been a Communist, appeared before HUAC. He gave the committee members the names of Communist agents with whom he said he had worked with before leaving the Communist Party. One of these agents was Alger Hiss, a well-known and respected lawyer who had worked in the State Department and had friends in high places. Hiss had helped prepare the meeting with FDR and Joseph Stalin at Yalton. Alger Hiss said he had never known a man named Whittaker Chambers. He spoke eloquently in his own defense and was applauded by many HUAC members who were present. It would have been much easier for Nixon to let the matter drop, as most HUAC members wanted to do. Nixon was determined to find out who was lying. Then in December, Chambers gave the committee some rolls of microfilm that he had been hiding in a hollowed-out pumpkin. The famous papers were later to be labeled the "pumpkin papers." These papers were actually copies of State Department papers, many of which appeared to have been copied on Hiss's typewriter. This was enough to convince a jury that hiss was a Communist agent who had stolen top secret information from the United States government and that he had lied under oath. His was then sentenced to five years in jail. It was a personal victory for Richard Nixon.

In 1950, Nixon was elected for a 6 year term in the Senate. He only served 2 of these years, the remaining spent as Vice President to General Eisenhower. While in office, he continued his anti-communism beliefs.

In 1960, Eisenhower's second term was coming to an end. The Republicans chose Richard Nixon to be their presidential

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