NIXON LIBRARY : NIXON TIMELINE
* Jan. 9, 1913--Born Yorba Linda; attended elementary schools in Yorba Linda and Fullerton.
“He was a good student and was always ready to recite or to answer questions. . . . Richard always knew the answers and had his hand up first.” --Yonika Iwatsuru a second-grade classmate of Nixon’s at Yorba Linda Elementary School
* 1922--Moved to Whittier, where his father ran a general store and service station.
“I never drive by a vegetable stand without feeling sorry for the guy who picks out the rotten apples.” --Richard Nixon reflecting on his work in the family’s general store
* 1926--Starts at Whittier High School; elected student body president; favorite subjects are history and civics.
* 1930--Starts Whittier College; is elected student body president and plays on the football team.
“I campaigned for college dances on the campus, and believe me, that was radical at Whittier College then.” --Nixon in 1970
“I ran against him for student body president in 1933, and the way he beat me, I figured right then, he would make a great politician.” --Richard Thompson a classmate of Nixon’s
* 1934--Graduates Whittier College, class rank No. 2; starts at Duke University Law School.
* 1937--Graduates from Duke University; class rank 3 of 44.
* 1939--Returns to Whittier; practices law in Whittier and La Habra.
* 1939--Named to Whittier College Board of Trustees; youngest trustee in college’s history at age 26.
* 1940--Marries Thelma Catherine (Pat) Ryan; they met while auditioning for amateur
play in Whittier.
* 1942--Joins Navy and serves during WWII as aviation officer on ground in Pacific.
* 1946--Elected to House of Representatives; runs tough campaign, accusing opponent, Rep. Jerry Voorhis, of being soft on communism and a tool of organized labor.
Nixon has “one motivation, that of promoting Richard Nixon, good or bad.” --Voorhis
* 1947--First term in Congress; gains fame in Alger Hiss case; becomes member of House Un-American Activities Committee.
* 1948--Reelected to House.
* 1950--Elected to the U.S. Senate; reputation grows as a ruthless campaigner unafraid to accuse opponent of being communist sympathizer in race against Rep. Helen Gahagan Douglas, a New Deal Democrat.
* 1952--Dwight D. Eisenhower takes Nixon as vice presidential running mate; Nixon is damaged by disclosure that California supporters were supplementing his Senate salary through $18,000 slush fund; he gives “Checkers” speech on national TV and wins back public approval; Eisenhower and Nixon win the election.
“I am not a quitter.” --Nixon, Televised address, 1952
* 1953--Nixon becomes vice president; increasingly fills in for ailing Eisenhower.
* 1956--Eisenhower-Nixon ticket is reelected; in his second term, Nixon takes greater role in foreign policy.
* 1959--Nixon visits Moscow; has “kitchen debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev during tour of model home.
* 1960--Nixon runs for President, takes part in first televised debates. John F. Kennedy narrowly wins in closest presidential contest in history.
* 1961--Returns to California; practices law in Los Angeles.
* 1962--Wins GOP nomination for governor of California; loses election to incumbent Edmund G. (Pat) Brown.
“You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.” --Nixon the day after loss to Brown
* 1963--Moves to New York to practice law; remains politically active by campaigning for GOP candidates.
“I believe in civil rights, but the first right is to be free of domestic violence.” --Nixon campaigning for President in 1968
* 1968--Wins GOP presidential nomination; defeats Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey to become the nation’s 37th President
* 1969--Nixon takes office and begins withdrawing troops from South Vietnam; military draft lottery system begins; gives “Silent Majority” speech; anti-ballistic missile system proposed.
* 1970--Nixon decides to invade Cambodia, setting off student protests across the country; in domestic affairs, he sets up the Environmental Protection Agency.
Critics say “some of our best boys are going to Canada. I disagree. Our best young men are in Vietnam right now, risking their lives so that those who are now protesting will not have to go to Vietnam.” --Nixon, 1970
“The question is whether we’re going to stand for equality, for decency, for justice and for those old-fashioned ideals that provide the underpinning of our society, or whether we’re going to vote for four more years of the kind of manipulation, deceit and deception that has cursed the country ever since 1969.” --George McGovern Democratic nominee for President, 1972
* June 17, 1972--Political burglars later linked with the Committee to Re-Elect the President are arrested during a break-in at Washington’s Watergate complex.
* 1972--Nixon reelected in a landslide, defeating McGovern; becomes first U.S. President to visit China while in office.
* 1973--Senate investigations of the Watergate scandal begin; Nixon withdraws United States from Vietnam War.
“No one in the Nixon Administration profited from Watergate. No one ripped off the government, as in previous scandals. Wrongdoing took place, but not for personal gain. All Administrations have sought to protect themselves from the political fallout of scandals. In retrospect, I would say that Watergate was one part wrongdoing, one part blundering and one part political vendetta by my enemies.” --Nixon from “In the Arena,” 1990
* Oct. 10, 1973--Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigns from office under investigation for graft.
* October, 1973--Impeachment hearings begin.
* Dec. 6, 1973--Nixon names Rep. Gerald R. Ford of Michigan as vice president.
* July, 1974--House Judiciary Committee recommends impeachment.
* August, 1974--Nixon resigns.
“As our plane circled the El Toro Marine Base on the afternoon of Aug. 9, I could see hundreds of cars lined up, trying to get into the already-overflowing parking area. I had not thought I could find the energy to make another speech that day, but I managed to thank them for welcoming us home, and I vowed to continue to fight for the great causes of peace, freedom and opportunity.” --Nixon “In the Arena,” 1990
* September, 1974--Ford pardons Nixon.
“I was wrong in not acting more decisively and more forthrightly in dealing with Watergate, particularly when it reached the stage of judicial proceedings and grew from a political scandal into a national tragedy. No words can describe the depths of my regret and pain at the anguish my mistakes over Watergate have caused the nation and the presidency.” --Nixon, 1974 in accepting Ford’s pardon
* 1974--Nixon moves back to San Clemente; sues to keep control of his presidential papers.
* 1977--David Frost interviews Nixon in his first return to public view; Nixon said, in discussing Watergate, that it might be correct for a President to break the law if he did so in the national interest
“I let down my friends. I let down the country. I let down our system of government and the dreams of all these young people that ought to get into government but think it’s too corrupt. . . . I let the American people down, and I have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life.” --Nixon in Frost interview
* 1978--Nixon publishes his memoirs.
* 1980--He moves to New York City; writes foreign policy book.
* 1981--He moves to Saddle River, N.J.
* 1982-90--He writes four more foreign policy books; Nixon is embraced by GOP as an elder statesman.
* July, 1990--Nixon presidential library opens.
“Today, the battle I started to wage in 1946 when I first ran for Congress is not over. I still have a few rounds to go.” --Nixon “In the Arena,” 1990
Sources: Los Angeles Times library files, “Facts About the Presidents,” World Book Encyclopedia.