Library May Seek Posthumous Reunion for Nixon, Checkers

<i> From Associated Press</i>

Not even a president should be separated from his faithful dog--especially if the canine helped save his political career.

The remains of Richard Nixon’s cocker spaniel, Checkers, may be exhumed from a New York cemetery and reburied near the former president and his wife, Pat, on the grounds of the Nixon presidential library in Yorba Linda, U.S. News & World Report writes in its May 5 edition.

As Dwight D. Eisenhower’s beleaguered running mate in 1952, Nixon invoked the dog’s name in a famous comeback speech in which he denied maintaining a private slush fund from supporters. The dog died 12 years later.


The magazine says “if all goes as planned,” the black-and-white pooch’s remains will be taken from its grave at the Bide-A-Wee Pet Memorial Park on Long Island in the fall and reburied on the library grounds.

“Asked to comment on the report, library officials . . . said only that for now they were ‘keeping [their] paws dry,’ ” the magazine reports. “They noted, however, that Sept. 23, 1997, will mark the 45th anniversary of ‘that extraordinarily important speech.’ ”

The address, which came to be known as Nixon’s “Checkers speech,” allowed him to weather hard times caused by the finance allegations, all of which he denied except one: He “admitted” accepting a gift of a dog named Checkers from a Texan who heard that the Nixon daughters wanted a puppy.