Friday, December 26, 2008

RICHARD NIXON, 38TH PRESIDENT - Richard Nixon had previously served as Vice President under President Eisenhower. Afterwards, he ran for President but was defeated by John F. Kennedy. He finally was elected and sworn in as the nation's 38th President on January 20, 1969. His inauguration was unusual in that only individuals with special invitations were admitted to the Capitol grounds for the inauguration ceremony. Also, two Bibles were utilized, both family heirlooms. As President, Nixon's two biggest achievements were his trip to China to open up relations with China and his Executive Order creating the United States Environmental Protection Agency. He was less successful in his campaign promise to get us out of the Vietnam War, with some people believing that he purposely delayed the withdrawal of our troops so as to hence his status as a war-time President and thus chances of being re-elected. After being elected to a second term, however, he became embroiled in the Watergate scandal and, because of the threat of his impeachment and prosecution by the Watergate Special Prosecutor, he was forced to resign, becoming the only President to resign from office. While he was pardoned by his succesor, President Gerald Ford, a number of his top White House staff were convicted and went to jail for actions related to the Watergate scandal.