Timeline of Richard Nixon’s Life and Presidency

Below is a complete timeline of the events that marked the life of Richard Nixon, America’s 37th President.

Richard Nixon’s early life and career

Richard Nixon at Whittier High School, 1930

1913: On January 9 Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California, the second child of Francis A. Nixon and Hannah Milhous Nixon.

1922: His family’s lemon ranch goes bust forcing the family to relocate to Whittier, California.

1928: Transfers from Fullerton Union High School to Whittier High School.

1933: Gets engaged to Ola Florence Welch – broke up in 1935.

1934: Graduates from Whittier College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.

1937: Graduates from Duke University School of Law.

1937: Gets admitted to the California bar and proceeds to practice in Wingert and Bewley.

1939: Becomes a full partner in the law firm Wingert and Bewley.

Marriage and Family

President Nixon family portrait

June 21, 1940: After dating for almost two year, he ties the knot with Thelma “Pat” Ryan.

1942: Nixon and his wife Pat move to Washington, D.C.; he works at the Office of Price Administration.

1946: Daughter Tricia is born.

1948: Second daughter Julie is born.

Military service

Lieutenant Commander Richard Nixon, United States Navy (circa 1945)

June, 1942: Applies to the U.S. Navy.

June 15, 1942: Gets appointed lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

October, 1942: Becomes an aide to the commander of the Naval Air Station Ottumwa in Iowa.

July 2, 1943: Gets assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 25 in the South Pacific Theater.

October 1, 1943: Gets promoted to lieutenant.

January 1945: Transferred to the Bureau of Aeronautics office in Philadelphia.

October, 1945: Gets promoted to lieutenant commander.

March 10, 1946: Relieved of active duty.

June 1, 1953: Becomes commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

June 6, 1966: Retires from the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Nixon’s Political Career

Richard Nixon’s congressional campaign flyer

1946: Wins the 1946 California’s 12th congressional district election.

1947: Serves on the Education and Labor Committee; he also supports the Taft-Hartley Act, the federal law that keeps an eye on labor unions’ activities.

1947: Becomes a member of the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

November 1949: Enters the race to unseat Democratic Senator Sheridan Downey; defeats Democratic Representative Helen Gahagan Douglas at the senatorial elections.

1952: A 39-year-old Nixon gets picked as Dwight D. Eisenhower’s running mate for the 1952 presidential election.

September 23, 1952: Addresses the nation to clear the air over allegations of conflict of interest stemming from his political fund.

Vice Presidency

November 1952: Eisenhower and Nixon win the presidential election, defeating Democrat Adlai Stevenson.

April 1956: President Eisenhower picks Nixon for their reelection bid in the November 1956 election.

November 1956: Eisenhower and Nixon are reelected.

April, 1958: Vice President Nixon and his wife Pat tour South America, which saw them treated in a hostile manner by demonstrators in Lima, Peru and Caracas, Venezuela.

July 24, 1958: Visits the Soviet Union to open the American National Exhibition in Moscow.

1960: Nixon makes his ambitions known by launching his campaign for president; his running mate is Massachusetts Senator+ Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.

Bid for the White House

November 1960: Narrowly losses the 1960 presidential election to JFK and Lyndon B. Johnson by about 112,000 popular votes.

1962: Losses his bid [to incumbent Governor Pat Brown] to become governor of California.

1963: Relocates to New York City to take up a senior partner position at the law firm Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander.

1968: Gets nominated by the RNC to run during the 1968 presidential election; his running mate is Spiro Agnew.

Read More: 6 Six Things You Need To Know About The Vietnam War

Richard Nixon’s Presidency

Richard Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President by Chief Justice Earl Warren on January 20, 1969

November 1968: Wins the 1968 presidential election by defeating Democratic opponent Vice President Hubert Humphrey [by about 500,000 votes]; he won 301 electoral votes versus Humphrey’s 191 and Alabama Governor George Wallace’s 46.

January 20, 1969: Sworn in as the 37th president of the United States by Chief Justice Earl Warren.

May 1969: Proposed removing American troops from south Vietnam if North Vietnam does same.

July 1969: Visits South Vietnam and meets with U.S. military heads and President Nguyen Van Thieu. Phased out U.S. withdraw and replacing U.S. troops with South Vietnamese troops – “Vietnamization”.

July, 1969: Makes a phone conversation with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin during the Moon landing (i.e. Apollo 11 mission).

April 30, 1970: Announces the deployment of American troops into Cambodia.

May 9, 1970: Meets with the leaders of the anti-war movement at the Lincoln Memorial.

President Nixon quote

June 1970: Forms the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

1971: Sends his closest advisor National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger to China

1971: Holds an economic summit at Camp David to tackle inflation in the U.S.

February 1972: Nixon and his wife First Lady Pat visit China and are greeted by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai; Nixon and Kissinger also meet with Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong.

May 16, 1972: Signs the National Sickle Cell Anemia Control Act

May 22, 1972: Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon visit Moscow and meet up with a number of important Soviet leaders and officials

May 24, 1972: Gives his approval to a cooperative program between NASA and the Soviet Union space program

November 7, 1972: Gets reelected in the 1972 presidential election by defeating South Dakota Senator George McGovern; Nixon secured about 60 percent of the popular vote

June 1973: Deploys more price controls to rein in on inflation

October, 1973: Supports Israel during the Yom Kippur War.

President Nixon quote

Watergate scandal and resignation

June 17, 1972: News outlets break the news that President Nixon and many of his administration officials were linked to the five men that were caught breaking into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate complex, Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972.

October 1973: Nixon fires Watergate Special Counsel Archibald Cox

October 10, 1973: Vice President Agnew tends in his resignation from office over an unrelated scandal; Nixon’s second in command was alleged to have taken bribes and engaged in money laundering during his time as Maryland governor.

October 1973: Picks Gerald Ford, Minority Leader of the House, to serve as vice president

November 17, 1973: Meets the press to clear the air about the Watergate scandal

May 9, 1974: The House Judiciary Committee begins impeachment hearings against Nixon.

June 27, 1974: Visits Moscow for a second time, meeting with Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev

June 1974: Visits the Middle East, becoming the first U.S. president to visit Israel.

July 24, 1974: The Supreme Courts orders that full tapes of the recordings between Nixon and his aides be released

August 9, 1974: President Nixon announces his resignation from office during an address to the nation; Nixon heads to his home in San Clemente, California.

September 8, 1974: President Gerald Ford gives Nixon a “full, free, and absolute pardon”.

October 1974: Gets struck with an illness – phlebitis; he is then operated on.

Retirement and death

1977: Nixon’s interview with British journalist and television host Sir David Frost is released; the interview was watched by close to 50 million people.

February 1976: Honors the invitation of Mao and visits China

1976: The New York State Bar Association disbars Nixon over his involvement in the Watergate scandal

1978: Visits the UK and meets with then-leader of the opposition Margaret Thatcher and other senior officials; he also addressed the Oxford Union.

1978: Nixon’s memoir RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon is published; the book went on to become a bestseller

1979: Visits the White House under initiation of then-president Jimmy Carter

1979: Visits Beijing

1980: Offers his support to Republican Ronald Reagan in the lead up to the November 1980 presidential election

1986: Visits the Soviet Union

July 19, 1990: The Richard Nixon Library is opened in Yorba Linda, California

January 1994: Establishes the think tank called the Nixon Center (i.e. the Center for the National Interest) in Washington.

June 22, 1993: After more than half a century of marriage, Pat Nixon dies of lung cancer

April 18, 1994: Suffers a stroke at his New Jersey home.

April 22, 1994: Richard Nixon passes away, aged 81.

April 27, 1994: His funeral service is held in Yorba Linda, California; in attendance were then-President Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Reverend Billy Graham and others. Richard Nixon is buried beside his wife Pat Nixon at the Nixon Library.

Richard Nixon: Fast Facts

Born – Richard Milhous Nixon

Birthday – January 9, 1913

Place of Birth – Yorba Linda, California, United States

Died – April 22, 1994

Place of death – New York City, United States

Cause of death – Stroke

Burial – Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Parents – Francis A. Nixon and Hannah Milhous

Siblings – Harold (1909-1933), Donald (1914-1987), Arthur (1918-1925), Edward (1930-2019)

Wife – Pat Ryan (married in 1940)

Children – Julie and Tricia

Education – Fullerton Union High School , Whittier High School, Whittier College; Duke University School of Law (1937)

Political Party – Republican

Elected offices – 37th President of the United States (1969-1974), 36th Vice President of the United States (1953-1961), U.S. Senator from California (1950-1953), U.S. House of Representatives from California (1947-1950)

Most known for: Watergate Scandal of the early 1970s; the only president to resign from the White House

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