I Am Not a Crook: The Richard Nixon Quiz
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About This Quiz
For better or worse, Richard M. Nixon left his mark on American politics. There were plenty of high and low points in between the family ranch and the helicopter ride away from the White House. How much do you know about the 37th U.S. president?
In what state was Nixon born?
Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California, in 1913.
What does the "M" in Richard M. Nixon stand for?
Everything's coming up Richard Milhous Nixon.
At what university did Nixon attend law school?
Nixon went to the Duke University School of Law on a full scholarship.
In what branch of the military did Nixon serve during World War II?
Nixon served in the Navy, primarily running logistics and supply operations.
What was the first major political office that Nixon held?
congressman for California's 12th District
In 1946, Nixon defeated incumbent Democrat Jerry Voorhis for a seat in the House of Representatives, representing California's 12th District.
mayor of Rancho Cucamonga, California
What communist-hunting congressional committee was Nixon part of in the late 1940s?
McCarthy Commission on Defending Against Communists
Committee to Re-elect the President
House Un-American Activities Committee
The infamous House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was part of Nixon's congressional career.
In 1950, what political office did Nixon run for?
chief judge, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
He ran for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Helen Douglas.
Did he win or lose when he ran for U.S. Senate in 1950?
Nixon won the election by a large margin.
Nixon's campaign tactics against Douglas included comparing her to another politician with rumored communist sympathies. This campaign earned him what nickname, which stuck to him through his political career?
The "Tricky Dick" sobriquet was especially unflattering during his presidential scandal.
What president did Nixon serve as vice president under?
Nixon was chosen as Eisenhower's vice president for the 1952 election.
During the 1952 campaign, Nixon was accused of using money from political supporters to reimburse himself for expenses, a legal but ethically questionable tactic. How did he defuse the scandal?
He cut off several high-profile reporters from covering the campaign.
He gave a televised speech transparently explaining the situation and discussing his family's modest standard of living.
The widely watched "Checkers Speech" turned public opinion in Nixon's favor.
He lobbied to have campaign finance laws changed.
Why was it called the "Checkers Speech"?
He gave the speech from a diner in Palo Alto, California, called Checkers.
He compared the political maneuvering of campaign season to a game of checkers.
One of the gifts he'd been given was a puppy his daughter named Checkers.
Nixon declared that his daughter would not be returning her puppy to the supporter that had given it to the Nixons.
How was the office of vice president different with Nixon on the job than it had been in the past?
Nixon resided in Bakersfield, California, instead of Washington, acting as a sort of "west coast president."
Nixon was a much more involved and active vice president under Eisenhower.
Eisenhower gave Nixon far more responsibility than previous vice presidents had enjoyed, allowing Nixon to be more active in political affairs.
Nixon gave many press conferences and acted as a spokesman for Eisenhower.
What happened in 1955 that led to a turning point in Nixon's career?
Nixon visited Cambodia and spoke to communist leaders there.
North Korea declared war on the U.S.
Eisenhower suffered a heart attack, leaving Nixon in charge of the executive branch for more than a month.
Nixon was lauded for his efforts while Eisenhower was incapacitated, which re-energized his career. He'd been thinking of quitting politics before then.
How many terms did Nixon serve as vice president?
He served under Eisenhower for both of Eisenhower's terms.
What was considered the deciding factor in Nixon "losing" the first televised debate to John F. Kennedy?
Nixon growing angry and snapping at Kennedy several times
Nixon's poor grasp of foreign policy
Nixon's sweaty appearance and 5 o'clock shadow compared to Kennedy's composed appearance
Nixon's debate performance and failure due to his appearance is an example of the way television, as a visual medium, changed American society.
What was the electoral vote tally in the 1960 presidential election?
Nixon won more states but fewer electoral votes, losing 303-219.
What did Nixon run for after losing the 1960 presidential election?
Nixon ran for governor of California and lost, a failure widely considered the end of his career in politics at the time.
Nothing, he was semiretired until 1968.
What did Nixon infamously say when he conceded the gubernatorial election?
"You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore."
Nixon was lashing out at reporters when he told them they wouldn’t have him to kick around anymore, suggesting he planned to retire from politics.
What is the title of Nixon's first book?
"Six Crises" referred to key events during Nixon's time in Congress and as vice president.
Who was Nixon competing against in the 1968 Republican presidential primaries?
He faced George Romney, father of Mitt Romney, who dropped out of the race before the national convention.
With what nation did Nixon greatly expand diplomatic relations, partly through an exchange of table tennis teams?
Nixon traveled to China and met with Mao Zedong, something that seemed impossible a few years earlier.
In what year were the Paris Peace Accords signed, ending the Vietnam War, which Nixon had pledged to end during his campaign?
The treaty was signed in 1973, but it wasn't necessarily the peace with honor he was hoping for.
What was the name of Nixon's 1972 re-election fundraising organization?
Committee for the Re-election of the President
The acronym CREEP (Committee for the Re-election of the President) seems like something from a movie. In truth, it was internally known as the CRP, but everyone called it CREEP once the Watergate scandal happened.
What crime initially exposed the Watergate scandal?
CREEP bribing Washington Post reporters to quash stories unfavorable to Nixon
CREEP violating campaign finance laws
CREEP operatives breaking into the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building
The discovery that Nixon campaign funds were used to bribe the CREEP operatives who were arrested for the break-in into silence really blew the scandal open.
Former White House lawyer John Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee something huge that suggested there was direct evidence of the sitting president being involved in illegal schemes. What did he tell them?
that conversations in the Oval Office were recorded on tape
Dean knew that Nixon recorded everything in the Oval Office. Legal efforts to gain access to the tapes consumed the rest of the Watergate scandal.
that Nixon kept detailed records of CREEP's financial transactions, including illegal ones
that Nixon's wife was willing to testify against him
What was the Saturday Night Massacre?
the night Nixon demanded the attorney general fire Archibald Cox, head of the Watergate investigation; both the attorney general and his deputy resigned instead
Both Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than do what Nixon told them. Robert Bork eventually fired Cox at Nixon's behest. Nixon's infamous "I am not a crook" press conference occurred about a month later.
the night five witnesses to various aspects of the scandal were found dead in seemingly unrelated incidents
the night Nixon left office
Why did Nixon feel he should NOT have to release the White House tapes to investigators?
He claimed the tapes contained personal conversations not subject to the investigation.
He claimed he didn't have the tapes.
He claimed executive privilege — that simply by virtue of being president he didn’t have to comply with the investigation.
Nixon's claim of executive privilege was overruled by the Supreme Court, and the tapes were released.
Would Nixon have been impeached if he hadn’t resigned?
The release of the tapes turned almost every member of Congress against him — the impeachment vote was certain to succeed if he didn't resign.
It's uncertain how the vote would have gone.
True or false: Richard Nixon is the only president to have resigned from office.
Nixon resigned on Aug. 9, 1974. Gerald Ford succeeded him as president.
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