Richard Nixon Fast Facts

37th President of the United States

Nixon's Conference
circa 1975: American president Richard Nixon (1913-1994) smiles while standing next to a US flag during a press conference at the White House, Washington, DC. Hulton Archive / Stringer/ Archive Photos/ Getty Images

Richard Nixon (1913–1994) served as America's 37th president. His administration included the end of the Vietnam War and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Due to a cover-up of illegal activities connected with his committee to elect the president, called the Watergate Scandal, Nixon resigned from the presidency on August 9, 1974. 

Fast Facts

Birth: January 9, 1913

Death: April 22, 1994

Term of Office: January 20, 1969–August 9, 1974

Number of Terms Elected: 2 terms; resigned during second term 

First Lady: Thelma Catherine "Pat" Ryan

Richard Nixon Quote

"The people's right to change what does not work is one of the greatest principles of our system of government."

Major Events While In Office

  • First Man On the Moon (1969): Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the moon, achieving John F. Kennedy's dream of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.   
  • Environmental Protection Agency (1970): Nixon created the EPA as a national body for enacting and enforcing anti-pollution legislation. Early projects of the new agency included the Clean Air Act (1970), the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (1972), and the Clean Water Act (1972).  
  • 26th Amendment (1971): The 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution grants 18-year-olds the right to vote, ending a longstanding debate that began during World War II and gained momentum during the Vietnam War. In both wars, Americans who were too young to vote were being sent to fight by the very government in which they had no voice.  
  • Nixon Visits China (1972): Nixon surprised many in the U.S. and throughout the world by embarking on a week-long trip to Communist China for talks to establish diplomatic relations. China had fought against U.S. forces in the Korean War and remained a bitter rival during the Cold War years following World War II. Nixon's trip marked the beginning of restored relations among two of the worlds most powerful countries.  
  • End of the Vietnam War (1973): The war that officially started in 1954 finally ends well into Nixon's first term. U.S. troops were pulled out in 1973, but fighting inside Vietnam resumed shortly afterward and did not cease until Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975.

Related Richard Nixon Resources

These additional resources on Richard Nixon can provide you with further information about the president and his times.

  • Richard Nixon Biography: A detailed look at the 37th U.S. president, including his political life before and after the presidency. 
  • Watergate Scandal: Watergate has become synonymous with presidential scandal. In 1972, five men were caught breaking into the Democratic National Headquarters located at the Watergate business complex. As the investigation developed, Nixon and his advisors worked to cover up the crimes.
  • Essentials of the Vietnam War: Learn the key events that occurred during the Vietnam War. Over 2.5 million American troops were eventually involved in this highly controversial war. 

Other Presidential Fast Facts

  • Lyndon B. Johnson: Nixon's predecessor was saddled by the war in Vietnam and left office long before it was resolved. His years in office also included the Civil Rights Act, the assassination of Martin Luther King, and the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. 
  • Gerald Ford: Ford stepped in as President following Nixon's resignation in 1974. He would finish Nixon's term but would not be reelected, making him the only president to serve without being elected or previously serving as Vice President.