Richard Nixon: 8 Weird Facts Not Many People Know About The 37th President

By Antonia Čirjak on February 27 2020 in Did You Know

Richard Nixon adn Elvis Presley. Image by WikiImages from Pixabay
Richard Nixon adn Elvis Presley. Image by WikiImages from Pixabay
  • Richard Nixon was the only president of the United States who resigned from office.
  • Nixon was musically talented and could play five instruments.
  • He signed Title IX, a civil rights law against gender bias at colleges.

Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, served from 1969 to 1974. During his five years in the White House, he established the Environmental Protection Agency and saw the end of the U.S. engagement in the Vietnam War. His visit to China in 1972 is considered the start of diplomatic relations that the country had with the United States.

During his administration, power was relocated from federal to state control, and Southern schools were desegregated. During his second term, he started losing political support due to the Watergate scandal. He was facing impeachment and was forced to resign. He is the only U.S. president ever to resign from office. However, there are still plenty of lesser-known facts about the 37th president of the United States, and this article deals with some of them.

8. He Was Impeached Because Of A Huge Scandal

While this was a well-known event back when it happened, it is good to remember the weird story of the Watergate scandal. The Watergate building in Washington, D.C., was the Democratic Party’s headquarters. On June 17th, 1972, people that worked on Nixon’s election campaign broke into the building and started tapping phone lines and stole secret documents.

It was never confirmed if Nixon knew this would happen beforehand, but he did his best to cover up the scandal after it happened. It was found out that he gave money to the people involved in the scandal for them to stay quiet and burned some documents not to get found out. However, the truth was revealed, and he was impeached.

7. He Was A Progressive Thinker

Nixon was quite progressive in some regards, and two of his deeds showcase that the best. The first one was during his first term as President when he managed to achieve desegregation of schools in the South, in no less than seven states. The second one was Title IX, a civil rights law Nixon signed that prohibits gender-based discrimination at universities and colleges. 

6. His Checkers Speech Was Actually A Joke

The speech that, according to many, saved Richard Nixon’s career became famous due to an inside joke. In this speech, Nixon touched upon his modest upbringing while dealing with his detractors, and mentioned that if he loses everything, he will still keep his dog, Checkers. This was meant to be a joke aimed at Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Fala speech. The joke was there for Nixon’s Republican audience, and the aim was for them to get it. However, it became the line that marked the entire speech and gave it its name. That made Nixon furious, despite it being the reason his career was saved.

5. Nixon Was A Huge Fan Of Bowling

While this may not seem like such a weird fact, it does become one when you learn of the extremes the former president went through to bowl for a bit. He built not one, but two bowling alleys in the White House complex. He would often bowl while in his suit, basically whenever he’d get some free time. It was considered to be one of his favorite pastimes.

4. He Attempted To Run An Orange Business

In 1938, Richard Nixon had an attempt to make it in the business world by manufacturing California orange juice. Interestingly, his father also tried running a citrus business years before this and failed. Nixon was also unlucky despite his best efforts. His company was called Citra-Frost, and he was not only the president of it, but he also worked in the factory, squeezing and cutting oranges. The novelty of his product was that he was trying to sell frozen orange juice, but the company bankrupt after 18 months.

3. He Could Play Five Musical Instruments

Under the influence of his mother, Richard Nixon was forced to practice playing the piano every day. When he was twelve years old, he was sent 200 miles away from home to take piano lessons with his aunt. She was a former student at the Indianapolis Conservatory of Music.

Nixon never actually learned to read music but was talented enough to learn how to play the saxophone, violin, accordion, and clarinet, alongside the piano. He used his musical talents for political gain as well, appearing on television and playing instruments helped his image tremendously. He continued playing the piano in public occasionally as president as well.

2. Nixon Joined The Navy During World War II

Since he was a Quaker, Nixon did not need to join the military and could have asked to be exempt from the draft. However, he chose to enlist, and in 1942 he was admitted to the United States Navy. Nixon was always moving from station to station, and while he did not directly fight in World War II, he became a commander in 1953. He remained in the Navy until 1966.

1. Richard Nixon Was A Quaker

Quakers are a Christian group, formally called the Religious Society of Friends, whose members believe that every human has the power of God in them. Nixon’s mother was a devout Quaker, and following her lead, her husband and children also joined the religious group. In 1922, young Richard Nixon moved with his family to a Quaker community, where he attended their meetings four times every Sunday. He was also the designated pianist at church services. The college he enrolled in was also a Quaker institution called Whittier College.

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