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Digital Subscriptions > BBC History Revealed > February 2019 > Richard nixon

Richard nixon

In the annals of political scandals, one name stands above all others: Watergate. Nige Tassell reveals how this botched burglary turned the one-time darling of American politics into the least-popular US President of the 20th century
Arms outstretched, fingers forming Vs for Victory, Nixon laps up the adoration at a rally in 1968 – the year he won the presidency. He adopted the same pose for his final departure from the White House in the wake of the Watergate scandal
HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

“I Richard Milhous Nixon, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

These were the words by which the 37th US President was sworn in on 20 January 1969. Five and a half years later, these words would ring hollow.

Richard Nixon’s journey to the White House had followed a somewhat more serpentine route than the limousine ride along Pennsylvania Avenue that took him to his new home later that day In 1942, after five years of practising law in his native California, he headed east to Washington to take employment in the federal government. Tere his political career would both be patiently made – and then carelessly smashed.

ABOVE LEFT: Nixon was dubbed ‘Tricky Dick’ thanks to his antics on the Senate campaign trail
ABOVE: Eisenhower and Nixon toast a second term in ofce in 1957
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About BBC History Revealed

Egyptologist Chris Naunton takes us on a tour of the greatest discoveries found in Egypt down the centuries. Plus: We look at the German resistance movements that stood up to Hitler, the tragic tale of the nine-day queen – Lady Jane Grey and the fall from grace of one of America’s once most-beloved politicians, Richard Nixon.