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Nixon in Watergate
Dátum pridania: 09.01.2008 Oznámkuj: 12345
Autor referátu: Jergusko
Jazyk: Angličtina Počet slov: 1 623
Referát vhodný pre: Vysoká škola Počet A4: 5.2
Priemerná známka: 2.97 Rýchle čítanie: 8m 40s
Pomalé čítanie: 13m 0s

It was a little after two o’clock on the morning of Saturday, 17 June 1972. Five men dressed in dark business suits and wearing rubber surgical gloves, made their way quietly through the maze of blackened offices and corridors, their vast array of hi-tech equipment in tow. Despite their obvious professionalism and knowledge of the layout, they could not have foreseen that an alert security guard would decide to make his rounds of the complex at that moment.

Realizing there had been a break in the guard called the Washington Police Department which sent a quick squad car to the scene. The five men, found in one of the offices, were arrested and held in custody. Six hours later, the phone rang in reporter Bob Woodward’s apartment. The young former naval officer picked up the phone to hear the editor from the Washington post order him to go down to the courthouse. Woodward wasn’t impressed at first with his Saturday assignment. Nevertheless his interest peaked when he found out that the burglary had occurred at the Democrat national committee headquarters.

And so began the most explosive story in American political history- a scandal that would climax with the fall of President Richard Milhouse Nixon. After its course had run, the very name Watergate would be synonymous with immorality and officially sanctioned crimes.

Nixon’s scandalous behavior did not begin with Watergate. That was merely the culmination of a political life built in often shady conduct. Curiously, the man who later wanted to hire union thugs to deal with anti-Vietnam activists began life as a Quaker with non-violent ideals. The second of five brothers, he was born on 9 January 1913 in Yorba Linda, California, where his father grew lemons. His parents were ordinary working people. Although a shy, introverted youth, Nixon was nevertheless a brilliant student. While he did well at all subjects, he preferred history and music. In effort to overcome his shyness, he took public speaking and became the leading member of college debating clubs. While at the Whittier College, a Quaker institution, he received scholarship to the prestigious Duke University. Three years later he emerged with his law degree, third in class, and joined a law firm back in California. One of his past time activities was acting in a voluntary theatre group, and it was there that he met Pat Ryan a typing teacher who would later become his wife.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Nixon decided to do his part in the American war effort. So he moved to Washington, where he did legal work for the government. Later, despite his Quaker background, he was given a Navy commission as a lieutenant. He ended the war a lieutenant commander. In 1946, on the urging of a banker friend, he decided to enter politics, running as a republican in California’s congressional district. Nixon won the elections easily. In his second term in Congress he was appointed to the controversial House of Un-American Activities Committee. There he acquired the nickname pit bull of Congress, for his never-ending “biting” of the American communists. His reputation as a communist hunter helped carry him to victory in the 1950 Senate elections. He was 37 at that time but still an old fish in the waters of Washington’s dealing machinations. Two years after his term as the youngest republican senator, he was selected to be Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice-president.

After a couple of months later, he almost had to quit political life for good. A New York newspaper accused him of using 10 000 dollars from the campaign funds for his personal expenses. The outcry shook the Republican Party and Eisenhower told Nixon he would have to prove he was “as clean as a hound’s tooth”, or he would have to face political exile. On 23 September, the young senator appeared on national television, his wife at his side, to explain the alleged misconduct. His defense became known as the ‘Checkers Speech’. Nixon explained that the funds had been entirely used for the political campaign purposes, and that he would never allow anything immoral or illegal to threat his career. He ended his speech with a line he would paraphrase 20 years later: “I don’t think I ought to quit, because I’m not a quitter.” The American people believed in his innocence and he returned to doing what he did best-attacking his democrat opponents. He claimed that Democratic nominee for President, Adlai Stevenson, had given support to Alger Hiss. Hiss was a former state department official whom Nixon had convicted as a communist several years earlier. This strategy worked, as the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket won a landslide victory.

With the retirement of Eisenhower, Nixon decided to aim at the topmost places in politics, the US presidency. His first attempt didn’t bring him success. In 1996, he lost to the charismatic J.F.Kennedy. This and the defeat in the California governorship elections eleven years later made him retreat from political life. He stayed retired for about 6 years. Then, when President Johnson announced that he would not seek the Democratic Party presidential nominee, the electoral race became the most open in history. This was enough for the ambitious Nixon and he managed to win the nomination for the republicans. He won the presidency only with a half percent margin of victory.

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