Today In History Spotlights Jan. 9, 1913, Birth of Richard Nixon

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Richard Nixon is born in Yorba Linda, California. In his young years, he attended Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina, then practiced law upon returning to California. When the United States entered World War II, he joined the Navy, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander, and served from 1942-1946 (though he remained an inactive member until 1966). Nixon entered the political arena representing California in the US House of Representatives from 1947-1950, and it was during this time that he gained national prominence as an anti-Communist. He served his home state again as a US Senator from 1950-1953, and then served as Vice President from 1953-1961.

A member of the Republican Party, Nixon served as President from 1969-1974, winning the 1972 Election by one of the largest landslides in US history. As Chief Executive, he oversaw the first moon-landing mission, pursued Detente with the Soviet Union and China, ended US involvement in Vietnam, and supported both the Philadelphia Plan (for affirmative action) and the Equal Rights Amendment. He also signed the Environmental Protection Agency into creation, and he initiated the War on Drugs, as well as the War on Cancer. On August 9, 1974, Nixon resigned from the presidency, due to his affiliation in attempting to cover up the Watergate Scandal. He is currently the only President to have resigned from office. In a controversial move, Nixon was later pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford. He passed away on April 22, 1994.

What Happened On This Day – January 9

  • 2005 The second Sudanese War ends. As an outcome, Southern Sudan is granted autonomy; in 2011, South Sudan becomes an independent nation.
  • 1916 The Battle of Gallipoli ends. The Gallipoli Campaign during World War I ended with the victory of the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1861 The first shots of the American Civil War are fired. The steamer, Star of the West, was fired upon by the Confederates as it attempted to enter Charleston Harbor
  • 1768 Philip Astley opens the world’s first modern circus. The British equestrian, who is considered the father of modern circus, opened a riding school in London where he also performed tricks for an audience in the afternoons.
  • 1431 The trial against Joan of Arc begins. She was executed on May 30, 1431, exonerated in 1456, and canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

Births On This Day – January 9

  • 1944 Jimmy Page – English guitarist, songwriter, producer
  • 1941 Joan Baez – American singer-songwriter, activist
  • 1922 Ahmed Sékou Touré – Guinean politician, 1st President of Guinea
  • 1913 Richard Nixon – American politician, 37th President of the United States
  • 1890 Kurt Tucholsky – German journalist

Deaths On This Day – January 9

  • 2014 Amiri Baraka – American poet, actor, activist
  • 1908 Wilhelm Busch – German poet, painter, illustrator
  • 1908 Abraham Goldfaden – Russian actor, playwright, author
  • 1873 Napoleon III – French politician, 1st President of France
  • 1324 Marco Polo – Italian explorer

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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