Richard Nixon
Nixon’s ‘Checkers’ Speech in 1952

On September 23, 1952, Richard Nixon, a California senator at the time, went on air to defend himself against accusations of an established fund–created by his backers–that would reimburse him for his political expenses. He says, “Not one cent of the 18 thousand dollars or any other money of that type ever went to me or my personal use.”

He famously states in his speech that the one gift he plans to keep a is a dog that his kids named Checkers: “A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog. And, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he’d sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. And our little girl—Tricia, the 6-year-old—named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.”

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Submitted by: Virginia Choi
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