The Archive

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Nixon Centennial

Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, was born on January 9, 1913. Yesterday was January 9, 2013. I did not even realize until this morning, January 10, that Nixon would have been celebrating his 100th birthday the day before. It was not in the news. It was not mentioned at any website I frequent. Heck, even the Nixon Library website doesn't mention it. It went essentially unnoticed.

I did find that there was a celebration that took place in California, which included among its attendees Henry Kissinger, Pat Buchanan, and Ben Stein. Video from C-SPAN here.

While some might prefer not to remember Watergate ever happening (chief among them would be Nixon), Nixon's presidency was much more than that. He normalized relations with mainland China. He brought the Vietnam War to a close, albeit controversially. In terms of foreign policy, his was a mostly successful administration.

The negatives came mostly on the domestic front. There was Watergate, of course. There were wage and price controls. The economy from Lyndon Johnson through Jimmy Carter was quite sluggish, and Nixon's years were no exception.

Nixon is a polarizing figure, although there are probably many more who view his presidency as a total failure than those who even acknowledge its successes. Nevertheless, he is a memorable figure even by the standards of the American presidency. I would have expected more coverage of the centennial.

No comments: