09 January-President Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon, President of the United States visited his ancestral home at Hodgestown, Timahoe Co Kildare, Ireland on October 5th 1970. He was on a three day state visit to Ireland. Nixon had taken up office in January 1969 as the 37th President of the United States of America. It is said that he immediately began to plan a visit to Ireland in order to secure the Irish vote for his re-election. He felt he had underestimated the Irish vote when he lost to John F Kennedy in 1960.

Richard Milhous Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California in 1913. He qualified as a lawyer and was elected to the US. House of Representatives in November 1946. In 1950, Nixon was elected to the United States Senate and in 1952 was chosen by Dwight Eisenhower as his running mate in the election for president. He served as Vice-President for eight years under Eisenhower.

Nixon was nominated to run for President by the Republican Party but was narrowly defeated by John F. Kennedy in 1960. He was eventually elected US President in 1968. During his time as President, Nixon ended American involvement the Vietnam War, opened diplomatic relations with China and introduced several reforms in the US. He was re-elected to serve for a second term in 1972. However in 1974, following the Watergate scandal, he became the only US President in history to resign from office.

Richard Nixon’s maternal ancestors, Thomas and Sarah Milhous, left Ireland and settled in Pennsylvania in 1729.The Nixon family had always been aware of the Timahoe connection and Nixon’s aunt, Rose, visited Timahoe in 1952. In Timahoe Nixon and his entourage were greeted by a crowd of about 1,000 people. They were entertained by the Artane Boys Band and the President unveiled a monument. Inscribed on the monument are the words, ‘In memory of the Irish Quakers of Timahoe. Dedicated October, 1970 by Richard Milhous Nixon, President of the United States of America, whose maternal ancestors are resting here’. President Nixon’s wife Pat Nixon (nee Ryan), whom Nixon referred to as ‘my wild Irish Gypsy’, accompanied the President. During their visit to Ireland. Pat Nixon took the opportunity to visit her relatives in Robeen near Ballinrobe, Co Mayo.

Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States was born in Yorba Linda, California in 1913 On This Day.

Richard Milhous Nixon, Thirty-seventh President (1969-1974) by cliff1066™ on 2008-11-28 16:25:58


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