Who Was Richard Nixon?

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11399

Resigning a job is not unusual, unless you're the president! Although Nixon was a popular, successful president, he had to quit. Find out why, and how much he did for the United States and the world!


United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Richard Nixon was the second president in U.S. history (Franklin Roosevelt was the other) to be elected four times. He was elected twice as a vice president and twice as the president of the United States.

He was extremely successful in his time in the White House until the Watergate scandal. Discover what a great leader Nixon was for the American people before one of the biggest mistakes of presidential history!

Nixon did many things as president that changed the world, before the Watergate scandal.

He strengthened relationships with communist countries (in particular, China and the U.S.S.R., now known as Russia) so the Cold War could eventually come to an end. The Cold War was not a war fought with weapons, but was an 84-year war of tension between countries who were developing nuclear weapons. Historians believe the connections made with these countries helped keep the U.S. out of a nuclear war. Without Nixon's six years in office, we could only guess what could have happened between countries who were anxious to flex their muscles and prove they had better warheads.

For a better understanding of these issues, read 1972 President Nixon in Moscow from The History Channel.

  1. Write a dialogue or conversation between Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev (the Soviet leader) about agreeing to keep nuclear warheads from blowing each other up.
  2. Write at least 30 lines of dialog.
  3. Be sure to consider that both these leaders were keeping the safety of their country in mind during these talks.
  4. Start your conversation like this:
    • Nixon: Thank you for having me in your country to visit! I have enjoyed my time here.
    • Brezhnev: We are happy to have you. What did you want to come here to discuss?
    • Nixon: Mr. Brezhnev, we have information that you have nuclear warheads pointed at Washington, D.C., and we are a bit worried you may fire them.
    • Brezhnev: Where did you get your information? Why do you think that is happening?

Share your dialogue with your teacher or parent. Read it like a play, with each of you choosing a character. Have fun with it and be creative!

Now make a list of facts about Richard Nixon and the contributions he made to the United States. You will use these facts in the next section. Watch this President Richard Nixon Biography*** video from the American President series and read Richard M. Nixon from WhiteHouse.gov:

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