The President Nixon announced his Nixon Doctrine, a foreign policy plan that emphasized the United States’ commitment to its treaty obligations, promised allies protection from other nuclear powers, and called on other countries to take responsibility for their own defense.
In the presidential election of 1968, Republican Richard Nixon faced off against Democrat Hubert Humphrey and American Independent Party candidate George Wallace. Humphrey had won the Democratic nomination after the assassination of Robert Kennedy, but Nixon took the national election.
In a series of events dubbed the “Saturday Night Massacre,” President Nixon ordered the firing of the special prosecutor in the Watergate case, Archibald Cox; both the US attorney general and deputy attorney general refused the order and resigned in protest.
Richard Nixon became the first US president to visit the People’s Republic of China when he traveled there for one week in 1972. During his visit, Nixon met with Mao Zedong and other Chinese officials. The trip proved a success when China agreed to establish full diplomatic relations with the US.
Determined to win the 1972 presidential election, the Nixon administration sent special agents—called the “Plumbers”—to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel. They hoped to copy documents and wiretap telephones. The Plumbers were caught by a hotel security guard. The Nixon administration managed to cover up the incident temporarily, but the scandal was revealed by reporters and Senate hearings. Nixon was eventually forced to resign.