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             Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (1969-74). During his administration the United States withdrew its military forces from Vietnam and informally recognized the government of the People's Republic of China. The WATERGATE scandal that occurred at the beginning of his second term brought Nixon to the verge of IMPEACHMENT by the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and led to his resignation, the first ever by a U.S. president. .
             Early Career .
             Born in Yorba Linda, Calif., on Jan. 9, 1913, Nixon was the second of Hannah and Francis Nixon's five children, all of whom were boys. Despite the economic difficulties and emotional tensions of the Nixon household, young Richard excelled in school, graduating second in his class from Whittier College (1934) and third in his class from Duke University law school (1937). From 1937 to 1942 he practiced law in Whittier, Calif. When the United States entered World War II, he worked briefly for the tire-rationing section of the Office of Price Administration in Washington, D.C., and then served in the navy as a supply officer in the South Pacific. .
             Upon his return to Whittier after the war he entered politics, becoming the REPUBLICAN candidate for CONGRESS in California's 12th district. His first political campaign, in 1946, set the tone for many that would follow. Running against the liberal DEMOCRATIC incumbent, Jerry Voorhis, Nixon suggested that Voorhis had dangerous left-wing tendencies. Nixon won easily and thereafter made anti-Communism one of his main political themes. As a new congressman he was assigned to the then relatively unimportant House Committee on Un-American Activities. He quickly attained national prominence by playing a central role in the committee's investigation of Alger HISS, a former high State Department official accused of carrying on espionage for the USSR during the 1930s. Nixon was reelected to the House in 1948.

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