Senator Richard Nixon’s Checkers Speech

In his 1952 Checkers speech, Richard Nixon was one of the first politicians to use the medium of television to defend himself against accusations of wrong-doing.

This speech came during the 1952 presidential election campaign. Senator Nixon was Dwight D. Eisenhower’s vice-presidential running mate. Accused of accepting illegal gifts, Nixon used his television appearance to deny the allegations and outline his personal financial circumstances.

Nixon referred to a cocker spaniel dog his family had been given. Black and white spotted, they called it Checkers. “And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.” [Read more…]