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.”
Originally posted 1952-09-23 22:57:55.