Checkers Speech

views updated


CHECKERS SPEECH. With the "Checkers" speech, Richard M. Nixon saved his 1952 Republican nomination for vice president. When News broke that Nixon had used a "secret fund" to pay for travel and other expenses, many people—including some advisers to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican presidential candidate—wanted Nixon to leave the ticket. In a nationally televised speech on 23 September, Nixon denied any wrongdoing, but sentimentally admitted that his family had accepted the gift of a dog named Checkers. He declared that "the kids, like all kids, loved the dog and … we're going to keep it." The largely positive public reaction secured Nixon's position, and the Republican ticket went on to win the election.


Ambrose, Stephen E. Nixon: The Education of a Politician 1913– 1962. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987.

Morris, Roger. Richard Milhous Nixon: The Rise of an American Politician. New York: Holt, 1990.

Nixon, Richard M. Six Crises. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1962.


See alsoCorruption, Political .