5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Richard Nixon

On this day in 1973, in the midst of the Watergate scandal that eventually ended his presidency, President Richard Nixon told a group of newspaper editors that he is “not a crook.”  Here are 5 things you didn't know about the president that some nicknamed “Tricky Dick.”...


Nixon Met His Wife at a Community Theater Audition Nixon and Thelma “Pat” Ryan were both trying out for roles in “The Dark Tower,” a community theater production that was to be held in Whittier, California. According to Pat Nixon, her future husband proposed during their first date, and she thought he was “nuts.” They dated for two years before marrying on June 21, 1940, in the presidential suite of a hotel in Riverside, California.

Nixon Lost His First Election Nixon was president of his class in eighth grade but lost the high school election in 1929 as student body president. He made up for these early losses by being president of the student body of Whittier College due to supporting dances on the campus. His next loss was in the presidential election to John F. Kennedy, but he was then elected as the 37th president following the administration of Lyndon Johnson.


Nixon Was an Avid Bowler One of Nixon’s favorite pastimes in the White House was bowling. He’d even bowl a few frames dressed in his suit. In addition to using the alley in the adjacent Old Executive Office Building, Nixon had another one-lane alley built in the basement beneath the North Portico entrance to the White House.

Nixon Was a Quaker Nixon’s mother, Hannah, was a devout Quaker who instilled the faith in her husband and children. As a boy, Nixon went to Quaker meetings four times on Sundays and played the piano at church services. He enrolled at Whittier College, a Quaker institution, and attended mandatory chapel hours every day.As he faced impeachment proceedings as a result of Watergate, the Quakers from Minneapolis and Milwaukee sent a petition months earlier asking that he be removed from office.

Milhous Was His Mother’s Maiden Name Nixon’s unusual middle name came from the maternal side of his family. When the ancestors of Nixon’s mother moved from Germany to England in the 1600s, they changed their last names from Milhausen to Milhous.