5 Facts You Might Not Know About Richard Nixon

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Richard Nixon is one of the more fascinating political figures of the 20th century. He had a long and colorful career, eventually becoming the 37th President of the United States, but it is his 1974 resignation that most people remember him for.

Nixon died in 1994, and his complicated legacy is still debated today.

Here are 5 things you might not know about the man.

1. He wanted to join the FBI

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Nixon applied to the FBI in 1937, when he was 24 years old. He had an interview with the bureau and a physical but he never heard back about the job. Ever. After he became vice president, he asked FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover why he never heard back, and Hoover told him it was because of budget cuts.

2. He had a bowling alley installed under the White House

Nixon loved to bowl, and he had a new lane built underground that was more private than the lanes open to White House staffers. Apparently, Nixon was a good bowler, and he shot in the 200s.

3. His meeting with The King made National Archives history

The famous meeting between Nixon and Elvis Presley occurred on December 21, 1970, at the White House. As of 2015, this photo of the two men is the most requested image from the National Archives, more popular than the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

4. He almost botched Charles Manson’s murder trial

Nixon took office in 1969 and the high-profile murder trial of Charles Manson began in June 1970. During the trial, Nixon said that Manson “was guilty, directly or indirectly, of eight murders without reason.” Charles Manson’s lawyers called for a mistrial, citing the influence of the president, and a Nixon spokesperson said that the president forgot to include the word “allegedly” in his statement.

5. He was a Quaker

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Nixon’s mother was a Quaker and his father converted when the couple married. Richard Nixon and his four brothers were all raised in the Quaker faith and the family did not drink or dance. His religion could have exempted him from service in World War II, but Nixon served in the Navy during the conflict.