A revamping of the Nixon Library will include a “refurbished” Checkers the dog.
The Los Angeles Times reported today that there will be a revamping of the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which administers thirteen presidential libraries, including this one, says that what was “once viewed as a whitewash” will now present a “fair depiction” of the president.
As expected, the Watergate exhibit will be expanded with documents kept filed away from the public until now. But the most startling new information will be revealed in the new “Checkers” exhibit.
Not only will it contain a complete video of Nixon’s emotional Checkers television speech, but transcripts of communications between Nixon and the Republican National Committee (RNC) regarding the Checkers crisis will be open to the public for the first time.
It now appears that the RNC was seriously considering bumping then Senator Nixon as Eisenhower’s Vice Presidential running mate unless he could clear his name of receiving money and gifts for his campaign.
The RNC was furious when Nixon told his audience of 60 million that he refused to give back the gift of his beloved dog, Checkers. But after the over 400,000 letters and telegrams the RNC received were positive 350 to 1, they reneged on their deal and considered running Checkers on the ticket instead of Nixon.
Checkers, however, failed her interview when she relieved herself on the shoes of the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Tricia Nixon was so overcome with joy when shown the plans for the exhibit, that she searched through all the family memorabilia stored in a secret storage locker in Yorba Linda and donated a taxidermied Checkers to the Library.
Nixon’s speech was seen and heard by about 60 million Americans, including the largest television audience at that time, and led to an outpouring of public support. He was retained on the ticket, which then swept to victory weeks later in November 1952.