Jan. 9: Richard Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994): 37th U.S. president, but the only one ever to quit (seen in today’s video greeting fellow “ping-pong diplomacy” enthusiast Forrest Gump).

nixonHis bold, anti-Lincolnian rejection of honesty produced history’s most high-profile proof of the adage that the cover-up is often worse than the crime. He also pioneered the practice of brand-naming select political and social scandals by taking a key word and adding the suffix “-gate.”

Etched on Tricky Dick’s bronze plaque in the Pantheon of Presidential Chicanery are his most memorable quotes: “I am not a crook” (1973) and “I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue” (1978). Other Nixonian nicknames included Deranged Rick and Richard the Turd.

This 5-second click shows his famous 1968 (“Sock it to me?”) appearance on “Laugh-In.” Say goodnight, Dick.

Happy birthday also to:
Jimmy Page, 71: philosopher-rock star, with Led Zeppelin recorded “Dazed and Enlightened” and “Metaphysical Graffiti.”

Other milestones:
On this day in 1861, Mississippi seceded from the Union after a bitter dispute over how many S’s there are in the state’s name.

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