Richard Nixon
Historical Figure
Date of Birth: 1913
Date of Death: 1994
Cause of Death: Stroke
Religion: Quaker
Occupation: Lawyer, Politician
Spouse: Thelma "Pat" Ryan (d. 1994)
Children: Tricia, Julie
Military Branch: United States Navy (World War II)
Political Party: Republican Party
Political Office(s): United States Representative from
(California, 1947–1950)
United States Senator from
(California, 1950-1953)
Vice President of the United States
President of the United States
Turtledove Appearances:

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States serving from 1969 until his resignation on August 9, 1974. Nixon had previously served as a U.S. representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961, serving under Dwight Eisenhower. He first pursued the presidency in 1960, but lost to John F. Kennedy. After losing a bid for the governorship of California in 1962, Nixon briefly appeared to retreat from politics, but successfully ran for the presidency a second time in 1968, defeating Democrat Hubert Humphrey and American Independent George Wallace.

Under his presidency, the United States followed a foreign policy marked by détente with the Soviet Union and by the opening of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China in 1972. Nixon also escalated the Vietnam War before ending U.S. involvement in 1973. As a consequence of the Watergate scandal, Nixon resigned the presidency in the face of likely impeachment by the United States House of Representatives and conviction by the United States Senate. He spent the remainder of his life rehabilitating his image, and was seen by the Republican Party as something of an elder statesman by the time of his death April 22, 1994.

Richard Nixon in The Hot WarEdit

The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Armistice
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference

Richard Nixon was the Junior Senator from California during World War III. He was one of a small number of United States Senators to survive the Soviet Union's atomic bombing of Washington, DC in May 1952. He took up the ideological banner of Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, one of the many Senators who were killed in the blast.[1]

President Harry Truman observed that Nixon's nose resembled Bob Hope's, but Nixon was less funny.[2]

Richard Nixon in "Hindsight"Edit

POD: 1949
Type of Appearance: Oblique Contemporary reference

Richard Nixon's presidency was fictionalized nearly two decades before the Watergate break-in by time-traveling author Michelle Gordian in a novel titled Watergate. Nixon was Vice President in 1953, so Gordian disguised him as President Cavanaugh.[3]

Richard Nixon in WorldwarEdit

POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): Second Contact
Type of Appearance: Direct
Military Branch: United States Army
(Second Great War)
Political Office(s): United States Senator from California

Richard Nixon was a US congressman from California. In 1963, Liu Han lobbied Nixon and a number of other members of Congress for military aid for the Chinese Communists' resistance against the Race's rule of China. Nixon was hesitant to support a communist party but was convinced to acquiesce when Liu Han bluntly told him "You help us, you help people go free from Lizards."

Literary commentEdit

Nixon is not identified by name, but is described in sufficient detail to make his identity clear.

Richard Nixon in Joe SteeleEdit

A young assistant attorney general from California made a reputation for himself during the spy trials held in the United States after World War II. He was in his mid-30s, with curly black hair and a nose like Bob Hope's. Unlike his boss, AG Andy Wyszynski, who made a great show of condemning the accused during examination, the young assistant was much calmer in his questions.[4] He was present at the White House on Election Night, 1948, trading stories with Wyszynski and President Joe Steele himself when it was confirmed that Steele had indeed been elected to a fifth term.[5]

Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel Only
Type of Appearance: Direct (unnamed)
Political Office(s): Assistant Attorney General of the USA

Charlie Sullivan remembered the young assistant AG when GBI director J. Edgar Hoover assumed executive authority of the country in 1953, considering the assistant a possible threat to Hoover's reign.[6]

Literary commentEdit

While the assistant attorney general is never named, his description matches Richard Nixon. The character is not mentioned in the short story.

Richard Nixon in State of JeffersonEdit

State of Jefferson
POD: Pre-history;
Relevant POD: 1919
Appearance(s): "Visitor from the East";
"Peace is Better"
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references

The events of Richard Nixon's presidency were still felt in the closing days of the 1970s, even after he left office. As a consequence of the closer ties between the U.S. and China Nixon had helped to establish, the Yeti Lama's visit to Jefferson in August, 1979 was indifferently covered by the American press, and irrelevant to the U.S. State Department.[7] In September, Barbara Rasmussen, publicist for Jefferson Governor Bill Williamson stated that the Yeti Lama had gravitas, and explained she'd learned the word during the impeachment hearings against Nixon, when the word had been applied to Barbara Jordan.[8]

Richard Nixon in Southern Victory Edit

Dick, a soldier in the United States Army, was a specialist in sweeping for surveillance equipment. In 1943, he was stationed in Philadelphia and helped Congresswoman Flora Blackford make sure her office was bug-free. Dick and Bob reported to Sergeant Carl Bernstein.

Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): The Grapple
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Dick")
Occupation: Soldier

Literary NoteEdit

This character is identified simply as "Dick" and never described in any detail. However, the context of "Carl Bernstein and Bob" (Woodward?) and wiretapping, as well as similar appearances in other Harry Turtledove works, are strong indicators that the character is either Richard Nixon or an analog.

Richard Nixon in The Two Georges Edit

The Two Georges
POD: c. mid-1760s
Type of Appearance: Direct (as "Honest" Dick)
Nationality: North American Union
Date of Death: 1995
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound (murder)
Occupation: Used-steamer salesman
Spouse: Unnamed wife, deceased before 1995
Children: Two daughters

"Honest" Dick (1913-1995) was a prosperous used-steamer salesman in the North American Union city of New Liverpool. His nickname was the Steamer King. He was murdered by the Sons of Liberty on 15 June 1995 to create a distraction during the theft of the painting, The Two Georges. Shockingly, his murder was the fifth by gunfire in New Liverpool in the first half of the year. He was survived by his daughters.[9] The gunman, who fired from a grassy knoll, was later identified as Zachariah James Fenton.[10]

As many of the steamers which he sold were of poor quality, he was often referred to disparagingly as "Tricky Dick." He had an impoverished upbringing. His father grew oranges and lemons and ran a general store. Honest Dick was very proud of the fact that he had built his company through his own hard work. Shortly before he was murdered, he claimed that his late wife wore a plain cloth coat until the day that she died rather than "fancy furs and silks".[11]

Literary NoteEdit

While Honest Dick's last name is not given, the general description that they provide, as well as certain details about his life (his father owning a store, his wife predeceasing him, his daughters), and the fact that he was disparagingly referred to as "Tricky Dick" suggest that their steamer salesman is indeed Richard Nixon, or at least a very close analog. Furthermore, Honest Dick's comment that his wife wore a simple cloth coat is a reference to then Senator Nixon mentioning that he was proud of the fact that his wife Pat wore "a good Republican Party cloth coat" in the Checkers speech on September 23, 1952, during his vice presidential campaign.

In OTL, Richard Nixon died in 1994, the year before the novel's publication.

Honest Dick's death by a bullet fired from a "grassy knoll" echoes a popular belief about the death of John F. Kennedy, who defeated Nixon in the 1960 Presidential election.

In "Alternate History: The How-to of What Might Have Been", Harry Turtledove implicitly confirms that The Two Georges character is Nixon.

See AlsoEdit


  1. Armistice, pg. 5, HC.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Kaleidoscope, pg. 111, MPB.
  4. Joe Steele, pg. 344.
  5. Ibid., pg. 359.
  6. Ibid. pg. 438.
  7. Thirty Days Later: Steaming Forward: 30 Adventures in Time, loc. 450. ebook.
  8. Ibid., loc. 2286.
  9. The Two Georges, Chapter 2.
  10. Ibid., pgs. 497-498, MPB.
  11. Ibid., pgs. 31-32, MPB.

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