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Nixon | Richard M.

The Checkers Speech

First Printing



First printing of Senator Richard M. Nixon’s “Checkers Speech,” delivered in Los Angeles on September 23, 1952. This copy was the first printing prepared for the press.

Folio, [14 leaves]. Complete mimeographed typescript, bound at top corner with a staple. Light toning throughout, free of notes or writing. Includes a postcard sent to supporters after the speech. Housed in custom blue cloth folio, title in gilt on front cover.

Provenance: From the private collection of President Nixon’s Associate Counsel Tom Charles Huston, from 1969-1971. Sold by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers of Chicago in 2021.

Six weeks before the 1952 presidential election, the Republican candidate for Vice President, Senator Richard M. Nixon, was accused of misusing campaign funds to reimburse his personal expenses. This was not illegal at the time but risked his place on the ticket as General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s running mate. What became known as the “Checkers Speech,” for his emotional reference to his new Cocker Spaniel named Checkers, would save the political career of Richard Nixon. The term “Checkers Speech” became an idiom used to define a politician’s efforts to change the political narrative by appealing directly to the electorate.

The recipient of this copy of the “Checkers Speech” was Tom Charles Huston, who served two years as President Nixon’s Associate Counsel from 1969-1971. During his time in the White House, Huston proposed the use of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon to gather intelligence on leftist groups for domestic intelligence purposes. What become known as “The Huston Plan” was shut down by J. Edgar Hoover, but parts of it survived and became the “White House Horrors” as described by Attorney General John Mitchell.

Additional information

Location Published

Los Angeles


Ward E. McConnell – Official Reporter – Dick Nixon Staff


First Printing

Date Published





Near Fine


Nixon | Richard M.

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Richard M. Nixon