SAT Subject US History Practice Question 828: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 828

89. In the "Checkers speech," Richard Nixon

A. denied allegations that he had improperly received gifts during his 1952 bid for the vice-presidency.
B. accused John F. Kennedy of being "soft on communism" during the 1960 campaign for president.
C. announced his policy of "Vietnamization" of the Vietnam War in 1969.
D. called for normalizing relations with China in 1972.
E. declared, in 1974, that he "was not a crook" in response to allegations of wrongdoing in connection with the Watergate scandal.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Nixon's history of questionable ethical decisions predates the Watergate scandal. During the 1952 campaign, Nixon was accused of accepting money from supporters in California and creating a "slush fund." In the "Checkers speech," Nixon sought to reassure the public that he had done no wrong. He contended that the only gift he accepted from supporters was the family dog, Checkers, and that it would break his daughter's heart to give it up. Eisenhower and Nixon won the election. Cold War posturing (B), the "Vietnamization" (C) of the Vietnam War (withdrawing U.S. troops to leave the fighting to Vietnamese forces allied with the United States), pursuing détente with China (D), and defending himself after the Watergate revelations (E) were all actions that Nixon took later during his career in politics.

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