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Cocker Spaniel
Checkers & NixonCheckers - Black & white Cocker spaniel dog given to Richard M. Nixon as a gift and later referred to in his rebuttal to charges of political corruption (accepting $18,000 in donations to supplement his salary as a US Senator) that aired on the NBC television network on September 23, 1952 to an estimate 58 million viewers. Of course, the well planned speech aimed at the heartstrings of American animal lovers, helped clear Nixon of all charges. Checkers (1952-1964) is buried in plot No. 5 at the Bide-A-Wee Pet Cemetery Memorial Park in Wantagh, New York on Long Island. Years later in the midst of the Watergate Affair, Nixon, again under fire for political wrong-doings, quoted his now famous line "I'm not a crook!"

The following is an excerpt of Nixon's famous Checkers Speech:

"One thing I probably should tell you, because if I don't, they'll probably be saying this about me, too. We did get something - a gift - after the election. A man down in Texas heard Pat (Nixon's wife) on the radio mention the fact that our two daughters would like to have a dog. And believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip, we got a message from Union Station saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was? It was a little cocker spaniel dog in a crate that he had sent all the way from Texas. It was black and white and spotted, and our little girl (Tricia, the six-year-old) named it Checkers, and you know, the kids love the dog, and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're going to keep it."

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