1972 March 18

President Nixon Endorses Equal Rights Amendment for Women


Although he had a reputation for hostility to civil rights, President Richard Nixon was in fact a strong supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee equality for women. He reaffirmed his support on this day with a letter to the Senate Minority Leader. He supported the ERA from the time he entered Congress in 1946, and he supported other women’s rights issues while president. See, for example, his administration’s report on women’s equity on December 15, 1969. He also supported expanded government support for family planning, and signed the Family Planning Services Act into law on December 26, 1970.

Because of the Watergate scandal, President Nixon resigned in disgrace on August 9, 1974, the only president to do so.

Read Nixon’s Letter to Senator Hugh Scott on the ERA: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=3777

Learn more about President Nixon’s record on civil liberties: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties From Wilson to Obama (2012)

Read historian Joan Hoff’s revisionist view of Nixon: Joan Hoff, Nixon Reconsidered (1994)

Learn about Nixon and Watergate: Stanley Kutler, The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon (1990)

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