Not every speech deserves its own day, but one as infamous as Checkers certainly does! Hence why on September the 23rd we celebrate Checkers Day. It is forgivable to assume that it has to do with the board game, but this is not the case.
It marks the speech by Richard Nixon in 1952 when he was the Republican candidate running for the role of vice president. It does have some significance when it comes to dogs though.
History of Checkers Day
Although the acknowledgment of the day is difficult to trace, the background is full of intrigue. At the time, Nixon was in the news about a fund that was set up by his followers to support his political campaign.
Accused of improper dealings, he knew what the news might do for his campaign whilst running for vice president so he flew to LA to make a 30-minute address on TV. Television was still very much in its early days back in 1952.
It was during this speech that he attacked his opponents and launched a staunch defense of his dealings. He did however say there was one gift he would not return, a dog called Checkers. It stood out during a serious speech, the dog was named by his children and the speech has forever been known as the Checker’s speech ever since.
It was watched by over 60 million people at the time and was deemed a success. The mentioning of Checkers seemed to humanize the man, and public affection swayed his way. In fact, the public response was overwhelmingly in support of the man.
It is also known as the fund speech about the financial support he had received from followers. He managed to downplay the seriousness of the situation and turn a difficult situation to his advantage.
How To Observe Checkers Day
To put it simply, the best way to observe the day is to delve deeper. Find out more about the outcry at the time, the reasons behind the speech, and also about the life of Richard Nixon. Once you have found out more, why not research political speeches and see what you find?
There are some inspirational, poignant, and famous speeches to choose from. This one from Nixon has a unique significance but many strive for societal change and are noteworthy. Since it was part of a political charge for the vice presidency, it can be useful to find out more about the process of how one might get to run for the role.
Some resources and videos can help with this. The speech is only half an hour long, so it is easy to digest.