September 23 is Checkers Day. The unofficial holiday is not about the board game but has a political origin. The holiday commemorates a speech given by American President Richard Nixon on this day in 1952 as a Vice Presidential candidate.
In the now-famous speech, Nixon denied taking political gifts. It is popularly called the Checkers Speech or the Fund Speech because during the address he announced his intention of keeping Checkers, a dog given to his kids as a gift.
In addition to helping boost Nixon's political position in the upcoming presidential elections, the 30 minute long Checkers speech marked the beginning of the involvement of the television in American politics. The address was aired live all around the country and was watched by an estimated 60 million people.
The holiday is also sometimes known as National Dogs in Politics Day.
How to Celebrate?
Wear checkered clothing.
Even though the holiday itself doesn't have anything to do with the game, no one will judge you if you decided to observe it by playing a game or two of checkers.
Read more about Nixon’s life and his Checkers Speech.
If you have children and young adults in your life, Checker's Day is a good day to introduce them to American politics and the role of television in politics around the world.
Did You Know…
…that Richard Nixon was the only president in the history of the United States to have resigned from office?