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Sep
23
Fun Holiday – Checkers Day

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.

Cocker Spaniel running in a meadow.
Cocker Spaniel running in a meadow.
Checkers was a cocker spaniel who never had the opportunity to live in the White house.
©iStockphoto.com/LorenzoPatoia

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?

Checkers Day Observances

Fun Holiday: Checkers Day Observances
YearWeekdayDateName
2017SatSep 23Checkers Day
2018SunSep 23Checkers Day
2019MonSep 23Checkers Day
2020WedSep 23Checkers Day
2021ThuSep 23Checkers Day
2022FriSep 23Checkers Day
2023SatSep 23Checkers Day
2024MonSep 23Checkers Day
2025TueSep 23Checkers Day
2026WedSep 23Checkers Day

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