Presidential Politics Update: The Nixon Era

by Dennis Jenkins

On Wednesday morning, students presented their group posters of what type of government they would create if they had to design three branches of government. We also finished examining the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.

We then contrasted each of the candidates’ campaign commercials during the 1968 election and studied the major issues that shaped that election. The class also took part in round table discussions as if they were on the Supreme Court during the Nixon presidency. We discussed the Supreme Court cases of Tinker v. Des Moines and Gregory v. Chicago. Each member of our class had several insightful talking points in our discussion over each court case. Students also examined the major events that shaped the presidency of Richard Nixon. The class was put into two teams during the 1972 election as Team Nixon debated Team McGovern. We contrasted several commercials that defined the candidates’ campaign during that election watched a short documentary on the Nixon era. After examining how historians evaluated Nixon’s presidency, we ended class by having a round table discussion over censorship prior to publication as related to the Supreme Court case New York Times v. United States.

In study hall, students examined and discuss the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade and role-played United States v. Nixon as they discussed the president and executive privilege.

Note: Teacher Dennis Jenkins will be posting updates on his course, Presidential Politics, throughout VAMPY.