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Richard M. Nixon (1913 - 1994) was a Republican senator from California and the thirty-seventh president of the United States. Prior to his presidency, he also served as Dwight Eisenhower's vice president from 1953 to 1961. Some civil rights historians claim that the reelection of Nixon in 1972 signaled the death of the movement. Ultimately, his presidency ended in disgrace, with Nixon’s 1974 resignation in the midst of the Watergate scandal.

In August 1969, President Nixon issued Executive Order 11478, which required all federal agencies to adopt "affirmative programs for equal employment opportunity." These programs were meant to increase access to education and employment for historically underrepresented minorities, including blacks, Latinos, Asians, women, and disabled persons.

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