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This Happened

This Happened — November 5: Before The Fall, A Rise To The White House

Some say this was the day the 1960s ended (or really began...)? The man who would eventually bring shame on the White House, resigning after the Watergate scandal, was already dividing opinion when he ran for President for the second time in 1968.

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Richard Nixon wound up squeaking past his Democratic rival Hubert Humphrey to become the 37th President of the United States.

How did Richard Nixon become President?

Having served eight years as vice president alongside President Dwight Eisenhower, Nixon was the presumed Republican candidate in the 1960 election to succeed Eisenhower. His Democratic rival was John F. Kennedy. Nixon performed well in radio debates, only to be humiliated on television, where the juxtaposition between his sweaty, unpresidential appearance and Kennedy's sharp presentation made a serious blow to his candidacy.

After being defeated on the national stage, Nixon ran in 1962 for California governor, and lost again. But he would finally triumph in 1968's run for the White House. Running on a “Law and order” platform, Nixon also pledged to end the draft, which he hoped would also stop affluent college-aged men from protesting the war in Vietnam, since it would no longer concern them directly.

After third party candidate George Wallace split the Democrats’ New Deal coalition, Richard Nixon was able to win the electoral college, as well as the popular vote by a small margin over Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

What is Nixon best known for?

Nixon went on to win a second term four years later, in 1972, though it would plant the seed for his demise. Perhaps the most detested president in the 20th century, Richard Nixon is mostly remembered for his involvement in the Watergate scandal, which began with a break-in of Democratic party headquarters during the 1972 campaign.

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A Refuge From China's Rat Race: The Young People Flocking To Buddhist Monasteries

Unemployment, stress in the workplace, economic difficulties: more and more young Chinese graduates are flocking to monasteries to find "another school of life."

Photograph of a girl praying at a temple during Chinese Lunar New Year. She is burning incense.

Feb 20, 2015 - Huaibei, China - Chinese worshippers pray at a temple during the Lunar New Yeat

Frédéric Schaeffer

JIAXING — It's already dawn at Xianghai Temple when Lin, 26, goes to the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas for the 5:30 a.m. prayer.

Still half-asleep, the young woman joins the monks in chanting mantras and reciting sacred texts for an hour. Kneeling, she bows three times to Vairocana, also known as the Great Sun Buddha, who dominates the 42-meter-high hall representing the cosmos.

Before grabbing a vegetarian breakfast in the adjacent refectory, monks and devotees chant around the hall to the sound of drums and gongs.

"I resigned last October from the e-commerce company where I had been working for the past two years in Nanjing, and joined the temple in January, where I am now a volunteer in residence," explains the young woman, soberly dressed in black pants and a cream linen jacket.

Located in the city of Jiaxing, over a hundred kilometers from Shanghai, in eastern China, the Xianghai temple is home to some 20 permanent volunteers.

Unlike Lin, most of them only stay for a couple days or a few weeks. But for Lin, who spends most of her free time studying Buddhist texts in the temple library, the change in her life has been radical. "I used to do the same job every day, sometimes until very late at night, writing all kinds of reports for my boss. I was exhausted physically and mentally. I felt my life had no meaning," she says.

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