On Sept. 23, 1952, a black-and-white cocker spaniel named Checkers, belonging to Richard Nixon’s daughters, Tricia and Julie, helped change the course of history.

In what became known as the “Checkers Speech,” seen by a then-record TV audience of 60 million, the candidate for vice president of the United States alluded to his daughters and their dog, helping to rehab his image as charges of misusing campaign funds swirled around him.

With the help of Checkers, Nixon garnered public trust, downplayed the accusations dogging him and remained on the ticket headed by Dwight Eisenhower.

That’s how Sept. 23 came to be known as National Dogs in Politics Day – a day to remember America’s political pooches.

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