Although Nixon initially escalated America's involvement in the Vietnam War, he subsequently ended US involvement in 1973. Nixon's visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972 opened diplomatic relations between the two nations, and he initiated dÃ©tente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union the same year. Domestically, his administration generally embraced policies that transferred power from Washington to the states. Among other things, he initiated wars on cancer and drugs, imposed wage and price controls, enforced desegregation of Southern schools and established the Environmental Protection Agency. Though he presided over Apollo 11, he scaled back manned space exploration. He was reelected by a landslide in 1972.
Nixon's second term saw an Arab oil embargo, the resignation of his vice president, Spiro Agnew, and a continuing series of revelations about the Watergate scandal. The scandal escalated, costing Nixon much of his political support, and on August 9, 1974, he resigned in the face of almost certain impeachment and removal from office. After his resignation, he was controversially issued a pardon by his successor, Gerald Ford. In retirement, Nixon's work authoring several books and undertaking many foreign trips helped to rehabilitate his public image as an elder statesman. He suffered a debilitating stroke on April 18, 1994, and died four days later at the age of 81. Nixon remains a source of considerable interest among historians and the public.