If not for an Asian American businesswoman, dubbed by some as the Steel Butterfly or the Dragon Lady, Richard Nixon would never have become president — and hundreds of thousands of lives, including the lives of 20,000 American soldiers — would have been spared.

The role of Anna Chennault, widow of a WWII hero, in Nixon’s 1968 campaign has almost been forgotten, thanks to President Lyndon Johnson’s deep patriotism of putting country over partisanship, according to a recent television special Betrayal: The Plot That Won the White House, hosted by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

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