Archives for Aug 08, 1974

Nixon Recalls His Last Full Day In The White House

In 1983, Richard Nixon recalled his last full day in the White House.

He recounted his memories of delivering his resignation speech, remarks by Dr Henry Kissinger and the reaction of his staff and colleagues.

Nixon also recalled a conversation with Vice-President Gerald Ford.

The interview was posted on YouTube by the Richard Nixon Library.

  • Watch Nixon (4m)

Nixon’s Resignation Speech

Richard M. Nixon addressed the nation at 9pm on August 8, 1974, to announce that he would resign the presidency at noon the following day.

Nixon became the only president ever to resign the office.

The video shows Nixon’s preparations for his televised resignation announcement. The official speech begins at the 7 minute mark:

  • Listen to Nixon’s resignation speech (16m)
  • Watch Nixon’s speech (23m)

Text of President Richard Nixon’s resignation speech.

Richard Nixon

Good evening.

This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest.

In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation. Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.

In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.

But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged. [Read more…]

Nixon Resigns: ABC, CBS And NBC Television Coverage

President Richard Nixon’s resignation announcement came in a televised speech to the nation at 9pm on August 8, 1974.

The videos on this page are of the ABC, CBS and NBC television coverage of Nixon’s resignation speech.

The coverage is features Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Harry Reasoner, John Chancellor and Tom Brokaw. [Read more…]

Representative Is “Out of Step,” Clinton Charges

ARKANSAS GAZETTE

FLIPPIN — United States Representative John Paul Hammerschmidt of Harrison is wrong in opposing President Nixon’s resignation and is wrong in questioning whether the president has committed an impeachable offense, Bill Clinton of Fayetteville, Hammerschmidt’s opponent, said here Wednesday.

In the wake of the president’s admission Monday that he had lied about his role in the Watergate coverup, Hammerschmidt said, “We need to do our duty as quickly as possible. We should have done it a year ago.”

“I don’t see how in the world he can say that when a year ago he was saying we should forget about it and he voted against giving funds for the House Judiciary Committee staff,” Clinton said.

Hammerschmidt flatly opposed resignation. [Read more…]