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Nixon’s Second Watergate Speech

Nixon delivered his second speech on Watergate just over three months after the drama of the first.

This time there were no further resignations or dismissal. Instead, Nixon road-tested the executive privilege argument about the Watergate tapes and decried the nation’s “backward-looking obsession with Watergate”.

Text of President Richard Nixon’s second speech on Watergate.

Good evening:

Now that most of the major witnesses in the Watergate phase of the Senate committee hearings on campaign practices have been heard, the time has come for me to speak out about the charges made and to provide a perspective on the issue for the American people.

For over 4 months, Watergate has dominated the news media. During the past 3 months, the three major networks have devoted an average of over 22 hours of television time each week to this subject. The Senate committee has heard over 2 million words of testimony.

This investigation began as an effort to discover the facts about the break-in and bugging of the Democratic National Headquarters and other campaign abuses. [Read more…]

Alexander Butterfield Reveals Existence Of White House Tapes

Alexander Butterfield’s appearance before the Senate Watergate Committee was a pivotal moment in the unfolding scandal.

From the moment Butterfield confirmed the existence of an Oval Office taping system, the hunt for the tapes began. Ultimately, the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to surrender specified tape recordings, including the “Smoking Gun” tape that precipitated his resignation.

Butterfield’s confirmation came in response to a question from Fred Thompson, the committee’s minority counsel. Thompson went on to serve as a Republican senator from Tennessee from 1994 until 2003.

The committee’s chief counsel, Sam Dash, also questioned Butterfield.

  • Watch Butterfield, in response to Fred Thompson, confirm the existence of the tapes (2m)
  • Listen to Butterfield respond to a question from Sam Dash about how to find out what was on the tapes (1m)

Nixon’s First Watergate Speech

President Nixon used his first televised Watergate speech to announce the departure of several members of his staff.

The resignations of John Ehrlichman, Bob Haldeman, Richard Kleindeinst and John Dean were all announced in this speech. [Read more…]

Peace With Honor: Nixon’s Broadcast On Vietnam

This is the text of President Nixon’s radio and television broadcast announcing the initialing of the Paris ‘Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam’.

Nixon’s speech was broadcast at 10pm from the Oval Office at the White House.

  • Listen to Nixon’s broadcast (10m)
  • Watch Nixon (10m)

Text of President Richard Nixon’s ‘Peace With Honor’ Broadcast.

Good evening. I have asked for this radio and television time tonight for the purpose of announcing that we today have concluded an agreement to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and in Southeast Asia. [Read more…]

President Nixon’s Second Inaugural Address

Following a landslide re-election in November 1972, Nixon was inaugurated for a second term on January 20, 1973.

  • Listen to Nixon’s Second Inaugural Address (17m)
  • Watch the Address (17m)

President Nixon’s second inaugural address.

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, Senator Cook, Mrs. Eisenhower, and my fellow citizens of this great and good country we share together:

When we met here four years ago, America was bleak in spirit, depressed by the prospect of seemingly endless war abroad and of destructive conflict at home.

As we meet here today, we stand on the threshold of a new era of peace in the world. [Read more…]

The Smoking Gun Tape

This is the transcript and recording of a meeting between President Nixon and his Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman, in the Oval Office on June 23, 1972.

The conversation took place from 10.04am to 11.39am. The recording subsequently became known as the Smoking Gun and led directly to Nixon’s resignation.

The release of the tape was ordered by the Supreme Court on July 24, 1974, in a case known as United States v. Nixon. The court’s decision was unanimous.

President Nixon released the tape on August 5. It was one of three conversations he had with Haldeman six days after the Watergate break-in. The tapes prove that he ordered a cover-up of the Watergate burglary. The Smoking Gun tape reveals that Nixon ordered the FBI to abandon its investigation of the break-in. [Read more…]

Nixon’s 1970 State Of The Union Address

This is the full text of President Richard Nixon’s 1970 State of the Union Address.

This was Nixon’s first State of the Union Address, delivered one year and two days after he took office.

  • Listen to Nixon’s speech (36m)
  • Watch Nixon’s speech (39m)

Nixon’s 1970 State of the Union Address to Congress.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, my colleagues in the Congress, our distinguished guests and my fellow Americans:

To address a joint session of the Congress in this great Chamber in which I was once privileged to serve is an honor for which I am deeply grateful.

The State of the Union Address is traditionally an occasion for a lengthy and detailed account by the President of what he has accomplished in the past, what he wants the Congress to do in the future, and, in an election year, to lay the basis for the political issues which might be decisive in the fall. [Read more…]

The Moon Landing: An Undelivered Nixon Speech

Apollo 11On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.

The following speech, revealed in 1999, was prepared by Nixon’s then speechwriter, William Safire, to be used in the event of a disaster that would maroon the astronauts on the moon.

The speech was sent to President Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman. [Read more…]

Nixon’s First Inaugural Address

Richard Milhous Nixon was sworn in as the 37th president of the United States at noon on January 20, 1969.

  • Listen to Nixon take the oath of office (2m)
  • Listen to Nixon’s Inaugural Address (18m)
  • Watch Nixon’s Inaugural Address (18m)

Text of President Nixon’s first inaugural address.

Richard NixonSenator Dirksen, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Vice President, President Johnson, Vice President Humphrey, my fellow Americans–and my fellow citizens of the world community:

I ask you to share with me today the majesty of this moment. In the orderly transfer of power, we celebrate the unity that keeps us free. [Read more…]

Nixon’s Election Night Victory Speech

Richard Nixon claimed victory in the 1968 presidential election on the evening of November 6.

  • Listen to Nixon’s victory speech (10m)
  • Watch Nixon’s speech (13m)