Today in History, Richard Nixon Resigns

On this day in 1974, in an evening televised address, PresidentRichard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. With impeachment proceedings underway against him for his involvement in the Watergate affair, Nixon was finally bowing to pressure from the public and Congress to leave the White House.

‘By taking this action,’ he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, ‘I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.’” “I have never been a quitter,” he said. “To leave office before my term is completed is opposite to every instinct in my body.” But he said that he had decided to put “the interests of America first.”

One month to the day September 8, 1974, the succeeding president Gerald Ford makes the following proclamation: “Now, therefore, I,GERALD R. FORD, president of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these present do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”