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More Happy Days

We’re just ten days away from the 35th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation — August 9, 1974. Days don’t get much happier than that. I haven’t seen any mention of the anniversary yet. I’m sure there will be some coverage of it next week. Meanwhile, you can begin the celebration by watching (above) a portion of his speech on August 8 announcing the resignation.

The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia has a Presidential Speech Archive. The full transcript of Nixon’s resignation speech as well as links to the audio and video are here. Below is one passage:

From the discussions I have had with Congressional and other leaders, I have concluded that because of the Watergate matter, I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interests of the Nation will require.

I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interests of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.

To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.

Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.

On Inauguration Day last January, I wrote briefly about where I was when Nixon made this speech. I won’t repeat myself. I’ll just say that it was a great day.

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Categories: History, Politics
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