Richard Nixon’s Resignation and Gerald Ford’s Pardon

In an evening address on August 8, 1974, President Richard M.Nixon announced his decision to become the first president in American history to resign. Resignation Letter Nixon because he could not find the way to hold through the Watergate scandal. He had spent the past two years chasing the controversy generated by the break-in and claims of a cover-up. However, damning new evidence emerged that made impeachment for evading justice unavoidable. Reluctantly, to avoid facing trial as president Nixon left office before the end of his term. 

What happened in the Watergate Scandal ?

The controversy started when Richard Nixon’s name flashed with the Watergate scandal. There was a break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Office Building in Washington, D.C. The five guys who were detained for the burglary later were found to have money in relationship to the Committee for the Re-Election of the President. 

Thereafter, it became clear that President Nixon or his allies paid these men in the office during the campaign. Reporters like Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodwardat arrived at the Washington Post and worked to crack the case and finally arrested him.

Over two years, President Nixon made sure that the world doesn’t know that he wasn’t involved, giving the words “I am not a crook” speech at Disneyland in November 1973. However, audio recordings of Nixon proved that he was lying.

How was Nixon proven Guilty ?

The most damaging evidence against Nixon in proving him guilty during the scandal was an audio recording of the president discussing the break-in and what he and his allies needed to do to assure a cover-up and throwing the FBI off the scent. The tape recording was from June 23rd, 1972, shortly after the event.

The tape, released on 5th August 1974, changed the case for Nixon and the Watergate scandal. It was now clear that Nixon was involved and that there may be evidence that he was trying to obstruct justice. 

The unapologetic Language of Nixon Resignation

The official date of the resignation was August 9th, 1974, although there was a public address the day before where he announced his intention to resign from the presidency.The language of the speech is intriguing as there is no visible apology for any actions or admittance of guilt. His speech acknowledged that he had tried his best to lead the nation and complete his term in the public’s interests but that he no longer had the support base required to see the term through to the end. He also explains how his family asked him not to stay, despite his desire to do so, and he acknowledges that staying would be bad for the country. One of the most important lines he reads: 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.

The debatable mercy of Ford’s Pardon

This might have been the turning point in the Nixon affair and his status as a public figure. As his time in office came to an end, Vice President Ford immediately replaced him, as determined by the 25th Amendment. However, President Ford soon used his power to pardon the former United States president, stating that Nixon was cleared for any crimes he has committed or may have committed. With this sweeping statement it was clear that Nixon would not have to go through a trial.

President Ford claimed that prosecuting President Nixon would only fuel political fervor and impede the nation’s progress in his broadcast speech announcing the pardon. He added that Nixon and his family had already gone through enough hardships, that a fair trial might not be possible, and that a trial might be inconclusive.

He also said that he did it to save the nation and former leader from a trial, which he feared would be unjust, potentially inconclusive, and damaging to a man who had suffered enough. However with this act of mercy many Americans felt that justice had been denied and Ford’s decision led to a sharp drop in his favorable ratings and even impacted the outcome of the 1976 presidential election, which he lost to Jimmy Carter.

The resignation and pardon mark the end of the Watergate scandal. For the past two years ,Public discoveries of misconduct within the White House have shook the country, sparking a series of confrontations between the President and the press, executive departments, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. The Watergate scandal was a major national trauma that put the rule of law to the test and confirmed it.

The Resignation Speech

Nixon’s resignation speech was a somber moment gifts for history buffs. He announced his decision to step down, stating, “I have never been a quitter,” before revealing his choice to resign, effective noon the next day. He expressed his hope that his successor, Gerald Ford, would “be the best president in our country’s history.”


In conclusion, the Nixon-Ford acts as a crucial lesson in American democracy, briefing the importance of transparency, accountability, and the checks and balances. The scandal helped change public attitudes toward the presidency and government institutions, reminding the nation to take care of its democratic principles and the vigilance required to uphold them.Nixon’s resignation and Ford’s pardon will remain crucial history gifts for America. 

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