President Richard M. Nixon: Watergate and Resignation
About the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in the face of the Watergate Scandal.
July 24, 1974....
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Nixon had no right to withhold evidence in criminal proceedings and ordered him to turn over 64 previously unreleased White House tapes.
July 27, 1974...
The House Judiciary Committee voted 27 to 11 to recommend the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Even Nixon himself conceded that passage of an Impeachment Resolution by the full House was a "foregone conclusion."
August 5, 1974...
The President released to the public transcripts of 3 of the tapes the Supreme Court had ordered him to turn over. The tapes revealed that Nixon personally ordered a cover-up of the facts of Watergate within 6 days of the break-in at Democratic national headquarters. The transcripts proved that Nixon had been lying consistently to the public-and to members of his own family and staff-for more than 2 years.
August 8, 1974...
Faced with the absolute certainty of impeachment and conviction, and pressed hard by members of his own party, Nixon decided to abandon his intention of "stonewalling it" for a few more months. In a dramatic speech to the nation, he announced his intention to resign the Presidency-the 1st President in history to resign his office. In his speech, Nixon explained the situation with his usual candor and sincerity: "I have concluded that because of the Watergate matter I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary....I would say only that if some of my judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the nation."
In anticipation of Nixon's resignation, the Dow-Jones averages shot up more than 27 points-in Wall Street's 3rd largest rally of the year. By appropriate coincidence, August 8 has gone down in history not only as the day Nixon announced his resignation, but as the day that Napoleon Bonaparte sailed for St. Helena in 1815 to spend the rest of his life in exile.
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