Richard M. Nixon’s Resignation Letter, 08/09/1974

For two years, public revelations of wrongdoing inside the White House had convulsed the nation. The Watergate affair was a national trauma—a constitutional crisis that tested and affirmed the rule of law. On the evening of August 8, 1974, President Nixon announced his intention to resign. 

Nixon’s Resignation Letter and Gerald Ford’s subsequent Presidential Pardon are on display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building from August 8 through August 11, 2014.


CNN host Newt Gingrich declared that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ congressional testimony was worse than Richard Nixon’s alleged crimes during the Watergate scandal. 

Right-wing media have been desperate to crown a new Watergate scandal for the entirety of President Obama’s administration, so we made a handy flow chart for them in case they’re not sure whether it’s Watergate. 


Newly released and unedited video shows Richard Nixon speaking candidly about his resignation.  

Forty years ago this week, Richard Nixon resigned from the Presidency. The Nixon Library is releasing footage of the 37th President chronicling his final days in the White House, recorded in 1983.

The in depth and inside story begins with President Nixon recalling July 23, 1974, the day he learned that three pivotal members of the House Judiciary Committee were going to vote for his impeachment.

“I knew that we could not survive,” Nixon says. “However, when I got back to Washington, in my usual methodical way–people think it’s methodical and I guess it is–I decided I should put down the pros and cons of what options I had.”

Then came the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the President had to turn over 64 White House tape recordings sought by the Watergate Special Prosecutor.

Among them was tape from June 23, 1972, the so-called “smoking gun.”

Referring to the impact of that tape, Nixon said,

“This was the final blow, the final nail in the coffin.”  

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“A President Resigns” will play continuously in the Nixon Library Theater from August 5-10 and available online at nixonfoundation.org and nixonlibrary.gov.

Caption: Woodward and Bernstein inside the former headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. On the far right is the former Howard Johnson Hotel where Alfred Baldwin, a former FBI agent, monitored the burglary opposite the Watergate complex.

Many people know All the President’s Men as a film: a hit movie about the two young reporters who cracked the Watergate conspiracy. It’s the only blockbuster that centers on two guys making phone calls, organizing paper notes and meeting a source called Deep Throat in a parking garage.

But before the movie, there was a book, which came out 40 years ago this month. In it, reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein tell the story of how they uncovered the scandal.

It all started in the Watergate hotel and office complex in Washington.

40 Years On, Woodward And Bernstein Recall Reporting On Watergate

Photo Credit: Kainaz Amaria/NPR

January 8, 1973: The Trial of the Watergate Burglars Begins

On this day in 1973 ,the trial of the burglars who stole documents from the Democratic Party’s national headquarters began. No one predicted the scandal would eventually lead to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

PBS NewsHour examines the legacy of Watergate though a series of interviews and articles.

Photo: Richard M. Nixon at a press conference, releasing the transcripts of the White House Tapes., 04/29/1974 (National Archives/Richard Nixon Library)