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.

August 8, 1974 : Richard Nixon Resigns From Presidency

On this day in 1974, in a radio and television broadcast from the Oval Office, Richard Nixon announced that he was resigning as President of the United States. His decision arose from the near-certain threat of impeachment following the Watergate Scandal.  Gerald Ford, his successor, granted him a full pardon, but over 70 others were convicted of crimes.

Watch a clip of Nixon’s resignation speech from ‘The Presidents’ by American Experience.

Photo: President Richard Nixon delivers remarks to the White House staff on his final day in office (Wikimedia Commons)


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.