Framework

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Aug. 8, 1974: President Richard M. Nixon tells the nation he is resigning his office effective at noon on Friday, Aug. 9, 1974. This photo was published on page one of the Los Angeles Times late editions of Aug. 8, 1974.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Aug. 8, 1974: During a broadcast from the Oval Office of the White House, President Nixon announces he will resign effective noon Friday, Aug. 9, 1974.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Aug. 9, 1974: Gerald R. Ford and his wife, Betty, in one of his last duties as vice president, walks with Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, from the White House on Friday following a speech given by Nixon to his White House staff. Shortly afterward, Ford was sworn in as the 38th President of the United States.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Aug. 9, 1974: Richard Nixon is kissed by the incoming First Lady Betty Ford as he prepares to board a helicopter at the White House. This photo was published in the Aug. 10, 1974, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Aug. 9, 1974: As seen from inside a helicopter on the White House lawn, Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford bid each other farewell as their wives embrace.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: White House photo

Aug. 9, 1974: Richard M. Nixon flashes his familiar salute as he boards a helicopter outside the White House after addressing members of his staff. This photo was published in the Aug. 10, 1974, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Aug. 9, 1974: Richard and Pat Nixon, followed by Tricia and Edward Cox, leave presidental jet for last time after arrival at El Toro airfield. This photo was published in the Aug. 10, 1974 Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Cliff Otto / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 9, 1974: Now a private citizen, Mr. Nixon waves to the crowd after disembarking Friday from Air Force One at El Toro Air Station on his way into retirement.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Anderson / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 9, 1974: Part of a crowd of 5,000 flag-waving and singing supporters who thronged the air field at El Toro for the return of Richard M. Nixon. This photo was published in the Aug. 10, 1974, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Anderson / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 9, 1974: Richard M. Nixon and wife, Pat, after arrival at El Toro airbase from Washington.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Anderson / Los Angeles Times

Aug. 9, 1974: Richard M. Nixon, wife, Pat Nixon, daughter Tricia Nixon Cox and son-in-law Edward Cox at El Toro air station as they walk to a helicopter for the flight to San Clemente. This photo was published in the Aug. 10, 1974, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Aug. 9, 1974: Portrait of President Nixon being removed in the Helena, Montana, post office, a scene repeated at federal offices throughout the nation following Nixon's resignation. This photo was published in the Aug. 10, 1974, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

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Nixon resigns, returns home to California

Aug. 8, 1974: In a televised speech to the nation, President Nixon announces his resignation from office, effective noon, Friday, Aug. 9, 1974.

By early August 1974, Nixon had lost almost all support in Congress because of the Watergate scandal. He faced certain impeachment. On Aug. 9, 1974, Nixon resigned.

In an Aug. 9, 1974, Page One article, Los Angeles Times staff writer Jack Nelson reported:

WASHINGTON–Richard Milhous Nixon announced his resignation Thursday as President of the United States, the first chief executive to resign in the republic’s 198-year history.

Gerald Rudolph Ford, Vice President since Dec. 7, 1973, will take the oath of office at 9 a.m. PDT today to become the nation’s 38th President, the first ever to take office without having been elected by the people to either the Presidency or Vice Presidency.

In a 15-minute television speech to the nation, Mr. Nixon, his face drawn, his expression somber, said he no long had a “strong enough political base in Congress” to warrant continuing his fight against impeachment and that he was resigning in “the interests of the nation.”

“As we look to the future, the first essential is to begin healing the wounds of this nation; to put bitterness and divisions of the recent past behind us…” the President said.

“I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision,” he said. “I would say only that if some of my judgements were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the nation.” …

The above photo gallery consists of images taken on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9, 1974.

In 1973, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was forced to resign after pleading no-contest to a single charge of falsifying federal tax returns. Nixon then appointed Gerald Ford as vice president.

For more on Richard Nixon, check out Obituary: Nixon Dies; Ex-President Was Major Figure on World Stage.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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2 Comments

  1. August 7, 2014, 7:53 am

    The House Judiciary Committee opened impeachment hearings against the President on May 9, 1974, which were televised on the major TV networks. These hearings culminated in votes for impeachment.

    By: peter
  2. August 9, 2014, 5:43 am

    I really miss RMN. The man really knew how to hate libs, something missing in so many of today's politicians. Nixon had one major goof and that was his creation of the EPA.

    By: theodore nolan

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