President Richard M Nixon announced his intention to resign from office on August 8, 1974. Before his resignation, the president was facing impeachment over his involvement in the Watergate scandal.
The Watergate affair began on June 17, 1972, when several burglars were arrested at the Watergate complex of buildings in the office of the Democratic National Committee. The intruders caught stealing documents and wiretapping were linked to the president’s reelection campaign. Despite Nixon’s efforts to cover up his tracks in the incident, the media exposed his role.
With impeachment proceedings ongoing, the president was also facing a lot of pressure from the press and the public. As a result, he delivered his resignation speech delivered on August 8, 1974, at the Oval office. In his remarks, the president stated, “By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”
His tenure in office ended the day following his announcement to leave the White house. Nixon officially left the white house in a helicopter alongside his family on August 9, 1974, to San Clemente, California. On his departure, the 37th president of the United States smiled, raising his arms in a peace salute and victory.
On August 9, 1974, minutes after President Nixon left office, vice president Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States. The swearing-in took place in the East Room of the White house.
Soon after, in his speech, the president declared, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.” Later, President Gerald pardoned the crimes of the former president, putting an end to the Watergate scandal.