The Last Day

By | Aug 8, 2011

Richard Nixon’s second term as President of the United States was not one of the prettiest in US history. In fact it seems as if it was full of crimes and corruptions. His Vice-President Spiro Agnew was accused of taking bribes while he was Governor of the State of Maryland. And his Presidency was embroiled in the Watergate Scandal.

Before the 1972 election a group of men broke into the the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex in Washington DC. From investigations it became clear that the break-in was carried out on orders from members of Nixon’s staff.

Nixon’s Staff and ultimately Nixon himself became involved in a cover up almost at once. This cover up was the beginning of a chain of events that would come to a conclusion on the evening of August 8, 1974 when in a nationwide televised speech Richard Nixon announced that he would resign as President of the United States effective the next day.

Prior to 1974 only once in US history had a President been impeached, President Clinton would be impeached later. The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was tried in the Senate, as dictated by the Constitution, but he did not receive the required number of votes to be removed from office. Nixon was not impeached since he resigned, but it appeared that Nixon would not only be impeached, but there was strong opinions that there were enough votes in the senate to have him convicted.

Vice President Gerald Ford was sworn in as President on August 9, 1974. He became the first and thus far only President to take office without the benefit of being voted into office as either President or Vice-President. He became Vice-President when Nixon’s 1972 running mate Spiro Agnew was force to resign on October 10, 1973.

A month later on September 8, 1974 all cases against Richard Nixon came to a conclusion when President Ford granted Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he may have committed while President. The pardon was highly controversial with many people thinking at the time the pardon should never have been given. It possibly was the single biggest factor on why Ford was not reelected as President in 1976. History though has shown that for the health of the United States it was the correct move.


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