Richard M. Nixon: Resignation Address to the Nation

(1974)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

With the House of Representatives preparing to impeach Nixon, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on July 24, 1974, that the president had to surrender all of his tape-recorded meetings to the House Judiciary Committee. Thus Nixon would have to disclose a meeting that clearly established he had taken part in covering up the crimes associated with the Watergate break-in (when men in the employ of the Republican National Committee burglarized the Democratic National Committee's headquarters in the Watergate Hotel). At this point, the president and important members of his staff began to consider his resignation from office.

Although he was still popular with many Republicans, the president's national poll ratings had dropped to less than 30 percent, and by July 27 the House Judiciary Committee had voted its first article of impeachment by a vote of 27 to 11. The article charged that the president had obstructed the investigation of the...

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Richard Nixon (Library of Congress)

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