Aug. 9, 1974: President Nixon resigns

President Richard Nixon officially became the first American president in history to resign on Aug. 9, 1974.

He announced his intentions to a national audience the night before. Earlier that day, The Herald alerted readers to tune in to the historic broadcast. Here’s part of the story:

Richard M. Nixon, his 2,026-day presidency devastated by scandal, will inform the nation tonight that he is resigning as America’s highest officer, officials say.

One White House aide said the chief executive told Vice President Gerald R. Ford of his decision at midday.

The President arranged for a national television radio address at 6 p.m. PDT. He was to meet earlier with congressional leaders.

Meanwhile, word at the Capitol – where pressure for Nixon to step aside or be removed made his eventual departure a foregone conclusion – was that a change of power would be consummated Friday.

Read more from the Aug. 8 ,1974, issue of The Herald in our collection of historic front pages.

Watch part of the historical address:

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