Newly Released and Unedited Video Shows President Nixon Speaking Candidly About His Resignation
The 37th President tells the story of his final days in the White House, discusses his options and recalls the emotions leading up to August 9th
YORBA LINDA, Cal., (Aug. 1, 2014) - Marking 40 years since Richard Nixon's resignation, the Richard Nixon Foundation and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum are releasing unedited June 1983 footage of the 37th President - in his own words - chronicling his final days in the White House with former White House aide Frank Gannon.
The video series entitled "A President Resigns" will be published daily in real time from Tuesday, August 5, forty years to the week when President Nixon decided he would resign through Saturday, August 9, the anniversary of his departure from the White House.
The general public is invited to follow the story and engage on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube using the hashtag #APresidentResigns.
The in depth and inside story begins with President Nixon recalling July 23, 1974, the day he learned that three pivotal members of the House Judiciary Committee --- southern democrats --- were going to vote for his impeachment.
"I knew that we could not survive," Nixon says. "However, when I got back to Washington, in my usual methodical way--people think it's methodical and I guess it is--I decided I should put down the pros and cons of what options I had."
Then came the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the President had to turn over 64 White House tape recordings sought by the Watergate Special Prosecutor.
Among them was tape from June 23, 1972, the so-called "smoking gun."
Referring to the impact of that tape, Nixon said, "This was the final blow, the final nail in the coffin."
Nixon discusses telling his family of his painful decision to resign, and their strong opposition to him leaving office before his term ended.
Julie Nixon Eisenhower, the Nixons' younger daughter, frequently wrote notes to her father while in the White House.
"Whatever you do, I will support. I am very proud of you," she wrote on August 6. "Go through the fire just a little bit longer. You are strong."
"Like her mother, she was a fighter. If anything would have changed my mind, believe me, that would have done it," Nixon says. "But it was too late."
Of his wife Pat, Nixon states she was the last to give up: "She was the last to give up on the fund thing [Senator Nixon’s fight to stay on General Eisenhower’s 1952 presidential ticket], the last to give up in 1960 [when Nixon ran against John F. Kennedy for president], and she was the last to give up this time. Very hard for her."
On the morning of his nationally televised resignation speech on August 8, Nixon met with Vice President Ford.
“Jerry, this is the last time I'll call you Jerry, Mr. President,” Nixon remembers saying. "Brought a tear or two to his eyes - I think mine, too."
On the morning of August 9, his final day in the White House, Chief-of-Staff Alexander Haig gave the President his letter of resignation to sign.
That morning, Nixon said goodbye to the White House staff - giving an emotional speech on the principles that guided his own life.
"[I] spoke from the heart.... told them that they must not allow what happened to me to discourage them, in effect, that we learn from our defeats, that life isn’t over because you suffer a defeat."
The videos will play continuously in the Nixon Library Theater from August 5-10 and available online at nixonfoundation.org and nixonlibrary.gov.
For media opportunities, contact:
Joe Lopez, Nixon Foundation, 714-364-7130, email@example.com
Gregory Cumming, Nixon Library, 714-983-9131, firstname.lastname@example.org
The videos are owned and copyright protected by Raiford Communications, Inc. (For clearance information please contact Jesse Raiford at 914-767-0066 or email@example.com).
The videos can only be used in News related programming, and the videos may not be used in any programming after August 10, 2014. Any use of the videos must include an on screen courtesy reading: "Courtesy of the Richard Nixon Foundation, copyright Raiford Communications, Inc."
The entire copyrighted video tape library is available for licensing at the Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection, Russell Special Collections Library, at the University of Georgia. (Contact Director, Ruta Abolins 706-542-4757 firstname.lastname@example.org)
Video excerpts are provided courtesy of the Richard Nixon Foundation and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.
The Richard Nixon Foundation is a privately supported, non-profit institution dedicated to educating the public about the life, legacy, and times of the Thirty-Seventh President. For more information, call 714-993-5075 or go to nixonfoundation.org.
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is one of thirteen Presidential Libraries operated by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Nixon Library is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd, Yorba Linda, CA, and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exceptions of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Active military receive discounted admission with ID. The Museum is fully handicapped accessible. For more information, call 714-983-9120 or go to nixonlibrary.gov.
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