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Richard M. Nixon: Resignation Speech by Richard M. Nixon

Richard M. Nixon: Resignation Speech

by Richard M. Nixon

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15 Min.
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  4.5  Stars Based on 2 ratings
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"In passing this office to the Vice President, I also do so with the profound sense of the weight of responsibility that will fall on his shoulders tomorrow, and therefore of the understanding, the patience, the cooperation he will need from all Americans. As he assumes that responsibility he will deserve the help and the support of all of us. As we look to the future, the first essential is to begin healing the wounds of this nation. To put the bitterness and divisions of the recent past behind us and to rediscover those shared ideals that lie at the heart of our strength and unity as a great and as a free people."

-Richard M. Nixon

This speech was delivered 8 August 1974.


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I remember
Reviewer terry martin
 July 11, 2006
I was 20 when Nixon resigned, and felt in many ways that it was a mistake. That his resignation would damage the nation more than it would help it. What we see in this address is a destroyed and beaten president, who still manages to maintain a high degree of dignity.

At the time of this address, Nixon knew there were the votes to defeat him in the Senate [unlike Clinton's Impeachment trial in the 1990's]. Having lost his base, and therefore facing the inevitable removal from office, he tendered his resignation. Later that month, he nearly died, when a blood clot developed in his leg.. and some felt he lacked the will to fight on.. but ultimately, he did, and went on to write a series of books on the direction we might take in public policy.

No man is all good.. nor all evil. Nixon accomplished a great deal in what for all practical reason, was one-term in office. The world today is impacted more by his administration than many who have served since. The rise in China, that opening.. was at his direction. Golda Meir said he saved Israel in 1973, when he released American military material to the Israelis, when Israel was attacked in October of that year.

In this speech, we see a proud man, who had sought the presidency throughout his political career. For any man to serve on the national ticket of a major political party-- even once -- is a major accomplishment. Only two men in our history have done that 5 times, FDR and Richard Nixon. But on this evening, his perch of power is ending, and his dream of having a legacy is much in doubt. With his power eroded, South Vietnam, which had consumed so much of his efforts in office, and for which he had reached an accord to maintain its existence, would be defeated by an invasion of the North Vietnamese just ten months later. They knew, that the un-elected President Ford, did not have the political base to enforce the 1973 Peace treaty, that Nixon had negotiated. So the loss of a democratic South Vietnam was also a victim of Watergate.

He was in many ways, a great man, a great president. And only with the increasing distance and subsidence of emotions of that era, will we judge his decisions and their results, in a more objective light.

More Details

  • Published: 1974
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: R007367
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