President Nixon resigns

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  • Intro

    This newspaper reports the resignation of American president, Richard Nixon in 1974, following the Watergate scandal. This was the first time in US history that a president had been forced to resign. Nixon’s inexplicable smile in this photograph is in stark contrast to the disgrace and humiliation he must have felt.

     

    A right-wing Republican leader, Nixon had sought to win the hearts of Conservative Americans by promising to uphold traditional values. But in June 1972, five men were arrested for burgling the headquarters of the rival political party, the Democrats. It later emerged that the 'burglars' were working for the Republican Party, and were planting bugging equipment in the Democratic offices. It soon became clear that the Republican 'Campaign to re-elect the President' (or CREEP) had been involved in a series of illegal activities. These included bugging political opponents, organising smear campaigns and blackmailing corporations into donating funds. Nixon was instrumental in organising a massive cover up, trying to control the police investigation into the crime, and hide the many links between his administration and the criminal activities.

     

    Bizarrely, it eventually came to light that throughout his presidency, Nixon had taped all his own telephone conversations and meetings. It was these tapes that would incriminate him. The tapes also revealed many of his anti-black and anti-semitic views. Surrounded by scandal, Nixon was eventually forced to resign in 1974. The burgled Democratic headquarters were housed in the Watergate complex, and this scandal became known as 'Watergate'.

     

    Image Copyright: John Frost Newspapers

     

    Shelfmark: British Library Newspaper Archive

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