Filed under: Political History, Presidential history
It was at 9: 01 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House that President Nixon gave his resignation speech that was broadcast on radio and television.
PRESIDENT NIXON’S RESIGNATION SPEECH PDF FILE
PRESIDENT NIXON’S RESIGNATION SPEECH
August 8, 1974
This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest.
In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation. Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.
In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort. As long as there was such a base, I felt strongly that it was necessary to see the constitutional process through to its conclusion, that to do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing precedent for the future.
But with the disappearance of that base, I now believe that the constitutional purpose has been served, and there is no longer a need for the process to be prolonged.
I would have preferred to carry through to the finish whatever the personal agony it would have involved, and my family unanimously urged me to do so. But the interest of the Nation must always come before any personal considerations.
From the discussions I have had with Congressional and other leaders, I have concluded that because of the Watergate matter I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interests of the Nation would require.
I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.
To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.
Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office.
As I recall the high hopes for America with which we began this second term, I feel a great sadness that I will not be here in this office working on your behalf to achieve those hopes in the next 21/2 years. But in turning over direction of the Government to Vice President Ford, I know, as I told the Nation when I nominated him for that office 10 months ago, that the leadership of America will be in good hands.
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.
By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.
I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that if some of my Judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.
To those who have stood with me during these past difficult months, to my family, my friends, to many others who joined in supporting my cause because they believed it was right, I will be eternally grateful for your support.
And to those who have not felt able to give me your support, let me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who have opposed me, because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned with the good of the country, however our judgments might differ.
So, let us all now join together in affirming that common commitment and in helping our new President succeed for the benefit of all Americans.
I shall leave this office with regret at not completing my term, but with gratitude for the privilege of serving as your President for the past 51/2 years. These years have been a momentous time in the history of our Nation and the world. They have been a time of achievement in which we can all be proud, achievements that represent the shared efforts of the Administration, the Congress, and the people.
But the challenges ahead are equally great, and they, too, will require the support and the efforts of the Congress and the people working in cooperation with the new Administration.
We have ended America’s longest war, but in the work of securing a lasting peace in the world, the goals ahead are even more far-reaching and more difficult. We must complete a structure of peace so that it will be said of this generation, our generation of Americans, by the people of all nations, not only that we ended one war but that we prevented future wars.
We have unlocked the doors that for a quarter of a century stood between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
We must now ensure that the one quarter of the world’s people who live in the People’s Republic of China will be and remain not our enemies but our friends.
In the Middle East, 100 million people in the Arab countries, many of whom have considered us their enemy for nearly 20 years, now look on us as their friends. We must continue to build on that friendship so that peace can settle at last over the Middle East and so that the cradle of civilization will not become its grave.
Together with the Soviet Union we have made the crucial breakthroughs that have begun the process of limiting nuclear arms. But we must set as our goal not just limiting but reducing and finally destroying these terrible weapons so that they cannot destroy civilization and so that the threat of nuclear war will no longer hang over the world and the people.
We have opened the new relation with the Soviet Union. We must continue to develop and expand that new relationship so that the two strongest nations of the world will live together in cooperation rather than confrontation.
Around the world, in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Middle East, there are millions of people who live in terrible poverty, even starvation. We must keep as our goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace so that people everywhere on this earth can at last look forward in their children’s time, if not in our own time, to having the necessities for a decent life.
Here in America, we are fortunate that most of our people have not only the blessings of liberty but also the means to live full and good and, by the world’s standards, even abundant lives. We must press on, however, toward a goal of not only more and better jobs but of full opportunity for every American and of what we are striving so hard right now to achieve, prosperity without inflation.
For more than a quarter of a century in public life I have shared in the turbulent history of this era. I have fought for what I believed in. I have tried to the best of my ability to discharge those duties and meet those responsibilities that were entrusted to me.
Sometimes I have succeeded and sometimes I have failed, but always I have taken heart from what Theodore Roosevelt once said about the man in the arena, “whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is not effort without error and shortcoming, but who does actually strive to do the deed, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievements and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
I pledge to you tonight that as long as I have a breath of life in my body, I shall continue in that spirit. I shall continue to work for the great causes to which I have been dedicated throughout my years as a Congressman, a Senator, a Vice President, and President, the cause of peace not just for America but among all nations, prosperity, justice, and opportunity for all of our people.
There is one cause above all to which I have been devoted and to which I shall always be devoted for as long as I live.
When I first took the oath of office as President 51/2 years ago, I made this sacred commitment, to “consecrate my office, my energies, and all the wisdom I can summon to the cause of peace among nations.”
I have done my very best in all the days since to be true to that pledge. As a result of these efforts, I am confident that the world is a safer place today, not only for the people of America but for the people of all nations, and that all of our children have a better chance than before of living in peace rather than dying in war.
This, more than anything, is what I hoped to achieve when I sought the Presidency. This, more than anything, is what I hope will be my legacy to you, to our country, as I leave the Presidency.
To have served in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship with each and every American. In leaving it, I do so with this prayer: May God’s grace be with you in all the days ahead.
NOTE: The President spoke at 9: 01 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. The address was broadcast live on radio and television
Filed under: Presidential history
The gunshot that killed Lincoln came from John Wilkes Booth’s .44-caliber derringer as the president and his wife watched “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre.
At 7:22 the following morning, April 15, 1865, in the Petersen boarding house across from the theatre, the 16th president of the United States took his last breath, but not before making his mark in history. Who the Secretary of State Edwin M. Stanton called “the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen.”
Ford’s Theatre is hosting a comprehensive series of Lincoln memorials, which it calls Ford’s 150: Remembering the Lincoln Assassination. The commemorations will be on Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the details of the upcoming commemorations.
Filed under: Presidential history
1.Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2.Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3.Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4.Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5.Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6.Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7.Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8.Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9.Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10.Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11.Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12.Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13.Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Filed under: Presidential history
Today, February 12, we remember the birthday of perhaps the most popular American president that has ever served our United States. Lincoln lived an against-the-odds story. He started life off in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky, and yet, despite his humble beginnings, he succeeded in attaining the highest possible office.
He had a difficult childhood losing his mother, who died of tremetol, a.k.a. milk sickness, when he was just 9 years old. An interesting sidenote is that, according to An Evolutionary Psychology of Leader-Follower Relations , there is a real connection between losing a parent to death in one’s childhood and achieving eventual public eminence.
When Lincoln was 22, his father moved the family to Coles County, Illinois at which time he took on a number of manual labor jobs. As he advanced from rail fencing to shopkeeper, postmaster, and then a general store owner, he began developing vital social skills and a story telling ability that he would later become well known for.
In 1834 he discovered his political leanings as an elected member of the Illinois state legislature and also a member of the Whig Party. From there he made the decision to become a self-taught lawyer by studying William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. He reached his goal in 1837 and moved to Springfield, Illinois to practice law at the John T. Stuart law firm.
In the November 1860 presidential election, Lincoln won the vote by gaining 180 of 303 Electoral votes; though only gaining not quite 40 percent of the popular vote. He became the 16th president of the United States.
Abraham Lincoln. (2013). The Biography Channel website. Retrieved 04:25, Feb 11, 2013, from http://www.biography.com/people/abraham-lincoln-9382540.
Filed under: Military History, Presidential history
President Abraham Lincoln delivered, on November 19, 1863, a military dedication during the American Civil War. His dedication at a military cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was to become one of the most famous speeches of all time.
Though only 272 words long, Lincoln’s address moved the public in its reminder of the necessity of the Union’s fight to win. Just four months prior to his speech the Battle of Gettysburg was waged. It was the bloodiest battle fought in the Civil War killing more than 45,000 men in just three days time and the point at which General Robert E. Lee retreated from Gettysburg in defeat. It was the last Confederate invasion of Northern territory.
Proceeding Lincoln’s words, that took him only a few minutes to deliver, the crowds listened for two hours as Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day, delivered his wordy and meticulously prepared dedication. And though a fine orator, Everett’s many words were eclipsed by Lincoln’s brief, yet brilliant and moving address.
This was what he said in its conclusion: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Source: This Day In History: 11/19/1863 – Lincoln Gettysburg Address. (2012). The History Channel website. Retrieved 11:16, November 19, 2012, from http://www.history.com , http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/11/19.
Filed under: America, Presidential history
There were 17 elected two term presidents:
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, McKinley, Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush43, Obama
There were four presidents who served two terms, but one term was not from election, but from serving after their deceased predecessors. After finishing out the term of other Presidents, they were then re-elected:
Teddy Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Harry Truman, and LBJ
There were three presidents that were elected to a second term, but did not finish the second term:
Lincoln and McKinley were assassinated
Nixon resigned from office