Banter Before the End

Richard Nixon, whose silently whirling recorders had taped unsuspecting visitors to the Oval Office, was unaware that a television camera and microphone were recording his own words and movements as he prepared for a momentous act: his Aug. 8, 1974, broadcast in which he announced that he would resign next day from the presidency. A CBS-TV technician, during the technical check, made the videotape and later gave it to a friend, TV Actor Tom Hallick, who made it available to TIME. It shows that Nixon was in an astonishingly light mood as he fought the tension of the grim event. Excerpts:

NIXON...

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