Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008

Richard Nixon, 1974

A little over a year after he resigned in the wake of Watergate, Richard Nixon received a highly controversial pardon from President Gerald Ford. Some charged that the pardon was part of an agreement reached with Ford when Nixon left office; others, including the New York Times, simply called the move unwise and unjust. Ford, who announced the pardon on live television on Sept. 8, 1974, called the Nixon family's situation "an American tragedy in which we all have played a part." He added: "It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must." Ford, however, may have also written his own end, politically speaking. Many believe the Nixon pardon was the reason he lost the 1976 election to Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter.