All Things Considered: Changing of Command - Richard Nixon resignation speech

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Midday rebroadcast of President Nixon resignation speech originally aired during NPR’s All Things Considered.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

From National Public Radio in Washington, this is Bob Edwards. The president of the United States is about to address the nation from the Oval Office of the White House. It is reported by numerous sources that the president will announce his resignation six years to the day after receiving the nomination of his party on Monday. The president revealed that he has withheld information on the Watergate scandal for nearly two years since that announcement that has been intense pressure on Mr. Nixon to resign the president himself said that impeachment was now a foregone conclusion tonight speech also follows attempts in Congress to Grant immunity from Criminal and civil prosecution in connection with the Watergate Affair. There is no indication that the president has been granted this immunity this morning with Vice President Ford and reportedly told Ford of his decision now the president 37th timeI have spoken to you from this office where so many decisions have been made that shape the history of this nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe affected the national interest. And 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. The Watergate I have felt it was my duty to persevere to make every possible effort to complete the term of office do what you would like to 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. At the do otherwise would be unfaithful to the spirit of that deliberately difficult process and a dangerously destabilizing president for the future. But with The Disappearance of that bass, I now believe that the Constitutional purpose has insert. And there is no longer need for the process to be prolonged. I would have preferred. To carry through to the Finish. Whatever the personal Agony it would have it evolved. And my family unanimously urge me to do so. At the entrance of the nation must always come before any personal considerations. From the discussions I have had with Congressional and other leaders I have concluded. because of the Watergate matter I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary. The back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of his office in the way the interest of the nation or require. I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every Instinct in my body. 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. Continue the fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication. What almost totally absorbed the time and attention of both the president and the Congress and it. When our entire focus should be on the greatest was a piece of Broad and prosperity without inflation at home. therefore I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow. vice president for will be sworn in as president at that hour in this office. If I recall the high hopes for America with which we began this second term. I feel a great sadness. And I will not be here in this office working on your behalf to achieve those hopes in the next two and a half years. I didn't turning over direction of the government the vice president for 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. I'm passing this office to the vice president. I also do so with a profound sense of the weight of responsibility that will fall on his shoulders tomorrow. and therefore of the understanding A patient's the cooperation. He will need from owner. as he assumes that responsibility he will deserve the help. and the support of olives as we look to the Future the First Essential is to begin healing the wounds of this nation. Put the bitterness in the visions of the recent past behind. And to ReDiscover those shared ideals that lie at the heart of our strength and unity as a great. And it's a free people. by taking this action I hope that I will hasten to start. of that process of healing which is so desperately needed in America. I regret deeply any injuries may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision. I would say only that is some of my judgments were wrong and some were wrong. They were made and what I believe that's the time to be the best interest of the nation. To those who have stood with me during these past difficult months. Am I family? my friends the many others who joined and supporting my cause because they believe it was right. I will be eternally grateful for your support. and those whoever Knoxville table To give me your support. Let me say. I leave with no better for those with a postmate. Because all of us in the final analysis have been concerned with the good of the country. However our judgments So let us all now joined together. and affirming that common commitment and in helping our new president succeed. for the benefit of all Americans I can leave this office with regret it not completing my term, but with gratitude for the privilege of serving. I sure a president for the past five and a half years. These years have been a momentous time in the history of our nation in the world. They live in a time of achievement and put we can all be proud achievements that represents 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 of 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 set of this generation are generation of Americans by the people of all Nations. I'd only that we ended one more. But that we prevented future wolves. We have unlock the door set 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 enemy. What are friends? And the Middle East 100 million people in the Arab countries many of whom have considered us there and honey for nearly 20 years now look on us as their friends. We must continue to build on that French. Go the peace and settle at last over the Middle Ages. And so does the Cradle? a 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-armed. But we must set as our goal not just limiting. But reducing and finally destroy. These terrible weapons so that they cannot destroy civilization. Cancel that the threat of nuclear war will no longer hang over the world and the people. We have open the door relation with the stable Soviet Union. We must continue to develop and expand with that new relationship. So the two strongest nations of the world will live together in cooperation. rather and confrontation around the world in Asia and Africa and Latin America and the Middle East there are millions of people who live. terrible party even starvation we must keep Hazard goal turning away from production for war and expanding production for peace. So the people everywhere on this Earth. Can a last look forward in their children's time? If not in our own time I have a 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 standards even a bunch of Lies. We must press on however for the goal. Not only a more better jobs but a full opportunity for every American. And at what we are striving so hard right now to achieve. Prosperity without inflation I'm more than a quarter of a century in public life. I have shared in the turbulent history of this evening. 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. Sometime if failed. 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 airs and come 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? Nose in the end. Hyatt cheap And with the worst if he fails. at least fails while daring greatly I punched you tonight as long as I have a breath of life in my body. I shall continue in that strip. I should continue to work for the grape causes to which I have been dedicated throughout my years as a congressman a senator 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 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, five and a half years ago. I made this sacred commitment. to consecrate my office my energies And all the wisdom I can song. so the cars of Peace among nations I've done my very best and all the dacians 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 to the people of all Nations. And they're all of our children have a better chance than before. of living in peace rather than die in war this more than anything is what I hope to achieve, but I sought the presidents. This more than anything is what I hope will be my legacy. Are you? to our country as I leave. the presidency preserved in this office is to have felt a very personal sense of kinship. each and every American I'm leaving. I do so with this prayer. May God's grace be with you. And all the days ahead.


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