Aug. 8, 1974: President Nixon resigns

In a televised address to the nation, Nixon announced his resignation from the presidency amid the Watergate investigation.
5:25 | 08/09/17

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Transcript for Aug. 8, 1974: President Nixon resigns
In just a moment now the president United States will begin his speech perhaps his last speech from the White House. And we've seen him in just a few moments we have forty seconds to go now. The president has taken his place at the table in the White House but he's going to speak. This is everyone assumes a speech in the she's going to state his reasons for changing his mind and possibly his reasons for resigning from the high office there's the White House as it looks tonight. The rear entrance to diplomatic entrance to the White House. And now. Here now the next. Pick you'll be the president of the United States. Good evening. This is the 37 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've always tried to do what was best for the nation. Throughout the long and difficult period a Watergate. I have felt that was my duty to persevere. To make every possible effort to complete the term of office. To which you elected. In the past few days however. It has become evident to me. But I no longer. A strong enough political base in the congress. To justify continuing. That effort. As long as there was such a pace. 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 case. I don't believe. That the constitutional. Purpose has cancer. And there is no longer a need for the process. To be a long. From the discussions I have had with congressional and other leaders I have concluded. But because of the Watergate matter. I might not have the support of the kongers. That I would consider necessary. To back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interest of the nation. Require. I have never been. A quarter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as president. I must put the interests. Of America first. America needs a full time president. And a full time congress. Particularly at this time with problems we face of home and abroad. To continue. The fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication. It almost totally sure that 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 all. Therefore. I shall resign presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice president for. Will be sworn in as president. At that hour. In this office. I've done my very best. Hole with visions. To be true that privilege. As a result of these efforts I am confident that the world's a safer place today not only for the people of America. But for the people of all nations. And that all of our show. Have a better chance than people. Of living increase. Rather than die in war. There's more than anything. Is what I hoped to achieve what I saw the president. This more than anything. It's what I hope. Will be my leg it. To you. To our country. As I leave. To have served in his office. It is to quote very personal sense of kinship. With B. And every. And leaving it. I do so with this prayer. May God's grace. Be with you. And old. The basic.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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