On Thursday evening, August 8th, 1974, a unique and tragic event in American history occurred as President Richard M. Nixon appeared on television and announced his decision to resign the presidency effective at noon the next day.
The announcement came as a result of the Watergate scandal involving illegal snooping and other activities by members of the president's staff, targeting political opponents. Revelations in the press of a White House-orchestrated coverup, combined with the sworn testimony of Nixon staff members before a televised Senate investigative committee, had led to the collapse of political support for Nixon in Congress.
Shortly after his resignation on August 9th, members of Nixon's staff assembled in the White House for a final tearful farewell to a man they had served for five and a half years, and in some cases for much longer.
This is the remarkable impromptu speech Nixon made at that occasion amid the tremendous emotional strain of leaving the presidency in disgrace.