1952 September 23

Nixon: “I Am Not a Quitter;” 22 Years Later, He Quits


In a nationally televised speech on this evening, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Richard Nixon, in what is known as the “Checkers” speech, declared that he was “not a quitter.” The speech was his response to charges that he had used an improper “slush fund” in the campaign, which led to calls for his resignation as the candidate. Nixon refused to resign. “Checkers” was the name of his dog, whom he mentioned in the speech.

Twenty-two years later, on August 9, 1974, facing almost certain impeachment because of the Watergate Scandal (which began with the Watergate break-in on June 17, 1972), Nixon resigned as president, making him the only president of the United States to “quit.”

The Watergate burglary touched off a national scandal that gripped the nation for 15 months and ended with President Richard Nixon’s resignation. The burglary set in motions investigations that uncovered other abuses of power by President Nixon and several members of his administration. These included the famous “enemies” list of critics of the administration who were targeted for retaliation (August 16, 1971), and the White House “Plumbers” unit that burglarized the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist on September 9, 1971. Nixon was impeached by the House of Representatives in July 1974, and he resigned in disgrace on August 9, 1974. President Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon on September 8, 1974, for any crimes he may have committed while president.

See the Checkers Speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4UEv_jjPL0

Read Nixon’s account of the “Checkers” speech: Richard Nixon, Six Crises (1962)

Watch Nixon’s 1974 resignation speechhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhI1xRUx8UI

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