33 Years Ago Today: Nixon Becomes First (And Only) President to Resign

Richard Nixon became the first president — as thus far the only — to resign his office 33 years ago today.

The Presidency of Richard Nixon was one of controversy and the subject of seemingly never ending debate.

Though he is most remembered for the Watergate scandal, Nixon was the first President to visit the country of China since it had turned to Communism in 1949. Nixon also took part in the Strategic Arms Limiting Treaty (SALT) with Russia in an attempt to limit the number of nuclear weapons that each superpower produced.

The connection of the Watergate break-in to the White House came through one of the individuals arrested, James McCord. At the time of his arrest, McCord, a former CIA security officer, was then working for the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP).

In addition, the name Howard Hunt, a consultant for Charles Colson, one of Nixon’s aides, appeared in address books carried by two of the men arrested.

On June 20, 1972, the Washington Post ran a story with the title “White House Consultant Tied to Bugging Figure.”  From this point on, the entire Watergate break-in was traced to the White House.

The events of the Watergate scandal were no more outrageous than other “political pranks” done by other politicians, Nixon later wrote. “Bugging experts told the Washington Post right after the Watergate break-in that the practice ‘has not been uncommon in elections past,’” Nixon wrote in his memoirs.

About the author

Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits The Travel Trolley and Railfanning.org.