President Richard Milhous Nixon makes history on August 9, 1974 as the first and only American President to resign from the high office of the United States Presidency. Nixon was forced to resign over the Watergate Scandal to avoid an impending impeachment, a United States Senate conviction on Articles of Impeachment and finally removal from office. A visibly emotional Nixon delivered a farewell speech to the White House Cabinet and Staff, surrounded by supportive family members. Telling the crowd, "au revoir" "We'll see you again."
Nixon departed the White House with First Lady Pat Nixon, escorted by Gerald and Betty Ford to the Presidential Helicopter. Nixon with a final goodbye gave his famous gesture to the crowd and boarded. Destination Andrews Air Force Base where he boarded Air Force One for the final time and was flown home to California.
Gerald R. Ford also made history when he assumed the Presidency upon Nixon's resignation as the only President and Vice President who was never elected by the nations people. Gerald Ford was the Speaker of the House when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned from Office and was appointed by Richard Nixon per the 25th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ford took the oath as Vice President on December 6, 1973 and again as the 38th U.S. President on August 9, 1974. Ford pardoned Nixon a month later on September 9th.
Watch Nixon's Resignation Speech in it's entirety here...