This month is the 44th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency. It was the evening of August 8, 1974 when he appeared on television, announcing that he was resigning as President, effective the next day at noon, August 9th.
The next day I watched President Nixon get on the helicopter at the White House and fly away to Andrews Air Force Base. From there, on Air Force One he would fly to a self-imposed exile in San Clemente, California. By the time he was somewhere over Missouri, it was 12 noon, and he was no longer President. The Vice-President, Gerald Ford, was sworn in as our 38th President.
I guess the one moment that left the greatest impression on me was the look on my father’s face when he watched Nixon addressing the nation the night of August 8th. When the President finished, my father had a look of absolute incredulity and disgust. He said to me, with great shock: “Son…..he LIED to us!” Up until that time almost everyone I knew trusted the President and Congress. We may have thought they did a good job or a bad job, but we never thought they were mostly crooks or liars.
Now it seems that most of us are shocked if someone isn’t a crook and actually does what they say they will do!
How times have changed.