9 August 2009

Daniel Schorr, on today’s Sunday Morning Edition broadcast, reminded me that on this day 35 years ago, Nixon officially stepped down from his disastrous presidency.

nixon_resignation My political awareness started with Nixon, the War, and Watergate.  This day, though buried in my teen memories rather than Schorr’s journalist ones, is a big day for me.  On this day I understood how public pressure could affect the nation – together, the citizens and the press forced a sitting to president to resign or face certain removal from office.  I was thrilled, frightened, inspired, relieved.

Schorr also reminded me of Nixon’s farewell speech to his staff.  I don’t remember, 35 years ago, whether I watched any broadcast of it (though I’ve seen clips in the last few years) but when I read
Woodward and Bernstein’s The Final Days last year, I found myself tearing up at the goodbye, rather like a number of the staff in the excerpts shown on documentary coverage of Nixon’s fall.  Even the evil have heart, and Nixon certainly did.  

Anyway, thank you to Mr. Schorr for reminding me that this is the 35th anniversary of a day long hoped for in my early life, and once achieved, a day that became empowering for me.