Sunday, August 9, 2015

On August 9, 1974 President Richard M. Nixon became the only U.S. President to resign from office. Within months of his successful 1972 reelection, Nixon’s administration became embroiled in scandal. Precipitated by the burglary of the National Democratic Committee by members of Nixon’s reelection team, the two-year Watergate investigation uncovered layers of illegal activity and lies. Tape recorded conversations from the Oval Office eventually tied the President to the cover-up.

Facing impeachment, President Nixon chose to step down, announcing his resignation on national television. In his statement to the American people he blamed the press for “leaks and accusations and innuendo” rather than admitting any personal wrongdoing.

While President Nixon had improved international relations with China and the USSR, brokered a nuclear arms treaty, and ended US military involvement in Viet Nam, his legacy was defined by Watergate. And, in a sidebar to history, political scandals since Watergate are still commonly tagged with the suffix “gate.”

To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at ed@thvmail.org.

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