On the morning of August 9, 1974, President Nixon, facing impeachment over the Watergate break-in and cover-up, resigned the presidency. In doing so, he became the first president in U.S. history to resign.
In keeping with a law passed by Congress in 1792, White House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig presented this letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Nixon to sign.
The letter became effective at 11:35 a.m. when Secretary of State Henry Kissinger initialed it.
Nixon’s televised resignation speech, delivered from the Oval Office , August 8, 1974: