Polychronicon 167: The strange career of Richard Nixon

Teaching History feature

By Tony McConnell, published 27th June 2017

Complicating Nixon narratives

If you know just one thing about the career of the 37th President of the United States, it is likely to be this: Watergate. Nixon’s resignation in August 1974 was caused by his decision to cover up a burglary at the Democratic Party’s campaign headquarters for the 1972 election, which Nixon won.

Although it is not at all certain that Nixon was behind the initial break-in, he was condemned for his failure to cut loose those members of his team who had been involved, for his attempts to fire the prosecutors investigating him and his team and therefore for obstruction of justice. His resignation, which came when impeachment and conviction (the formal process by which US Presidents may be removed from office) became inevitable...

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