NIXON MAKES HISTORY AS ONLY U. S. PRESIDENT TO RESIGN

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ABC “News Around the World”, American Information Radio Network, Saturday, August 10, 1974, 6:00 A.M. EDT (14:18)
Richard Milhaus Nixon’s letter of resignation from the Presidency of The United States was tendered to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Friday, August 9, 1974, at 11:35 A.M. Nixon had announced his intention to resign the night before on live TV from the Oval Office.


At 12:03 P.M., twenty-eight minutes into his only term as President, Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. took the oath of office, administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, who was flown back from a trip to the Netherlands for the occasion. President Ford then addressed the country, “. . . My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over . . .”

(As a sidelight, the May 20, 2015 series finale of the Late Show with David Letterman was introduced by archival footage of Ford’s speech and cameos of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all saying, “Our long national nightmare is over”.)
Just as now, every special interest wanted a hand in choosing Ford’s Vice President. Best friends who’d become mortal enemies through the crisis were bosom buddies once again.

Because of the previous day’s big news, I stayed around for an hour after my KAYO air shift and dubbed this newscast live (3:00 A. M. Pacific) from the network line onto reel-to-reel tape at 7.5 ips.

In those days, ABC Radio News had four separate networks and was open from 5:59:30 A.M. until 11:59:30 P. M. Eastern Time. KOMO was Seattle’s American Information Radio Network affiliate. KAYO, where I worked at the time, was affiliated with The American Entertainment Radio Network. The two other networks were American FM (KETO-FM) and American Contemporary (KQIN). The four shared the same equalized phone line and we could listen at any time by putting the net pot in “cue”. When there was no programming, the line was filled with tinny orchestral piano music, obviously not run through the equalizer. The line would go dead thirty seconds before a broadcast began and they would send a one-second 500kc cue tone ten seconds before “on air”. It was a courtesy to let your relief know how far off the control room clock was so he could hit the net. When I first went to work at KAYO the notoriously inaccurate studio clock was leased from Western Union and automatically set itself every hour on the hour. It might jump ahead 10 or 15 seconds.

Information Radio ran hourly news from 00:00-05:00, except 00:00-14:30 for shows such as “News Around the World” or “Paul Harvey”; FM Radio ran hourly news from 15:00-18:00; Entertainment Radio ran hourly news from 30:00-35:00 except no feed at 05:30 when Information Radio fed “Paul Harvey”; Contemporary Radio ran hourly news from 54:30-59:30. On Sunday afternoons, Entertainment Radio Sports ran from 45:00-48:00. The rest of the hour might be closed circuit calls for affiliates, transcribed programs on the various networks, bulletins etc. . . and that tinny orchestral piano music.

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Author: Dick Ellingson

Aging gratefully with my dogs in a little country town. Parcel post crusher; blood'n'guts laundry serf; parking lot fender bender/bumper jumper; Lazy B flunkie with 7-word job title; P-I down crew; bobtail trucker; Sunbeam breader; retail store mangler; bothersome boiler roomie; fake real estate agent; d.j./copywriter/p.d./ripper/reader - 600 KGEZ Good Advertising, Kalispell; Community Radio 1510 KURB, Mountlake Terrace; 1540 News and Music/92.5 Solid Gold Rock and Roll KFKF, Bellevue; 1150 Kountry KAYO #1 Gun for Radio Fun, Seattle; 1300 KoMPaSs Radio 13 Modern Country, Seattle; 1360 KLFF Good Music and Great Memories, Glendale/Phoenix; 106.3 Concert 106 KONC, Sun City/Phoenix; 1580 KCWW Real Country Network, Tempe/Phoenix. Volunteer P-I/Times news reader for Evergreen Radio Reading Service at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, Seattle; dotcomboom stock trader; King County Metro Bus Driver; Seattle Streetcar Operator. Now taking it easy on rockin' chair money! View other articles by Dick Ellingson

7 thoughts on “NIXON MAKES HISTORY AS ONLY U. S. PRESIDENT TO RESIGN

  1. Seems that our family always gathered together to watch these televised events. Nixon’s scandal, the JFK funeral procession, and we saw the Bobby Kennedy assassination report live, that late June night. Some things we will never forget.

  2. We as a family saw two out of the three live. We were watching Nixon,s resignation when our cat walked in and meowed real load. We all got a chuckle out of it. We did not know about Bobby till we woke up the next morning. We watched the JFK funeral as school was out. That was also the day I discovered I was getting a stomach flu. Memories. This is also the day Jim Nelley was fired as station manager at KTAC after five years of service. People at that station would whisper that maybe Mr. Nelley was involved in watergate?

  3. I remember when Richard Nixon lost the California governorship to Pat Brown and had his “last press conference” on November 7th 1962. In conceding defeat, he addressed reporters at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and expressed his bitterness by castigating the news media and saying, “You won’t have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last news conference.”

    Apparently Nixon didn’t heed his own words when 12 years later “his actions” led to him kicking himself right out of the Oval Office!

  4. Trumpeter Bill Chase and his band died in plane crash the same day, but it wasn’t til weeks later that I found out about it

  5. Kjrol commented about the Jazz Rock band Chase and their deadly plane crash on August 9th, 1974. (The day of Nixon’s resignation). Trumpeter Bill Chase, along with the keyboardist, drummer and guitarist of Chase were killed in the crash of a Piper Twin Comanche on the way to a gig.
    If you’re not familiar with their work, their biggest hit was in 1971 with “Get It On”. Here’s a link to a live performance of that hit but Chase:

    https://youtu.be/ERZZr5ckOeg

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