Each day, Benzinga takes a look back at a notable market-related moment that happened on this date.
On this evening in 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his intent to resign the following day.
Where Was The Market
The next day, when Nixon actually resigned, the Dow Jones fell 1% and continued down 15% over the next month.
What Else Was Going On In The World
John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” topped the charts, the U.S. inflation rate lingered around 11.3%, and a gallon of gas cost about 42 cents.
Nixon Becomes First President To Step Down
In 1972, the Nixon administration became implicated in a conspiracy of political espionage. Members of Nixon’s reelection committee were arrested for breaking into and illegally wiretapping the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate headquarters.
By 1973, Senate hearings had begun to draw out testimony implicating Nixon, himself, and investigations revealed further evidence of conspiracy, including long-withheld Watergate tapes over which Nixon fired the case’s special prosecutor.
Nixon’s final weeks as president saw the House Judiciary Committee draw up three articles of impeachment. Shortly after their adoption, the 37th president announced he would leave office.
“By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America,” Nixon said during an evening address.
Around noon on Aug. 9, 1974, Nixon officially resigned, and Gerald R. Ford was sworn in. Ford later pardoned Nixon for any crimes committed while in office.
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