This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office, where so many decisions have been made that
shaped the history of this Nation. Each time I have done so to discuss with you some matter that I believe
affected the national interest.
In all the decisions I have made in my public life, I have always tried to do what was best for the Nation.
Throughout the long and difficult period of Watergate, I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every
possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me.
I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in
my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full-time President and a
full-time Congress, particularly at this time with problems we face at home and abroad.
To continue to fight through the months ahead for my personal vindication would almost totally absorb the
time and attention of both the President and the Congress in a period when our entire focus should be on the
great issues of peace abroad and prosperity without inflation at home.
Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in
as President at that hour in this office.
By taking this action, I hope that I will have hastened the start of that process of healing which is so
desperately needed in America.
I regret deeply any injuries that may have been done in the course of the events that led to this decision.
I would say only that if some of my Judgments were wrong, and some were wrong, they were made in what I
believed at the time to be the best interest of the Nation.