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Press Release
July 29, 2014

National Archives Welcomes Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter to discuss Nixon Tapes

Program marks 40th Anniversary of historic resignation

Washington, DC…On Friday, August 8, at noon, the National Archives welcomes Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter for a special program about their new book, The Nixon Tapes. This event is free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance, located on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. The building is fully accessible. Metro: Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station.

President Richard Nixon captured every word spoken in key locations in the White House and Camp David from 1971 to 1973 on a voice-activated taping system. Historian and author Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter have transcribed the tapes, giving us an unprecedented account of one of the most controversial Presidencies in U.S. history. A book signing follows the program.

About The Nixon Tapes

President Nixon's voice-activated taping system captured every word spoken in the Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and other key locations in the White House, and at Camp David -- 3,700 hours of recordings between 1971 and 1973. Yet less than 5 percent of those conversations have ever been transcribed and published. Now, thanks to professor Luke Nichter's massive effort to digitize and transcribe the tapes, the world can finally read an unprecedented account of one of the most important and controversial presidencies in U.S. history.

The Nixon Tapes offers a selection of fascinating scenes from the year Nixon opened relations with China, negotiated the SALT I arms agreement with the Soviet Union, and won a landslide reelection victory. All the while, the growing shadow of Watergate and Nixon's political downfall crept ever closer. The Nixon Tapes provides a never-before-seen glimpse into a flawed president's hubris, paranoia, and political genius.

Related Featured Document Display: Nixon’s resignation and Ford’s Pardon

East Rotunda Gallery, August 8—11, 2014
To mark the 40th Anniversary of President Nixon’s resignation, the National Archives will show President Nixon’s original letter resigning the Presidency, August 9, 1974, and President Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard M. Nixon, September 8, 1974.

The National Archives Museum's "Featured Documents" exhibit is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Toyota.

Background

During the night of June 17, 1972, five burglars broke into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate office complex in Washington, DC. Investigation into the break-in exposed a trail of abuses that led to the highest levels of the Nixon administration and ultimately to the President himself. President Nixon resigned from office under threat of impeachment on August 9, 1974, and on September 8, 1974, the new President, Gerald Ford, issued a full pardon to the former President for any offenses he “has committed or may have committed.”

The resignation and pardon mark the conclusion of the events we know as "Watergate." For two years, public revelations of wrongdoing inside the White House had convulsed the nation in a series of confrontations that pitted the President against the media, executive agencies, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. The Watergate affair was a national trauma—a constitutional crisis that tested and affirmed the rule of law.

*** More images and info are available via a new online Nixon Resignation Press Kit put together by the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

To verify the date and times of the programs, call the National Archives Public Programs Line at: 202 357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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