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1974: The Nixon pardon many years later

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It was President Ford’s biggest and most courageous decision.  

Let’s recall the events of September 8, 1974:

“……President Gerald Ford, who assumed office on the heels of President Richard M. Nixon‘s resignation, pardons his predecessor for his involvement in the Watergate scandal.”

As I recall, it happened on a Sunday morning.   I was leaving mass and headed home to have lunch with my parents when I heard the flash on the radio.  

My parents and I saw the TV coverage as we ate lunch.  My father’s initial reaction was that it made sense but it would be politically difficult with mid-terms 2 months away.   He was prophetic because the Democrats pounded on the pardon and scored big.

President Ford won in the end.  Years later, the JFK Library Foundation presented him its “2001 Profile in Courage Award.”  The award celebrated the fact that President Ford put country over his political ambitions.    

And he did.

We remember that kind of presidential leadership today.  President Ford left politics in 1977 and died in 2006.  The pardon looks better and better with age, and so does the 30-month “accidental” Ford presidency.


Written by scantojr

September 8, 2016 at 8:30 am

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