On this day in 1974, Richard Nixon officially resigned from the presidency. At 11:35 a.m., his resignation letter was delivered to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Gerald Ford took the oath of office. Then, at 12:05 p.m., Gerald Ford gave his first speech as president of the United States. He was the only president in U.S. history who was never elected president or vice president.
In his inaugural address, Gerald Ford said: “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great republic is a government of laws and not of men.”