Richard Milhous Nixon was re-elected President in 1972 by one of the largest margins in history, winning every state but Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. The Congress remained in Democratic hands, however, and it would haunt him throughout his second term. CREEP, the Committee to Re-Elect the President, had been behind a botched burglary of the Democratic headquarters in Washington at the Watergate Hotel in June, 1972 and the dogged determination of two Washington Post reporters kept the story alive into 1973. A select Senate subcommittee investigated Watergate in the summer of ’73, captivating countless television viewers as The Way We Were mesmerized young lovers in local theaters.
White House aide Alexander Butterfield testified as to the existence of a tape recording system in the Oval Office which would prove the back breaker for the 37th President. He personally approved hush money to cover up the break-in on an infamous tape which would ultimately lead to House Impeachment hearings in 1974. Nixon stonewalled as long as possible, but eventually was forced to resign his office when support wasn’t forthcoming from minority Republicans in the United States Senate. On August 8, 1974 Richard Nixon became the only president in American history to resign, and the next day Vice President Gerald Ford of Michigan was sworn in as President stating that “Our long national nightmare is over. We are a nation of laws and not of men. Our Constitution works.”