A nation weary of Watergate and longing for an end to its divisions watched with mixed sadness and relief today as Richard M. Nixon surrendered the reins of government to Gerald R. Ford, who at 11 a.m. became President of the United States.
President Ford was sworn in at an historic White House ceremony administered by Warren Burger, Chief Justice of the United States.
It was a day of historic firsts.
Nixon became the first President to resign and Ford became the first to assume the office without having first been elected as either president or vice president by all the people of this country.
At 8:09 last night, before a nationwide television audience estimated in excess of 130 million, Nixon announced he would step down.
Across the nation—in Jackson County as elsewhere—citizens were hoping the trauma of Watergate had ended and that the country’s business could be resumed. —Jackson County Floridan, Friday, Aug. 9, 1974
Sidewalk survey: What do you think of Nixon’s resignation?
“Under the circumstances, I think he’d be better off to resign if he’s guilty. I wish they’d take their mind off Watergate and put it on the economy.” —Odell Folsom, Marianna
“I wish it wasn’t necessary. I think he’s a good man.” —Edith Orcutt, Marianna
“Nixon is not the only one who should be resigning.” —Kay Burke, Altha
“I think it would be best for the country and everyone involved — so they don’t have to go through all those impeachment proceedings.” —Robert Felch, Campbellton
“I think it’s good. He wasn’t right to be in the White House.” —Margie Glass, Marianna
“I think Ford will make a nice President.” —Janeen Demi, Curwensville, Pennsylvania
—Jackson County Floridan, Friday, Aug. 9, 1974