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Lot 47: Souvenir Typescript signed By Gerald Ford of his Nixon Pardon
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Gerald Ford Pardons Richard Nixon********** FORD, GERALD. (1913-2006). Thirty-eighth president of the United States. DS. (“Gerald R. Ford”). ½p. 8vo. N.p. A souvenir typescript of Ford’s pardon of President Richard M. Nixon on replica White House stationery dated “3/20/97” in Ford’s hand. ********** “Now, therefore, I, Gerald R. Ford, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-ninth.” ********** In October 1973, President Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew, resigned after pleading guilty to charges of tax evasion and money laundering. Following the procedures laid out in the 25th Amendment, Gerald Ford was nominated and confirmed by the Senate as the country’s new VP. Meanwhile, Nixon was embroiled in the Watergate scandal, and despite compelling evidence, he continued to assert his ignorance of the affair, refusing to cooperate until he finally resigned from the nation’s highest office on August 9, 1974. Ford succeeded him, becoming the only person to serve as both president and vice president without having been elected to either office. On September 8, 1974, a month after taking office, Ford issued a full pardon of his predecessor with Proclamation 4311, stating in a televised speech that bringing the scandal to an end was in the best interest of the country. This action, however, was a controversial one, prompting a congressional inquiry and, ultimately, sinking Ford’s 1976 reelection campaign in which he was defeated by Jimmy Carter. However, for the pardon, Ford was awarded the John F. Kennedy Foundation’s 2001 Profile in Courage Award. ********** With some nominal wear in the upper left corner and some light offsetting of the typed text. In excellent condition.