Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 9, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
The LetHbridge Herald VOL. LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA, FRIDAY, AUGUST 9, 1974 28 Pages 15 Cents Tears end tumultuous Nixon era Nightmare over Ford WASHINGTON (AP) Gerald Ford became the 38th president of the United States today and told Americans "our long national nightmare is over." "Our Constitution Ford said as he assumed the office of the resigned Ricfiard Nixon. "Our great republic is a government of laws and not of men At a.m. MDT, Ford, pronounced the oath of office Nixon was accused of violating in the Watergate scandals. He was president already; Nixon's resignation was deliv- ered at a.m. MDT, and with it, the powers of office passed automatically to Ford, a plain man who promised plain talk to his countrymen. Ford said he will ask to ap- pear before a joint session of Congress on Monday night to discuss "my views on the priority business of the nation." "As we bind up the wounds of Watergate, let us restore the golden rule to our political Ford said. He spoke, too, of Nixon, who at the moment of transition was flying over the U.S. Midwest on the way home to California and private life. "May our former president who brought peace to millions find it for Ford said. Ford said his first speech as president will be no political oration, "just a little straight talk among friends." He said it will be the first of many. I assume the presi- dency under extraordinary circumstances never before experienced by Ford said "This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts. Never before had a presi- dent resigned; never before had an appointed vice- president succeeded to the country's highest office. "I am acutely aware that you have not elected me by your ballots, so I ask you to confirm me as your president by your Ford said. Ford settled into the work of office at once, asking congres- sional leaders to go from the oath-taking ceremony in the White House to meet privately with him. Family thought he'd stay WASHINGTON (AP) Un- til shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, President Nix- on's family apparently believ- ed he would fight to retain his office. Mrs. Nixon and daughters Tricia and Julie reacted with sobs when he told them he planned to resign. This account of an intimate family moment was given to two reporters Thursday by presidential photographer Oli- ver (Ollie) Atkins barely an hour before Nixon delivered his resignation speech. Atkins, a magazine photographer before he joined the Nixon campaign staff in 1968. said he came uninvited on the family circle, hoping he would be permitted to record what he sensed would be a touching and historic moment. "Obviously Julie had been crying, Mrs. Nixon had been crying, Tricia had been cry- he related, adding that he only then realized Nixon had just informed his wife, daughters and their husbands of his intention. 38th president Gerald Ford is sworn in Nixon's troubles may not be over Inside Classified........22-25 Comics.............8 Comment...........4 District............17 Local Markets......... 26 Sports...........12-14 Theatres............7 Travel.............21 Weather............3 At Home ___'......28 LOW TONIGHT 50; HIGH SAT. 75; MAINLY SUNNY. WASHINGTON (AP) Richard Nixon leaves the presidency without immunity from prosecution, leaving him vulnerable to a host of criminal charges that range across the breadth of scandal that emerged in the two years since the Watergate break-in. The lead role in bringing an indictment against Nixon after he leaves office would fall to special Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski, who said Thursday night there has been no deal sparing Nix- on trom prosecution in ex- change for his resignation. Congress might pass a resolution urging that no charges be brought against Nixon. Such a resolution is not binding by law: it only ex- presses the feelings of members of Congress. Nixon's resignation may have squelched what little support there was for such a resolution. The chief sponsor, Senator Edward Brooke (Rep. Mass.) said Thursday night he would Withdraw the resolution un- less Nixon makes a "full con- fession" of his involvement in Watergate and related scan- dals. After Nixon made his speech, Brooke said that Nix- on acknowledged "errors of judgment but did not state what the errors, in judgment are Gerald Ford, upon becom- ing president, is the only other person who could block the trial of his predecessor. He would have the authority to grant Nixon a full pardon for all crimes in advance, even in the absence of formal charges and conviction. Transition For additional re- ports on today's historic events see also Pages 2 and 20; editorial on Page 4 and full text of form- er president Nixon's resignation speech on Page 27. Leaving office 'not easy' WASHINGTON (AP) After Harry Truman left the White House in 1953, at the end of nearly eight years in of- fice, he wrote how it felt to go suddenly from Mr. President to Mr. Citizen: "Most people never stop to think about what happens to a man who has been president of the United States. The day he is elected president he suddenly finds himself at the top of the world, where he sits for a while, holding the destinies of millions in his hands', making decisions that chance the course of history, conferring with rulers and the leaders of nations. "Then just as suddenly he is again at the level of John Jones, who lives next door. We believe that anybody can be president of the United States and that when he is through, he can go back to be- ing just anybody again. It has not been that simple for me. Back home in Independence, I discovered that it was not easy to assume the role of Mr. Citizen." Looking to the future Mrs. Pat Nixon and daughter Tricia watch tear- sion of farewell speech to his cabinet and White House fully as Richard Nixon gives thumbs up sign at conclu- staff this morning. Sean and (ward About town Dinner host Merrill Thomson telling guests the only rule of etiquette enforced at his table is. when reaching for food, "keep one foot on the floor." He has been on highest mountain, now he's in the deepest valley WASHINGTON (CP) Spinning out the last act of a shattered presidency. Richard Nixon bid a tearful, choking adieu to the men and women of his administration today before flying off to his San Clemente home in California. At times his voice cracked as he made his last White House speech, urging those who remained behind to do their best and assuring them that only when a man has hit the deepest valley can he realize "how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." Tears streaming down his face, the 61-year-old Nixon said "now we look to the future." He quoted a passage from a book he said he read during his last night in the White House a story about a young lawyer from New York whose daughter died. "It was written by Theodore Roosevelt in his 20s." Nixon said. "He thought the light had gone from his life forever, but he went on." "This house has a great heart and the heart comes from those who Nixon told his associates, gathered in the East Room of the White House. With the president, as he received more than five minutes of applause, were Mrs. Nixon, his daughters Julie and Tricia and their husbands. The chieftains of his shattered administration were there, too: State Secretary Henry Kissinger. Defence Secretary James Schlesinger, his Watergate lawyer James St. Clair. Nixon and his wife walked on a red carpet from the White House to a waiting helicopter and began their journey to the California home that is the western White House no more. One last time, as he stepped into the helicopter, the resign- ing president waved the two handed V for victory sign he had flashed so many times before from hundreds of political platforms. Thus ended Nixon's 2.027 days in office. After being sworn in, Ford is to make his first major speech to the American people tonight. After 5% years in the White House and a quarter-century in national politics, Nixon became the first American president ever to down by a "third-rate burglary" in the Democratic party's Water- gate headquarters. "America needs a full-time president and a full-time Con- gress, particularly at this time with the problems we face at home and Nixon said. To proceed with the impeachment process would be to distract both Congress and the president from other issues. With Ford, he said, the United States "will be in good hands." "As I recall the high hopes for America with which we began this second term, I feel a great sadness that I will not be here in this office working on your behalf to achieve those high hopes in the next he said. once accused reporters of persecuting him after he lost a political elec- neither malice nor vindictiveness towards the reporters, lawyers and congressmen who spearheaded the fight for his removal 2Vz years before the end of his second four-year term. "Let me say I leave with no bitterness toward those who opposed me because all of us, in the final analysis, have been concerned with the good of the country, however our judgments may he said. In stepping down from of- fice, Nixon maintained in his farewell television broadcast Thursday night that he had the country's best interests at heart. But he made clear in his calmly-delivered 17- minute speech that he yielded his fight for personal vindica- tion mainly because his congressional support had dis- appeared. "It has become he said, "that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify contin- uing that effort." Though he admitted to some errors in judgment, he made no admission of guilt over the Watergate complicity. "I have never been a quit- he said. "To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body." Commentary Nixon career abounds with tragedy, irony By JAMES RESTON New York Times Service WASHINGTON In the long ironic history of America, events have kept unfolding contrary to the ex- pectation of her greatest leaders and thinkers, but seldom has there been such an example of the irony and in- congruity of political life as the case of Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th president of the United States. The journalists have now written his popticai obituary and passed him on to the historians who will probably treat him more kindly. But he remains a tragic tangle of contradictions, and will have to be left in the end to the dramatists, novelists and psychologists. There is something uncanny about the twists and ac- cidents of this fantastic story, which may even baffle the mystery writers- the piece of tell-tale white tape placed the wrong way on the Watergate doors; the almost ac- cidental discovery, in a throw-away question by a minor attorney, that the rooms had been bugged and the conver- sation recorded; the sudden appearance of two young reporters on the Washington Post; the appointment of two stern judges Sirica and Gesell to hear the cases and the astonishing decision to raise, launder, and conceal campaign funds that were not really needed Constantly, the president and his men almost seemed to create the things they feared the most, by assuming the worst in everybody. Nixon's intent all along, he has ex- plained, was to protect and strengthen the presidency, but the result was to weaken it and revive the confidence and authority of congress. He set an electronic trap to gather evidence for the prosecution of his enemies, and produced instead evidence for his own impeachment and conviction. He campaigned for the presidency on a platform of law and order, appealing for "a new morality" and the end of and was brought down by the disorder, lawlessness, and moral squalor of his triumphant team. He blamed his plight on his political enemies in the press and Congress, and asked the people to trust him and believe he had told the truth, but he didn't even trust his own aides or lawyers, and was finally repudiated by most of his own supporters and by a Supreme Court that includ- ed four of his own appintees. Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that the U.S. has come out of this nightmare reasonably united. By his tragic blunders, and lonely conspiracies, Nixon has finally kept his promise to the little girl with the sign in Ohio. He has "brought us not for his leadership and his tactics but against them It has been a terrible time, and but for this extraor- dinary combination of accidental disclosures, it might have been much worse, but the long agony has not been without its advantages. It took a Civil War to get rid of slavery, two apocalyptic world wars to put American power behind peace and order in the world, a wasting economic depression to reform the social structure of America, and Vietnam and Watergate to bring excessive presidential power until control. There will be reforms now that will reform campaign financing, protect the privacy of the people, control the presumptions and power of White House officials, and br- ing the public's business more into the open. Nothing has been solved, but everything has been changed in subtle ways, and for the better. The tragedy has been Nixon, and the essence of the tragedy is that he was not faithful to his better instincts, or even to his trusting friends. Ford to continue detente with Reds WASHINGTON (AP) Gerald Ford moves into the White House today as a "dyed- m-thewool internationalist" who will continue detente with the Soviet Union. "I'm a reformed isolationist who, before the Second World War, was mistaken like a lot of Ford has said pre- viously. Thursday night, after Presi- dent Nixon told the nation he was resigning, Ford said "let me say without hesitation or reservation that the policy that has achieved peace will be continued as far I'm concerned as president of the United States." Ford said he wanted Henry Kissinger to remain as state secretary and "I'm glad to an- nounce he will be my secretary of state."