National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1970-1987: We wrestle with our democratic freedoms, arguing issues old and new

September 8, 1974
For the first time, a president pardons a former president

President Gerald Ford

“My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book.”
–Gerald R. Ford

Tonight on TV, President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon for any crimes he might have committed in the Watergate scandal. Nixon resigned one month ago to avoid being forced out of office.

Ford is using his constitutional power to grant pardons to try to heal the nation.

Many Americans are still upset with Nixon. The courts have said that a president’s pardoning power is unlimited, but Ford may be risking his own future by granting this one.

Read about it in the New York times

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