Introducing: 60 Minutes All Access Learn More +
Unlimited, ad-free viewing of 60 Minutes archives, Overtime and extras
Toggle

The Nixon years on 60 Minutes

From election to resignation, 60 Minutes was there. Mike Wallace's interviews with President Nixon and his aides from 1968 to 1974

On the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's resignation, Overtime takes a look back at excerpts from 60 Minutes' coverage of Nixon's entire presidency, from his election through the Watergate scandal and historic resignation.

60rnixon1920.jpg

Our coverage begins in August 1968, the night of Nixon's presidential nomination, but 60 Minutes isn't in the Republican convention hall. Our cameras pile into Nixon's hotel suite where he huddles around the television with aides and family, waiting for the good news.

Five months later, Wallace interviews Nixon's controversial vice presidential candidate, Maryland Gov. Spiro Agnew, about a series of racist comments he made on the campaign trail.

Nearly two years into Nixon's term, Wallace speaks with National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. In the October 1970 interview, Kissinger sings Nixon's praises: "He's very courteous. He's never lost his composure in the period that I've seen him. Very orderly, very systematic."

Televised Watergate hearings began in May of 1973. In a tense interview that June, Wallace asks John Ehrlichman, one of Nixon's closest and most devoted advisors, to explain the laundry list of charges against White House staff members. Wallace lists crimes including conspiracy to foster prostitution, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and money laundering.

Sweating through the interview, Ehrlichman assures Wallace that the White House has "no interest" in a cover-up. Ehrlichman later served a year and a half for his involvement.

On Aug. 9, 1974, Nixon leaves the White House, receiving a pardon a month later from his successor, President Gerald Ford. Six years prior, Nixon told Wallace that his strength of character would define his presidency:

"Some of our great leaders would not have been, perhaps, great television personalities, but they were great presidents because of what they stood for, because of their principle, their courage, their character."