Publish Date: Sept. 16, 1974
Cover Story: The Pardon that Brought No Peace
How TIME Covered the News: No one has appeared on the cover of TIME more than Richard Nixon. In 1974, even after Nixon had resigned the presidency, the Watergate investigation was still moving forward. In an unexpected move, successor Gerald Ford granted the disgraced leader a pardon, absolving him of all crimes he may have committed.
“Ford was also troubled by reports about Nixon’s mental state: that he was deeply depressed, that he could not pull himself together to start rebuilding his life, that he was making self-pitying phone calls to old defenders. The Administration was embarrassed because Nixon was sending odd letters to leaders of foreign nations. Speculation swirled in Washington that Nixon might take some drastic action against himself. “