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'31 Days': Between Two Presidencies

On Aug. 9, 1974, Richard M. Nixon's resignation as president of the United States became official, and Vice President Gerald Ford took office.

"I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your president by your ballots," he said in his swearing-in speech on that day. "And so I ask you to confirm me as your president with your prayers."

The period following that day, up until Ford's pardoning of Nixon, is the focus of Barry Werth's 31 Days. Werth delivers a blow-by-blow account of the transition, including the roles of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (then ambassador to NATO) and Vice President Dick Cheney, who was Rumsfeld's deputy at the time.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.