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As an 18-year-old high school graduate a couple of weeks from starting college, I remember holding the microphone from my cassette recorder to my parent’s stereo in our small Oklahoma town to record President Richard Nixon’s August 8 resignation address to the nation.
Afterward, I stepped outside our home’s front door, gazing upward towards the cloudless blue sky on a beautiful summer evening to let the history of that moment settle in. I still have that cassette tape. I can still quote key phrases from the speech from memory. I had just made my first trip to Washington a month earlier, on my way to Canada as part of an International Air Cadet Exchange Program. I’d seen how the final throes of Watergate had gripped the nation’s capital. Tumultuous times.