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Historic Gathering Marks 40th Anniversary of the Ford-Nixon Pardon

The Duquesne University School of Law will commemorate one of the most controversial presidential decisions in modern times when it presents President Ford’s Pardon of Richard Nixon: A 40-Year Retrospective on Monday, Sept. 8, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom.

“Anyone who attends this program will think differently about President Gerald Ford and his decision to pardon President Richard M. Nixon,” said Law Dean Ken Gormley, who is coordinating the event. “Most of the country was horrified by the pardon and thought that President Ford was part of the Watergate cover-up. This program will enlighten people about the difficult decision that President Ford made and will examine it in a different light based on new evidence.”

The historic gathering will feature a panel of noted individuals, some of whom played key roles in the pardon, including:

  • Benton Becker, former special counsel to President Ford, whom Ford sent to California to negotiate the pardon with the embattled ex-president
  • Jill Wine-Banks, former assistant Watergate special prosecutor, and the sole female on the team planning to indict and prosecute Nixon
  • Timothy Naftali, historian and former director of the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, who gained worldwide attention for creating an objective display about the Watergate scandal at the Nixon Museum.

In addition, special video appearances will be made by:

  • Steve Ford, son of President Ford, and trustee and chairman of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
  • Tom Brokaw, special correspondent for NBC News.

“The evidence is overwhelming now that President Ford did the right thing for the country and was actually courageous in making that difficult decision that almost certainly was going to prevent him from winning his own term as president—which is exactly what happened,” said Gormley. “It’s an inspirational story.”

President Ford’s Pardon of Richard Nixon: A 40-Year Retrospective is presented in cooperation with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more details and to register, visit www.duq.edu/law/fordpardon.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.