Here’s Nixon’s Last Meal Before Resigning From Office

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Pineapple, cottage cheese and a glass of milk.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Aug. 8, 2013, 12:51 p.m.

Resign­ing from the pres­id­ency is a daunt­ing task. So, it makes sense that Richard Nix­on chose a light lunch be­fore mak­ing the an­nounce­ment 39 years ago today.

White House pho­to­graph­er Oliv­er Atkins took a pic­ture of the meal be­fore it reached the pres­id­ent (shown above). Later that day, Nix­on would say those im­mor­tal words:

There­fore, I shall resign the pres­id­ency ef­fect­ive at noon to­mor­row. Vice Pres­id­ent Ford will be sworn in as pres­id­ent at that hour in this of­fice.

Nix­on went with pine­apple, cot­tage cheese (or so it ap­pears to our eyes; there has been some in-of­fice de­bate over the chance it is chick­en salad), and a glass of milk, as seen in the photo pos­ted by the Na­tion­al Archives on Thursday.

It’s yet an­oth­er ex­ample of the un­usu­al mo­ments that White House pho­to­graph­ers, from in­cum­bent Pete Sousa go­ing on back, cap­ture in the life of the pres­id­ency, with small yet power­ful visu­al de­tails.

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