Historic Documents of 1974


Edited by: CQ Press

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    Publication of Historic Documents of 1974 carries through a third year the project launched by Congressional Quarterly Service and Editorial Research Reports with Historic Documents 1972. The purpose of this continuing series of volumes is to give students, scholars, librarians, journalists and citizens convenient access to documents of basic importance in the broad range of public affairs.

    To place the documents in perspective, each entry is preceded by a brief introduction containing background materials, in some cases a short summary of the document itself and, where necessary, relevant subsequent developments. We believe this editorial input will prove increasingly useful in future years when the events and questions now covered are less fresh in one's memories and the documents may be hard to find or unobtainable.

    The year 1974 was dominated by the climax of the Watergate drama. Richard Nixon became the first President in American history to resign from office. Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller attained the two highest offices in the land without ever facing a national electorate. As the year ended, the trial of the Watergate cover-up conspirators drew to a close with a verdict reached on New Year's Day 1975—bringing to a conclusion, one hoped, a sorry chapter in American history.

    The nation's economy struggled with double-digit inflation and by year's end had slumped into a deep recession. Inflation at home was dwarfed by inflation rates abroad as the entire world economy was afflicted by a shortage of oil and energy. And in the third world, millions struggled with a more elemental shortage—food.

    These developments added substantially to the usual outpouring of presidential statements, court decisions, commission reports, special studies and speeches of national or international importance. We have selected for inclusion in this book as many as possible of the documents that in our judgment will be of more than transitory interest. Where space limitations prevented reproduction of the full texts, the excerpts used were chosen to set forth the essentials and, at the same time, preserve the flavor of the materials.

    Robert A.Diamond Book Service Editor Washington, D.C. January 1975

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