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William D. Ruckelshaus

William D. Ruckelshaus
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Michael Arthur Worden Evans, 1944 - 1 Dec 2005
Sitter
William D. Ruckelshaus, 24 Jul 1932 - 27 Nov 2019
Date
c. 1984
Type
Photograph
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 55.4cm x 45.1cm (21 13/16" x 17 3/4")
Sheet: 60.6cm x 50.6cm (23 7/8" x 19 15/16")
Topic
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
William D. Ruckelshaus: Male
William D. Ruckelshaus: Business and Finance\Businessperson
William D. Ruckelshaus: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
William D. Ruckelshaus: Politics and Government\Public Official
William D. Ruckelshaus: Politics and Government\State Senator\Indiana
William D. Ruckelshaus: Politics and Government\State Legislator\Indiana
William D. Ruckelshaus: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Portrait Project, Inc.
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
S/NPG.92.274
Exhibition Label
William D. Ruckelshaus played an important role in what became known as the “Saturday Night Massacre,” a major turning point in the Watergate scandal. After accepting President Richard Nixon’s nomination to be the deputy attorney general, Ruckelshaus promised the Senate during his confirmation hearings that he would protect the Watergate special investigator, Archibald Cox. He stayed true to his word.
Nixon denied Cox access to the Oval Office tape recordings and ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused and instead resigned from his position. General Alexander Haig, Nixon’s chief of staff, then instructed Ruckelshaus to fire Cox—and he, too, refused and resigned. Finally, Solicitor General Robert H. Bork was appointed acting attorney general, and he agreed to fire Cox.
The orders and resignations now referred to as the “Saturday Night Massacre” precipitated the downfall of Nixon’s presidency in August 1974.Ruckelshaus later said his role “was not a heroic act.”
William D. Ruckelshaus desempeñó un papel destacado en lo que se conocería como la “Masacre del Sábado por la Noche”, un importante punto de inflexión en el escándalo de Watergate. Después de aceptar la nominación del presidente Richard Nixon para ser subprocurador general, Ruckelshaus prometió al Senado durante sus audiencias de confirmación que protegería al investigador especial de Watergate, Archibald Cox. Y así lo hizo.
Nixon le negó a Cox el acceso a las grabaciones del despacho oval y le ordenó al procurador general Elliot Richardson que despidiera a Cox. Richardson se negó y, en su lugar, dimitió de su cargo. El general Alexander Haig, jefe de gabinete de Nixon, ordenó entonces a Ruckelshaus que despidiera a Cox, pero él también se negó y dimitió. Por último, el fiscal general Robert H. Bork fue nombrado procurador general interino, y él aceptó despedir a Cox.
Las órdenes y dimisiones, que hoy se conocen como la “Masacre del Sábado por la Noche”, precipitaron la caída de la presidencia de Nixon en agosto de 1974. Más tarde, Ruckelshaus afirmaría sobre su papel: “No fue un acto heroico”.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition
Watergate: Portraiture and Intrigue
On View
NPG, South Gallery 120