Spiro Agnew Resigns, Oct. 10, 1973
Spiro Agnew, in his second term as Vice-President under Richard Nixon, resigned after pleading nolo contendere to falsifying income tax returns during his term as Governor of Maryland. He was also charged with extortion and bribery. He paid a fine and served probation as part of his plea. Agnew is the only Vice-President forced to resign from office.
Agnew was elected Governor in 1966. First inaugurated as the 39th Vice-President in 1969, he was re-elected along with Nixon in 1972. With the possibility of Nixon’s impeachment due to the Watergate scandal, concern grew that Agnew was next-in-line for the Presidency. Pressure mounted for his resignation as he faced criminal charges.
Upon Agnew’s resignation in 1973, Gerald Ford became the 40th Vice-President and the first to be appointed under the 25th Amendment. To date, Ford is the only person to serve as President and Vice-President without being elected by the Electoral College.
Read more about Agnew’s resignation and the 25th Amendment:
A Heartbeat Away: The Investigation and Resignation of Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew, by Richard M. Cohen and Jules Witcover
A Time to Speak: Selected Writings and Arguments, edited by Robert H. Bork
The Twenty-Fifth Amendment: Its Complete History and Application, by John D. Feerick