On January 20, 1973 Chief Justice Warren Burger administered the oath of office on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol for Richard Nixon’s second term as president.
In his memoirs, President Nixon includes an excerpt from his diary on the day of the inauguration that includes:
Before going downstairs, I stepped into the Lincoln Bedroom in the spot where the Emancipation Proclamation was and where I understood Lincoln’s desk was located and bowed my head for a moment, and prayed that I might be able to give the country some life, some inspiration, and some leadership in the rather brief inaugural that I had prepared.
The cover story of The New York Times the following day featured the inauguration with the headline “Nixon Inaugurated for His Second Term; Sees World on Threshold of a Peace Era.”
In the President’s self-described “brief” inaugural address, peace was a constant theme.
As America’s longest and most difficult war comes to an end, let us again learn to debate our differences with civility and decency. And let each of us reach out for that one precious quality government cannot provide–a new level of respect for the rights and feelings of one another, a new level of respect for the individual human dignity which is the cherished birthright of every American.
Three days after the inauguration, President Nixon addressed the Nation to announce, “At 12:30 Paris time today, January 23, 1973, the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam was initialed by Dr. Henry Kissinger on behalf of the United States, and Special Adviser Le Duc Tho on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.” Known as the Paris Peace Accords, this agreement was formally signed on January 27, 1973.