From the Archives: Richard Nixon ends 12-day hospital stay

Oct. 4, 1974: GOING HOME--Secret Service men and hospital personnel help former President Richard M.
Oct. 4, 1974: Secret Service agents, aides and hospital personnel help former President Nixon into limousine for departure from a Long Beach hospital.
(Rick Meyer / Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

Two months after resigning the presidency, Richard M. Nixon checked into Memorial Hospital of Long Beach. After 12 days, he left for his San Clemente estate. The news media covered his exit.

A story in the Oct. 5, 1974, Los Angeles Times reported, “He was visible to about 250 newsmen and spectators – all kept 200 feet away – for only half a minute.”

“Spectators could not detect any limp in his left leg as he stepped out of the wheelchair. His leg, which is afflicted with phlebitis, was elevated while he was in the wheelchair.”

On Aug. 9, 1974, Nixon resigned the presidency. On Sep. 8, 1974, President Ford pardoned him.

Photographer Rick Meyer covered the Nixon hospital exit. He recently wrote, “I was an intern and was with an LAT staff photog. I got the photo because I had a 450mm lens and the staffer had 135mm.”

The lens, Meyer adds, “was a Lentar 450 mm lens I bought at Frank's Highland Park Camera for like $90. It didn't even have a automatic aperture.”

This photo appeared on the front page of The Times — Meyer’s first A1 page image.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here