Soon the . Supreme Court forced Nixon to turn over tape recordings he made during the election. The tapes showed he obstructed, or blocked, justice in stopping a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) probe of the Watergate burglary. On August 9, 1974, in national disgrace, he became the first president of the United States to choose to leave office before the end of his term. He boarded a plane with his wife and returned to his California home, ending his public career. A month later, in a controversial move, President Gerald Ford (1913–) issued an unconditional pardon for any offenses Nixon might have committed while president.
Before the National Archives took over its management, the Nixon Library had been accused by several media outlets of glossing over Nixon's 1974 resignation with "whitewashed" exhibits.  In 2007, the National Archives removed the Watergate exhibit that had been in place for 17 years and, after three years of empty exhibit space, announced that the new exhibit was scheduled to open in July 2010. The Nixon Foundation objected to the proposed exhibit, specifically the process by which the proposed exhibit was crafted due to the fact that the Nixon Foundation was not consulted in the way that other presidential foundations are in similar situations. The foundation filed a 158-page memorandum to the assistant archivist for presidential libraries expressing its dissatisfaction   and NARA stated a committee would review the objection but gave no timeline for when that process would be concluded.  The exhibit opened on March 31, 2011.