President George W Bush has strongly defended his record in office in his final TV address to Americans.
Mr Bush said his administration had brought democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, and had prevented another attack on American soil since 9/11.
He said he had acted decisively to beat the threat of financial collapse.
Mr Bush gave the address in front of an audience of friends and family and the emotion of the moment could clearly be heard in his voice, correspondents say.
Mr Bush will leave office on 20 January when Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th American president.
‘There can be debate’
While Mr Bush strongly defended his record he said he would have done some things differently if given the chance.
“Afghanistan has gone from a nation where the Taleban harboured al-Qaeda and stoned women in the streets to a young democracy that is fighting terror and encouraging girls to go to school,” he said.
“Iraq has gone from a brutal dictatorship and a sworn enemy of America to an Arab democracy at the heart of the Middle East and a friend of the US.
“There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions but there can be little debate about the results.”
Mr Bush also declared that with determination and hard work, American economic prosperity would be restored. He said his administration had faced the prospect of financial collapse and had acted decisively to overcome it.
“It’s a very tough time for hardworking families. But the toll would be far worse if we had not acted,” he said.
The BBC’s Jonathan Beale, in Washington, says the address was clearly an emotional moment for Mr Bush, and it could be heard in his voice.
He said he had always acted in the nation’s best interests and to those who accused him of seeing the world in black and white, he insisted that there was good and evil and that America must maintain its moral clarity.
The outgoing president ended with an uplifting message urging America to continue to engage with the rest of the world with confidence, our correspondent says.
Mr Bush said he would be succeeded by a man whose story reflected the enduring promise of America.