The Watergate Affair
On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for breaking into and bugging the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel Office Building in Washington, D.C. The break-in and subsequent events turned into one of the most fascinating crimes in history, and led to massive changes in the political landscape of the United States.
The Watergate Story – a timeline of events beginning with the break in from the Washington Post.
The Watergate Burglary – information from Watergate.info about the burglary and other aspects of the eventual cover up.
Watergate Summary – summary of the break in from the Digital History database of the University of Houston site.
Watergate Files – FBI files under the Freedom of Information Act for the Watergate investigation.
During the investigation it was uncovered that the burglary took place under the direction of E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy. Hunt and Liddy both had White House connections. Also, during the interviews with the burglars, Charles McCord, one of the burglars, mentioned that he formerly worked with the CIA. With leads like these, the investigation started to look to see where in the White House hierarchy the connections would end.
Watergate Scandal – an overview of the events of the Watergate scandal.
Watergate Background – a review of the background that led to the scandal.
Watergate Scandal Video – a video recounting the events that triggered the Watergate Scandal.
Watergate Resources – a collection of resources from Fairfax County, VA.
Watergate Summary – a comprehensive look at the events of the Watergate break in and the after affects from the Humboldt Digital Scholar.
As the investigation continued, the trail started to lead to the Committee to Re-elect the President. This committee is a political fundraising arm for the Republican Party which has close ties to Richard Nixon, President of the United States. During the investigation and subsequent Watergate Senate Committee proceedings, it was divulged that tapes of White House conversations are made. When this information was released, the authorities requested copies of the tapes. When they were turned over, an 18.5 minute gap in the tape was discovered on the June 20, 1972 conversation between President Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, who was White House Chief of Staff and John Ehrlicman, who was Counsel to the President. It was believed that these conversations would connect the Watergate break in to the Office of the President. How the gap occurred has been subject of controversy.
CBS News Tape Story - report from CBS News questioning the contents of the missing tape. Tape Architecture Research – a roundtable report on the recordings and the missing tape.
Watergate Tapes – a collection of audio clips and transcripts of select Watergate tapes.
Watergate Files – this resource page lists the battle over the Watergate tapes.
Destroying Watergate Tapes – transcript and audio clips of conversations between the President and H.R. Haldeman, plus other Watergate tapes.
During the investigation, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from the Washington Post, were on the trail of the growing scandal, and were convinced that the trail led to somewhere in the White House. However, they were having problems getting anyone to confirm the sources of the break in. That is, until Woodward got a call from an unnamed source in the administration who provided information linking the White House to the break in. The source was not named, but was called “Deep Throat,” and he provided valuable links in breaking the case.
Watergate Papers – this resource provides links to the papers of Woodward and Bernstein from the Watergate investigation.
NPR Audio and Article – an interview with Bob Woodward talking about his relationship with Mark Felt, who in later years came to be identified as “Deep Throat.”
Watergate Reporting – this resource talks about the reporting of the Watergate break in and how the reporting contributed to solving the mystery.
CIA Report – a CIA report in PDF format on the work that Woodward and Bernstein did in the Watergate investigation.
Deep Throat Unveiled – resources on the revelation of the source, “Deep Throat.”
As the investigation progressed more signals began to point towards the White House, and speculation that President Nixon had knowledge of the break in and cover up. The situation brought up a similar situation that President Nixon faced when he was a U.S. Senator. In 1952, Nixon gave his famous “Checkers Speech” which admitted that he took $18,000 in gifts from supporters, but it was not for personal use, it was for his re-election expenses. Nixon’s speech tried to humanize him to the American public. It was Nixon’s hope that he would be able to deflect the situation with the Watergate break in and cover up in a similar manner.
The Checkers Speech – transcript of the 1952 speech, as well as an audio link.
Speech Summary – a summary of the events surrounding the Checkers Speech.
PBS Report on the Speech – a useful resource from PBS on the speech, complete with transcript.
Checkers Speech – resourceful site containing important speeches from Richard Nixon.
Finally, the amount of testimony and evidence led to the White House and the Senate Watergate Committee came to the conclusion that President Nixon, not only had knowledge of the break in, but was also in on the planning and execution. With public pressure mounting, President Richard M. Nixon resigned from office on August 8, 1974.
Nixon Resignation Letter – copy of the letter of resignation from Richard Nixon.
Watergate Resignations – a timeline of how Watergate had an impact on the Nixon administration.
Resignation Speech – transcript of Nixon’s resignation speech from 1974.
Resignation Video – a video presentation of Nixon’s resignation speech.
Nixon and Watergate Presentation – useful presentation on the course of events which ended up with President Nixon’s resignation.