Crimes, Lies, and More Lies: The Watergate Scandal

The Complexity of the Watergate Scandal (Political Cartoon)


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Honesty or Corruption? The Watergate Hearings

No Win Situation: President Nixon's Resignation

Timeline of Events
January 20, 1969
Richard M. Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States.
June 17, 1972
Many burglars broke into the Watergate State Buildings in Washington, D.C. They crept into the office of the Democratic National Committee in an attempt to corrupt confidential government material.
June 18, 1972
The media jumped right on the case and spread the word of the crime shortly after it occurred. They revealed that the culprits were Cubans in the Anti-Fidel Castro movement and a security consultant of the Nixon campaign organization.
September 15, 1972
The first significant hearing was held for the break-in. The five perpetrators were indicted on counts of burglary, conspiracy, and wire taping.
November 1972
Nixon is re-elected as President of the United States in a landslide victory against Democratic candidate, George McGovern.
January 1973
The trials of supposed Watergate conspirators were held after the burglars were convicted. The trials began in Washington D.C. before the District Judge John Sirica. G.Gordan Liddy and James W. McCord , aides of Richard Nixon, who were found guilty of conspiracy roles in the Watergate Scandal.
March 23, 1973
James McCord wrote a letter to Judge John Sirica just before he was sentenced for conspiracy of the Watergate Scandal. He states that him and the other defendants were merely acting on orders of the White House. Nixon then asked John Dean to write a report in order to explain this letter. But instead he simply explained to Senate investigators what the president knew and when he knew it.
April 30, 1973
President Nixon formally addressed the American Public in a speech in response to the Watergate investigations and his involvement in the matter. "Watergate represented a series of illegal acts and bad judgments by a number of individuals," quotes the former President. The truth value and sincerity of this statement was highly questioned which resulted in a decrease of President Nixon's popularity.
July, 16, 1973
Alexander Butterfield, a former Nixon aide, told the Senate Watergate Committee of the existence of a recording system in the White House. He claimed that tapes of Nixon and convicted conspirators' conversations were recorded and still available for hearing. The committee was quick to investigate this accusation and Nixon's political status soon became in jeopardy.
October 10, 1973
After the resignations and firings of several members of the Nixon administration, the political situation in the White House worsened. Vice- President, Spiro Agnew, was forced to resign because of charges of tax evasion. He was investigated for taking bribes for building contracts while he was governor of Maryland. Thus, another member of Nixon's administration was gone. Nixon selected Gerald Ford to take over as the Vice-President.
August 9, 1974
President Richard M. Nixon was charged with three articles of impeachment: abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and contempt of Congress. Therefore, the only logical choice for Nixon was to resign the Presidency. His parting words before stepping into a helicopter for a flight home to San Clemente, California were, "Always give your best."
September 8, 1974
As one of his first actions as the President, Gerald Ford issued a "full, free, and absolute pardon" for any crimes that Nixon may have committed during his Presidency. Some criticized this decision of Ford's while others felt it was a wise choice in helping the nation move forward.

Video Clip

Works Cited

"American History." 2007.ABC-CLIO. May 16, 2007.<>

"United Streaming." 2007. Discovery Education. May 18, 2007. <>