Devina Luhur
Gillian Pinckney
Beth Buchanan
Mike Graham
Ravi Tomerlin
Maki Koike

Watergate Summary

        Richard Nixon was the first president of the United States to resign.
What caused his resignation? The Watergate scandal. Watergate took place in
the early 1970's. It started when Richard Milhous Nixon was elected
president of the United States. Nixon was a very insecure man. He became paranoid
and set up a hate list including people such as Barbra Streisand and Jane
Fonda. He hired a group of people called the "Plumbers." "This secret group
investigated the private lives of Nixon's critics and political
enemies1 ." Then, for a reason nobody knows of, Nixon placed a tape recorder in his
office.
        In 1972, five men were caught and arrested for breaking into the
Watergate Hotel. These men were all either directly or indirectly employees of
Nixon's reelection committee. Because of this, Nixon had to hand over the tapes
from his tape recorders to the government. Nixon handed over some tapes, but
eighteen and a half minutes were erased from one of them. Nixon's
secretary denied deliberately erasing the tape. Nixon refused to release the
remaining tapes. However, he was forced to turn them in after the case "United
States vs. Nixon," where the Supreme Court voted eight to zero. The last three
tapes Nixon released were called the "Smoking Gun." These tapes proved
that "He ordered a cover-up of the Watergate burglary on June 23rd 1972, six
days after the break-in. The tapes show that he knew of the involvement of
White House officials and the Campaign for the Re-election of the President2
." Both Democrats and Republicans voted for Nixon to be impeached.
        After Watergate the media became more confident and aggressive, because
many people thought they did a good job. "In my opinion, the media did
their job in reporting about the Watergate scandal because, as important as
health and education is to the nation, the health and integrity of the
political process is equally important3 ." Because of Watergate, the public
discovered that the government can lie to them. Nixon resigned from office four
days before his impeachment. We do not know if Bill Clinton will be as
lucky.
 

  1From the article at http://vcepolitics.com/wgate/intro.htm
  2From the article at http://vcepolitics.com/wgate/intro.htm
  3From the article at
http://www.freedomforum.org/press/news/971111b.asp