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It’s been thirty years since the burglary that begot the biggest political scandal in United States History. On June 17, 1972, police arrested five men for breaking into the Democratic Party’s national headquarters. On August 9, 1974 President Richard Nixon resigned from office under threat of impeachment. What happened between these two dates is quite a story.
Illusion and Delusion: The Watergate Decade
Journal E’s Illusion and Delusion is a photo essay of the seventies, covering Watergate and other political events. It was an historic decade by any measure. President Nixon’s visit to China in February, 1972 resulted in normalized relations between the two countries. The Equal Rights Amendment prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex passed the Senate on May 22, 1972. And on June 17, 1972, five men were arrested in the burglary of the Democratic party headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C.
Infoplease.com: Watergate Affair
Infoplease .com and Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia give us a nice four-page Watergate introduction for upper elementary and middle school students. More biographical background on Nixon and Ford are available via hyperlink, and the print bibliography will be useful for those needed additional sources for school reports. Additional biographies can be found by using the search function in the left-hand vertical menu.
TIME Newsfile Watergate
See the Watergate scandal develop through the cover pages of TIME magazine. “Richard Nixon has been on the cover of TIME more times than anyone, and his involvement in the Watergate scandal was a big reason why.” In 1972 Richard Nixon shared TIME’s Man of the Year honor with Henry Kissinger. Although the Watergate break-in had already occurred, its effects had not yet reverberated through the White House. The following year, TIME bestowed Man of Year upon John Joseph Sirica, the federal judge who presided over the Watergate investigation. Some of the archived articles require a fee, but there are enough free resources here to make the site worth visiting.
Watergate.info is my pick of the day because it puts the entire affair in perspective, starting with the political context of the late sixties when Nixon was elected. Although “Watergate” refers to the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. where the office of the Democratic National Committee was burgled, the term has become generalized to describe the “complex web of political scandals between 1972 and 1974.” Great clicks are Chronology, Transcripts & Audio, and Aftermath.
WashingtonPost.com: Watergate 25
From 1997, this special online report commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Watergate break-in. Outstanding sections are Key Players (a who’s who of the Watergate scandal) and The Reforms (lawmakers in the 1970s passed a series of bills to improve the political process and restore public confidence in elected officials.) Only the Deep Throat section seems dated, with so much recent speculation about the true identity of Bob Woodward’s deep background source.