Watergate Scandal

  • Nixon Becomes President

    Nixon Becomes President
    Nixon defeats Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest presidential elections of all time.
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    Nixon's Involvement in the Watergate Scandal

  • Plan for Expanding Intelligence-Gathering

    Plan for Expanding Intelligence-Gathering
    Nixon approves a plan for greatly expanding domestic intelligence-gathering by the FBI, CIA and other agencies. He has second thoughts a few days later and rescinds his approval.
  • The New York Times Publishes Pentagon Papers

    The New York Times Publishes Pentagon Papers
    The New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers -- the Defense Department's secret history of the Vietnam War.
  • "Plumbers" Unit

    "Plumbers" Unit
    The White House "plumbers" unit - named for their orders to "plug leaks" in the administration - burglarizes a psychiatrist's office to find files on Daniel Ellsberg, the former defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Seen to the left is G. Gordon Liddy, one of the members of the Plumbers unit.
  • Watergate Arrest

    Watergate Arrest
    Five men, one of whom says he used to work for the CIA, are arrested at 2:30 a.m. trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex. The man who worked for the CIA was E. Howard Hunt, seen here.
  • Watergate is Only a Part of the Big Picture

    Watergate is Only a Part of the Big Picture
    FBI agents establish that the Watergate break-in stems from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of the Nixon reelection effort.
  • Nixon Reelected

    Nixon Reelected
    Nixon is reelected in one of the largest landslides in American political history, taking more than 60 percent of the vote and crushing the Democratic nominee, Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota.
  • Trials and Convictions

    Trials and Convictions
    Former Nixon aides G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. are convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in the Watergate incident. Five other men plead guilty, but mysteries remain. Seen here is McCord's mugshot.
  • Resignations and Firings

    Resignations and Firings
    Nixon's top White House staffers, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst resign over the scandal. White House counsel John Dean (seen here) is fired.
  • Archibald Cox

    Archibald Cox
    Attorney General-designate Elliot Richardson taps former solicitor general Archibald Cox (seen here) as the Justice Department's special prosecutor for Watergate.
  • Dean Comes Clean

    Dean Comes Clean
    John Dean has told Watergate investigators that he discussed the Watergate cover-up with President Nixon at least 35 times.
  • Was it from Nixon?

    Was it from Nixon?
    Watergate prosecutors find a memo addressed to John Ehrlichman (seen here) describing in detail the plans to burglarize the office of Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist.
  • Nixon's Recordings

    Nixon's Recordings
    Alexander Butterfield, former presidential appointments secretary, reveals in congressional testimony that since 1971 Nixon had recorded all conversations and telephone calls in his offices.
  • Nixon's Refusal to Cooperate

    Nixon's Refusal to Cooperate
    Nixon refuses to turn over the presidential tape recordings to the Senate Watergate committee or the special prosecutor.
  • Saturday Night Massacre

    Saturday Night Massacre
    Saturday Night Massacre: Nixon fires Archibald Cox and abolishes the office of the special prosecutor. Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus resign. Pressure for impeachment mounts in Congress.
  • He is not a Crook!

    He is not a Crook!
    Nixon declares, "I'm not a crook," maintaining his innocence in the Watergate case.
  • The Gap.

    The Gap.
    The White House can't explain an 18 1/2 -minute gap in one of the subpoenaed tapes. Chief of staff Alexander Haig says one theory is that "some sinister force" erased the segment.
  • The Tapes, not These!

    The Tapes, not These!
    The White House releases more than 1,200 pages of edited transcripts of the Nixon tapes to the House Judiciary Committee, but the committee insists that the tapes themselves must be turned over.
  • Supreme Court Ruling

    Supreme Court Ruling
    The Supreme Court rules unanimously that Nixon must turn over the tape recordings of 64 White House conversations, rejecting the president's claims of executive privilege.
  • Strike One

    Strike One
    House Judiciary Committee passes the first of three articles of impeachment, charging obstruction of justice.
  • Nixon's Resignation

    Nixon's Resignation