analyzed and discussed, yet least understood, of all the
American administrations in history. While
many factors still remain to be discovered, and many
mysteries are left to be resolved, we need to do the best that
we can to make sense of this secretive president of our past
and his era. He is the one American figure about whom very
few people don't have strong feelings for. Nixon is loved and
hated, honored and mocked .
The term 'Watergate', labeled by Congress in 1974, stands for
not only the burglary, but also for the numerous instances of
officially sanctioned criminal activity and abuses of power as
well as the obstruction of justice that preceded the actual
break-in. Watergate involved the political behavior of
the President and his men, beginning during Nixon's first term
and extending to his resignation. Some of the criminal
behavior was a result of the disastrous events of the 1960's.
These events include the civil rights movement, the controlling
of cities and most importantly, the Vietnam War. In
H. R. Haldeman's book The Ends of Power, he quotes, 'I
firmly believe that without the Vietnam War, there would've
been no Watergate'. He goes on to say that
the Vietnam War destroyed Nixon as completely as it ruined
Originating in Kennedy's term, Vietnam grew to be even more
of a disaster after his assassination. The tidal wave of
problems crashed abruptly on Johnson, who consequently
made them worse. The American society was dividing.
Furious protests made Johnson portray a scapegoat for the
nation's anxieties Then Nixon stepped into the
picture in the presidential elections of 1968. He was
successful with 43.6 percent over Humprey's 42.7 percent
and Wallace's 13.5 percent . He promised that
he would "bring us together". The riots grew and the divisions
The day it all began was a Sunday, May 28, 1972. The
contrasts that were taking place on this day were
extraordinary. President Richard Nixon was in Moscow,
nearing the climax of the first-ever summit to be held between
American and Soviet Presidents . Five thousand
miles away, in Washington, D.C., it was a different story.
There was also a first-time event happening in our nation's
capital, but it was not something to be proud of. The first of
several illegal break-ins into the Democratic National
Committee (DNC) ...
... middle of paper ...
...ce in the
Watergate case and defying subpoenas for
the Watergate tapes.
On July 30, 1974 the President turned over
eleven of the sixty-four conversations to
Judge Sirica, and on August 2nd he
submitted thirteen more. Knowing that his
status was quickly deteriorating, President
Nixon made three transcripts of
conversations that he had had with H.R.
Haldemen on June 23,1972, public. The
conversations showed that Nixon tried to get
the CIA to restrain the FBI from investigating
the scandal. On August 8, 1974
President Nixon resigned from office.
The next day at 12:03 p.m. Gerald Ford was
formally sworn in as President by chief
justice Warren Burger. Ford stated, "Our
long, national nightmare is over, Our
Constitution works. Our great republic is a
government of laws and not of men. Here,
the people rule."
The Watergate Scandal caused national
turmoil. Americans, as well as other
countries, lost faith in the United States and
its leaders. Nevertheless, the affair proved
that the American government works.
Watergate revealed Nixon at his worst. He
had many great accomplishments during his
presidency and set many great examples.
Unfortunately, none were part of Watergate
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