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The Watergate Scandal: A Timeline

October 9, 2018 in History

By History Staff

We look at the milestones of a scandal that rocked the nation.


January 1969

Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37 President of the United States.

February 1971

Richard Nixon orders the installation of a secret taping system that records all conversations in the Oval Office, his Executive Office Building office, and his Camp David office and on selected telephones in these locations.

June 13, 1971

The New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers, the Defense Department’s secret history of the Vietnam War. The Washington Post will begin publishing the papers later in the week.

The Pentagon Papers (TV-PG; 3:50)

1971

Nixon and his staff recruit a team of ex-FBI and CIA operatives, later referred to as “the Plumbers” to investigate the leaked publication of the Pentagon Papers. On September 9, the “plumbers” break into the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, in an unsuccessful attempt to steal psychiatric records to smear Daniel Ellsberg, the defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press.

January 1972

One of the “plumbers,” G. Gordon Liddy, is transferred to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), where he obtains approval from Attorney General John Mitchell for a wide-ranging plan of espionage against the Democratic Party.

May 28, 1972

Liddy’s team breaks into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. for the first time, bugging the telephones of staffers.

The Watergate Complex is an office-apartment-hotel building in the neighborhood of Foggy Bottom, Washington, DC., overlooking the Potomac River.

June 17, 1972

Five men are arrested after breaking into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters. Among the items found in their possession were bugging devices, thousands of dollars in cash and rolls of film. Days later, the White House denied involvement in the break-in.

June 17, 1972

A young Washington Post crime reporter, Bob Woodward, is sent to the arraignment of the burglars. Another young Post reporter, Carl Bernstein, volunteers to make some phone calls to learn more about the burglary.

June 20, 1972

Bob Woodward has his first of several meetings with the source and informant known as “Deep Throat,” whose identity, W. Mark Felt, the associate director of the FBI, was only revealed three decades later.

August 1, 1972

An article in The Washington Post reports that a check for $25,000 earmarked for Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign was deposited into the bank account of one of the men arrested for the Watergate break-in. Over the course of nearly two years, Bob Woodward and …read more

Source: HISTORY

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