On this day in 1972 what turned into a two year and two month long ‘national nightmare’ began when five men were arrested for breaking and entering the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C.
Shortly after midnight on June 17th a security guard at the Watergate, Frank Willis noticed there was tape covering the latches on some of the doors in the complex leading from the underground parking garage to some several offices. Willis removed the tape and gave it no more thought until an hour later when he returned and noticed someone had re-taped those locks again. He then called the police. Five men – Virgilio Gonzalez, Bernard Baker, James McCord, Frank Sturgis and Eugenio Martinez were found inside the DNC office and arrested and charged with attempted burglary and attempted interception of telephone and other communications.
At the time it was not a big story. It was described as a “third rate burglary” and received only passing notice. It would be a slow developing story but eventually as we know- the Watergate Scandal would lead to the only resignation in the history of the American presidency- when President Richard Milhous Nixon resigned in August 1974.
It’s such a small scandal that led to the resignation of a President. It’s far, far worse today….. the temerity and gall is unbelievable, but in this new millennium, it seems the threshold for decency has been lowered to almost zero.
Watched a documentary on ABC last night. Very interesting insight into a man filled with paranoia and his staff doing anything to please him.
Nixon brought on his own downfall. Brilliant in some ways- but so paranoid and so hell bent on revenge and ‘getting even.’
Reblogged this on The First Gate and commented:
As they say, those who forget the past…