50 years of Watergate | The scandal in a few points

The Watergate scandal stretches from June 17, 1972 to August 9, 1974. Back in words, pictures and numbers.

Posted at 6:00 am

Andre Duchesne

Andre Duchesne
The press

The event

Image from Wikipedia

Photo of the complex entered as evidence. On the right we see the Kennedy Center, dedicated to the performing arts.

On the night of June 17, 1972, five criminals broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, located in the Watergate Office Building at 2600 Virginia Avenue NW. Intercepted by the police, they appear in court a few hours later. The five suspects are James W. McCord, Virgilio González, Frank Sturgis, Eugenio Martínez and Bernard Barker. McCord is a former CIA member who was hired as a security officer on the Presidential Re-Election Committee (nicknamed CREEP!).

The place


In the course of the work of Washington Post and New York Times, Media around the world reported extensively on the Watergate scandal. in the The pressthe first important article found is dated 01.01ah July 1972.

The Watergate is a six building complex built in the 1960’s on ten acres on the banks of the Potomac. There are offices, apartments and a hotel. The name comes from Water Gate, an old lock that was built nearby. Several prominent figures have lived in one of the complex’s apartments over the years, including Monica Lewinsky, Condoleezza Rice, National Security Advisor and then-Secretary of State under George W. Bush, and Robert Dole, Kansas Senator and Republican candidate who was defeated by Bill Clinton in the 1996 presidential election.

“Forest Stone”

Photo archive Associated Press

Carl Bernstein and Robert Woodward, May 1973

Bob Woodward is 29 years old and works at Washington Post for only nine months when he was sent to court on the morning of June 17 to witness the appearance of the five people. Carl Bernstein, 28, is there post since 1966. He reports on local news and is known for his writing. With very different personalities, the two journalists complement each other wonderfully. They are often referred to by the name Woodstein, a contraction of their surnames.

The Bahamas


Excerpt from the President’s diary, June 17, 1972

Where is Richard Nixon at the time of events? In the Bahamas. The President briefly left his home in Key Biscayne, Florida, to visit his friend Bob Abplanalp, inventor of the aerosol valve, at his residence on Grand Cay, a small island in the Bahamas. In his memoirs, Nixon claims he learned of the Watergate burglary on the morning of June 18 by reading the cover of the magazine Miami Herald.

At least re-elected

The Watergate affair lasted months before affecting the Nixon presidency. The proof ? He was undoubtedly re-elected on November 7, 1972.


The table at the end of Presidents’ Eve on November 7, 1972 in the United States

The recording

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Sony TC-800B set as used in the White House Oval Office

In February 1971, Nixon had a recording system installed in the Oval Office, the White House, and Camp David. More than 3,700 hours are recorded, but a brief 18.5-minute passage, recorded on the morning of June 20, 1972, three days after the burglary, mysteriously disappears. Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, will swear that she mistakenly deleted those tapes. This pause will help sink Nixon’s presidency.

“I’m not a crook”

On November 17, 1973, Richard Nixon met with newspaper editors at Disney World, Florida. When asked about his role in Watergate, he launches the famous sentence “I’m not a crook”. The full passage reads as follows: “People need to know whether their president is a crook or not. Well I’m not a scammer. I deserve everything I have. »



Nixon bids farewell to White House staff on August 9, 1974.

Number of days between the date of the Watergate burglary and Richard Nixon’s resignation. It’s over on August 9, 1974 at noon. Richard Nixon’s resignation announced the night before takes effect. The latter and his wife Pat leave the White House for the last time on board Marine One. As befits Nixon, he greets the crowd with his arms wide open, the fingers of both hands forming the V for victory. Great gestural paradox for this defeated man.

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