Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Watergate burglary occurred 42 years ago today


Via CBS News:
"All the President's Men" is a book, and a movie, about Watergate -- the scandal that made two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, legends of journalism. Now, four decades after the book's publication -- and with the 42nd anniversary of the break-in coming up on Tuesday -- David Martin [of CBS News] has spoken with both halves of "Woodstein" (as the two have come to be known):

Bob Woodward had been working at the Washington Post for only nine months.

"It starts the morning of the burglary," he told Martin. "They called me in. I think the editors who were in looked around and said, 'Who would be foolish enough to come in on Saturday?' and they knew I would come in.'"

That call set in motion the most incredible sequence of events in American political history.

Steve Mielke, curator of the Woodward and Bernstein Archives at the University of Texas, showed Martin Woodward's notes from the arraignment of the burglars the morning they were arrested. The first note he took, "Five men arrested - at Democratic National Headquarters with sophisticated photo equipment." All of the raw material they used to unravel the Watergate conspiracy is here.

"I'm sitting in the front row," Woodward recalled. "And the judge asked where the lead burglar, James McCord, had worked. And McCord went [mumbling], and the judge said, 'Speak up.' And McCord went, 'CIA.' And he said, 'SPEAK UP!' and McCord finally said, 'CIA.'"

"Security consultant," read the notes, "retired from government. CIA."

This is the moment Watergate takes off.



Washington Post: Watergate at 40

NPR: Woodward And Bernstein Recall Reporting On Watergate

History.com: Watergate burglars arrested

Random Pixels: The Watergate break-in and the Miami connection

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