Panel of Historians Mark 50th Anniversary of Watergate.

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A new exhibit on view through September 3rd at the Library of Congress commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, by exploring the role of the press, Congress, the courts and President Richard Nixon’s administration.  


Drawing from 24 Library of Congress Manuscript Division collections the 50 years of Watergate exhibit tracks the events that unfolded from the initial Watergate break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters on June 17, 1972, through the reverberations of the biggest American political scandal of the 20th century.

Though the print media was slower to acknowledge Watergate, behind initial forays by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the press eventually turned its attention to the scandal.

While Woodward and Bernstein remain iconic for their reporting, numerous other journalists contributed in important ways. David Broder and Mary McGrory, both of whom appear in the exhibit, were awarded Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage.

Congress is also represented through the Senate Select Committee and burgeoning impeachment efforts in the House of Representatives. Massachusetts Sen. Edward Brooke, the first African American elected to the Senate after Reconstruction, serves as a notable example. A vital surrogate for Nixon in the 1968 campaign, Brooke emerged as the first Senate Republican to call for Nixon’s resignation in November 1973.


Arrest record of Cuban Exile and Watergate burglar Eugenio Martinez

Manuscript Division/Library of Congress

Eugenio Martinez

“I wanted to topple Castro, and unfortunately I toppled the president who was helping us, Richard Nixon,”

FBI Director L. Patrick Gray III, notes on the June 17, 1972, Watergate break-in.

Manuscript Division/Library of Congress

President Nixon’s letter to Elliot Richardson demanding the dismissal of special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

Manuscript Division/Library of Congress

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