Dick Cavett’s Watergate

7 Things you need to know about Watergate

The Dick Cavett Show of 8/1/73 on location from the Senate Watergate Committee hearing room in Washington D.C. Dick is on the right; Committee Vice-Chairman Senator Howard Baker is on the left.

The Dick Cavett Show of 8/1/73 on location from the Senate Watergate Committee hearing room in Washington D.C. Dick is on the right; Committee Vice-Chairman Senator Howard Baker is on the left.

  1. Designed in the 1960s, the Watergate Complex was brand new on June 17, 1972, when five burglars broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, located on the building’s sixth floor.
  2. Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigations into the scandal not only enthralled Washington, it lead to the Senate Watergate hearings and landed Woodward and Bernstein a 1973 Pulitzer Prize for their reporting, along with Hollywood fame and over a dozen book deals.
  3. Bob Woodward referred to his main source as “deepthroat,” a man later (33 years after Watergate) identified as Mark Felt, an associate director with the FBI at the time. The two met in an underground garage after Woodward would signal to Felt by positioning a flowerpot with a red flag on the balcony of his Washington apartment.
  4. It was a White House staffer, Alexander Butterfield testimony that revealed the existence of a secret taping system within the White House.
  5. On the night of April 30, 1973, President Nixon took a series of phone calls from supporters and advisers following a televised address in which he announced the resignation of his two top aides after they were implicated in the scandal. Among those supporters were future presidents, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. These calls are among the 300 hours of secret tapes recovered from his office.
  6. Under threat of impeachment, Richard Nixon became the first American president ever to resign. On Aug. 8, 1974, after a grueling congressional investigation, he  gave his 37th and final speech as the the president of the United States.
  7. After covering the Watergate hearings “from gavel to gavel,” Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil created The Robert MacNeil Report, which today is the PBS NewsHour.

Learn more about the Watergate Scandal via Newshour.