Watergate Remembered: Watch PBS’s 1973 Special Report

“How high did the scandals reach and was President Nixon himself involved?”

That was what Robert MacNeil, then co-anchoring with Jim Lehrer, dubbed “the ultimate question” as public broadcasting began its gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Watergate hearings on May 17, 1973.

MacNeil said the hearings were intended “to bear the truth about the wide range of illegal, unethical or improper activities established … surrounding the re-election President Nixon last year.”

Lehrer also detailed the scandal. Though little action had taken place as the hearings began, the committee’s “basic job remains the same,” he said.

Take a trip down memory lane with the above video, read Alex Bruns’ piece on events this week, and tune into the NewsHour Friday night for reflections on the 40-year anniversary of the break-ins.