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Watergate Scandal was a major scandal involving the U.S. Government. It occurred in the 1970’s which started following a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. in 1972.
- Republican President Richard Nixon was running for reelection in the United States who were at the time embroiled in the Vietnam War (1955-1975). The turmoil of the situation greatly divided the American people.
- Nixon’s campaign strategy was belligerent for it involved illegal espionage.
- On the morning of June 17, 1972, five men were arrested for breaking into and entering the Democratic National Committee (DNC) office at the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. The intruders were caught attempting to wiretap phones and steal confidential documents inside the headquarters.
- A month prior to this event in May, the intruders had already bugged microphones in the headquarters. These wiretaps however failed to work properly. They therefore returned in June to fix these issues.
- The security guard of the building noticed that there was tape in the locks of the facility. The guard immediately informed the police who caught the intruders immediately.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated the case and discovered that the intruders had connections with the reelection campaign of President Richard Nixon, the Committee to Re-Elect the President.
- The FBI also found copies of the re election committee’s White House phone number in the possession of the intruders.
- By August, Nixon gave a speech where he categorically denied his staff were not involved in the break-in. By November, he was reelected as a president in a landslide victory.
- By July of 1973, evidence against the President’s staff’s involvement in the break-in came to light. It included a testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation by the Senate Watergate Committee.
- John Dean, the White House counsel, as well as some members of Nixon’s aides, testified against the president.
- The committee’s investigation revealed that President Nixon indeed had a tape-recording system in his offices and had recorded several conversations. Furthermore, it was discovered that Nixon had arranged to provide a large amount of ‘hush money’ to the burglars.
- Nixon and his aides even created a plan to instruct the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to delay FBI’s investigation of the crime.
- Seven accomplices were charged in relation to the Watergate affair. Five of these pleaded guilty and avoided trial while two were imprisoned in January 1973.
- Nixon and his aide’s plan to impede the investigation of FBI showed an abuse of presidential power as well as deliberate obstruction of justice.
- The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the president should release the tapes to government investigators as a proof of the president’s guilt.
- Nixon’s lawyers argued that part of his executive privileges as president allowed him to keep the tapes for himself.
- Trial judge John J. Sirica, the Senate committee, as well as a prosecutor named Archibald Cox demanded Nixon to release the tapes.
- Nixon ordered Cox as well as some Justice Department officials to be fired. This event is known as Saturday Night Massacre of October 20, 1973.
- By August 5, 1974, Nixon released the tapes. These were used as proof of his involvement in the Watergate crime.
- The House of Representatives and the Senate called for Nixon’s impeachment.
- By August 9, 1974, Nixon resigned. His successor, Gerald Ford, immediately pardoned Nixon on September 8, 1974.
- The scandal also led to the prosecution of 69 people in which in 48 were found guilty. This involved Nixon’s top administration officials.
- The Watergate scandal changed American politics forever and led to America’s first presidential resignation. Moreover, it led to the American people becoming more critical of their government.
- The media played a powerful role in informing the American people as well as aiding the criminal investigation.
- The reports of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of Washington Post regarding the Watergate Scandal even won them a Pulitzer Prize. These were used as a basis for their best-selling book “All the President’s Men.” Their reports were based on accounts from whistle blower W. Mark Felt who was a former associate director of the FBI.
Watergate Scandal Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Watergate Scandal Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about the Watergate Scandal which was a major scandal involving the U.S. Government. It occurred in the 1970’s which started from the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. in 1972.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Watergate Scandal Facts
- Watergate Scandal Word Search
- Fact or Bluff
- Watergate Scandal Crossword
- How It was Discovered…
- Watergate Scandal Timeline
- Headline Analysis
- Role Power
- Political Cartoon Analysis
- How Scandalous was the Scandal
- Watergate Scandal Acrostic
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Link will appear as Watergate Scandal Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 26, 2017
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