For those of you around during August 1974, where were you during when President Richard Nixon resigned from office in the midst of the Watergate scandal?
At the time, I was in high school, heading into my sophomore year. That night I happened to be watching a football game. The Jacksonville Sharks were playing the Hawaiians, both of the fledgling World Football League, an upstart, ragtag operation that was challenging the established NFL. The game was interrupted by Nixon’s resignation’s speech, which made for an odd return to the televised game action following such a momentous event!
For readers too young to understand the Watergate scandal, or for the sprinkling of international readers thankfully spared the ongoing saga back then, Nixon got in trouble when his Administration was linked to an illegal break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington D.C.’s Watergate Hotel during the 1972 election campaign. As is so often the case, the cover up was worse than the initial sin, and it led right to the Oval Office.
The Washington Post took the lead on investigating the Watergate scandal, and it served to launch the careers of two unknown reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
The movie “All the President’s Men,” starring Robert Redford (Woodward) and Dustin Hoffman (Bernstein), manages to tell the story of the Post‘s investigation with a sense of detail and drama that conveys the gravity of this historic event in American government and politics. It still holds up as an excellent movie.