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Friday
May172013

Watergate Hearings Televised 40 Years Ago

David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Richard Milhous Nixon was “not a crook,” or so the 37th U.S. president would have us believe.  But such denials at a Nov. 17, 1973, news conference meant little or nothing by then, six months to the day after North Carolina Sen. Sam Ervin opened two weeks of often-riveting, live televised hearings on the Watergate scandal.

Millions of U.S. households bore witness to the Senate Watergate Committee’s tactical destruction of White House subterfuge, methodically convincing Americans that perhaps “Tricky Dick” was more than some absurd distortion of the president’s legacy-in-waiting.

A month after the televised hearings, which started on May 17, 1973, an astonishing 97 percent of Americans had heard of Watergate, according to the U.S. Senate website.  And 67 percent believed that President Nixon had participated in a cover-up of the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington.

Nixon never confessed and declared that “I have never been a quitter” right before he did just that.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio