TIMELINE



1968

November 5 - Richard Milhous Nixon, the 55-year-old former vice president who lost the presidency for the Republicans in 1960, reclaims it by defeating Hubert Humphrey in one of the closest elections in U.S. history. Post Story

1969

January 21 - Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th president of the United States. Post Story

1970

July 23 - Nixon approves a plan for greatly expanding domestic intelligence-gathering by the FBI, CIA and other agencies. He has second thoughts a few days later and rescinds his approval.

1971

June 13 - The New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers - the Defense Department's secret history of the Vietnam War. The Washington Post will begin publishing the papers later that same week.

September 3 - The White House "plumbers" unit - named for their orders to plug leaks in the administration - burglarizes a psychiatrist's office to find files on Daniel Ellsberg, the former defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers.

1972

June 17 - Five men, one of whom says he used to work for the CIA, are arrested at 2:30 a.m. trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex. Post Story

June 19 - A GOP security aide is among the Watergate burglars, The Washington Post reports. Former attorney general John Mitchell, head of the Nixon reelection campaign, denies any link to the operation. Post Story

August 1 - A $25,000 cashier's check, apparently earmarked for the Nixon campaign, wound up in the bank account of a Watergate burglar, The Washington Post reports. Post Story

September 29 - John Mitchell, while serving as attorney general, controlled a secret Republican fund used to finance widespread intelligence-gathering operations against the Democrats, The Post reports. Post Story

October 10 - FBI agents establish that the Watergate break-in stems from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of the Nixon reelection effort, The Post reports. Post Story

November 7 - Nixon is reelected in one of the largest landslides in American political history, taking more than 60 percent of the vote and crushing the Democratic nominee, Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota. Post Story

1973

January 30 - Former Nixon aides G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. are convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping in the Watergate incident. Five other men plead guilty, but mysteries remain. Post Story

April 30 - Nixon's top White House staffers, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst resign over the scandal. White House counsel John Dean is fired.Post Story

May 18 - The Senate Watergate Committee begins its nationally televised hearings. Attorney General-designate Elliot Richardson taps former solicitor general Archibald Cox as the Justice Department's special prosecutor for Watergate. Post Story | Post Analysis

June 3 - John Dean has told Watergate investigators that he discussed the Watergate cover-up with President Nixon at least 35 times, The Post reports. Post Story

June 13 - Watergate prosecutors find a memo addressed to John Ehrlichman describing in detail the plans to burglarize the office of Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist, The Post reports. Post Story

July 13 - Alexander Butterfield, former presidential appointments secretary, reveals in congressional testimony that since 1971 Nixon had recorded all conversations and telephone calls in his offices. Post Story

July 18 - Nixon reportedly orders the White House taping system disconnected.

July 23 - Nixon refuses to turn over the presidential tape recordings to the Senate Watergate Committee or the special prosecutor.Post Story

October 20 - Saturday Night Massacre: Nixon fires Archibald Cox and abolishes the office of the special prosecutor. Attorney General Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William D. Ruckelshaus resign. Pressure for impeachment mounts in Congress. Post Story

November 17 - Nixon declares, "I'm not a crook," maintaining his innocence in the Watergate case. Post Story

December 7 - The White House can't explain an 18 ½-minute gap in one of the subpoenaed tapes. Chief of Staff Alexander Haig says one theory is that "some sinister force" erased the segment. Post Story

1974

April 30 - The White House releases more than 1,200 pages of edited transcripts of the Nixon tapes to the House Judiciary Committee, but the committee insists that the tapes themselves must be turned over. Post Story

July 24 - The Supreme Court rules unanimously that Nixon must turn over the tape recordings of 64 White House conversations, rejecting the president's claims of executive privilege. Post Story

July 27 - House Judiciary Committee passes the first of three articles of impeachment, charging obstruction of justice.

August 8 - Richard Nixon becomes the first U.S. president to resign. Vice President Gerald R. Ford assumes the country's highest office. He will later pardon Nixon of all charges related to the Watergate case. Post Story

2002

June 13 - Stanley L. Greigg, 71, the former Democratic National Committee official who filed the original criminal complaint against the Watergate burglars, dies in Salem, Va. Post Story

June 25 - One week after the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, an alternative theory of what prompted the most famous burglary in American political history returns to U.S. District Court.Post Story

2003

February 10 - Ronald Ziegler, 63, who as President Richard M. Nixon's press secretary at first described the Watergate break-in as a "third-rate burglary," a symbol of his often-testy relations with reporters, dies after a heart attack. He once was suspected of being "Deep Throat."

April 8 - In one of the largest such purchases in American history, the University of Texas at Austin buys the Watergate papers of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein for $5 million, the university announced. Post Story

July 16 - Chesterfield Smith, 85, a prominent Florida lawyer who, as president of the American Bar Association in 1973, became a critic of President Richard Nixon's efforts to avoid the stains of the Watergate scandal, dies in a hospital in Coral Gables, Fla., after a heart attack. Post Story

July 27 - Thirty years after the Senate select committee hearings on Watergate riveted the nation and doomed the Nixon presidency, a key figure in the scandal says he has a fresh and explosive revelation: Richard M. Nixon personally ordered the burglary of Democratic headquarters at the Watergate complex.

August 24 - John J. Rhodes, 86, an Arizona Republican who as minority leader of the House of Representatives played a critical role in the events leading to the 1974 resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, dies of cancer at his home in Mesa, Ariz.Post Story

October 31 - Thomas F. McBride, 74, an associate prosecutor in the Watergate investigation and former inspector general of the Agriculture and Labor departments, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage while walking his dog in a park near his home in Portland, Ore.

November 13 - Congressional negotiators agree to undo part of a Watergate-era law that prevented former president Richard M. Nixon from taking his tapes and papers with him, but say the records would still have to be processed here before being released to establish the presidential library that Nixon and his family always wanted. Post Story

December 11 - National Archives and Records Administration releases 240 more hours of tape of the 37th president. Post Story

2004

April 9 - Helen M. Smith, 84, who worked at the White House as press secretary and trusted aide to first lady Pat Nixon during the turbulent Watergate years, dies of vascular disease at her home in Washington. Post Story

May 27 - Transcripts of telephone conversations released show President Richard M. Nixon jokingly threatened to drop a nuclear bomb on Capitol Hill in March 1974 as Congress was moving to impeach him over the Watergate scandal. Post Story

May 29 - Archibald Cox, 92, the Harvard law professor and special prosecutor whose refusal to accept White House limits on his investigation of the Watergate break-in and coverup helped bring about the 1974 resignation of President Richard M. Nixon, dies at his home in Brooksville, Maine. Post Story

May 29 - Samuel Dash, 79, the chief counsel of the Senate Watergate Committee whose televised interrogation into the secret audiotaping system at the White House ultimately led to President Richard M. Nixon's resignation, dies of multiple organ failure May 29 at Washington Hospital Center. Post Story

July 29 - Frederick Cheney LaRue, 75, the shadowy Nixon White House aide and "bagman" who delivered more than $300,000 in payoffs to Watergate conspirators, dies of coronary artery disease in a Biloxi, Miss., motel room, where he lived.Post Story

2005

January 22 - Rose Mary Woods, 87, the Nixon White House secretary whose improbable stretch was supposed to account for part of an 18 ½-minute gap in a crucial Watergate tape, dies at a nursing home in Alliance, Ohio, where she lived.Post Story

February 4 - Thousands of pages of notes, memos, transcripts and other materials collectively known as the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers opens to the public at the University of Texas, minus the most fascinating detail connected to the demise of the Nixon administration: the identity of Deep Throat. Post Story

February 5 - James Joseph Bierbower, 81, a well-known Washington lawyer who represented Nixon campaign aide Jeb Stuart Magruder during the Watergate trials and EPA official Rita Lavelle during a Superfund inquiry, dies at Charlotte Hall Nursing Home in St. Mary's County. Post Story

February 18 - Robert R. Merhige Jr., a judge who who wrote the decision that threw out the appeals of Watergate figures G. Gordon Liddy, Bernard Barker and Eugenio Martinez after they were convicted of breaking into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist dies. Post Story

May 31 - The Washington Post confirms that W. Mark Felt, a former number-two official at the FBI, was Deep Throat, after Vanity Fair magazine identified the 91-year-old Felt, now a retiree in California, as the long-anonymous Watergate source. Post Story

July 6 - L. Patrick Gray, the acting director of the FBI who passed its investigative reports on the Watergate scandal to the White House, and who was left to "twist slowly, slowly in the wind" by President Richard M. Nixon, died July 6 at his home in Atlantic Beach, Fla., at age 88 Post Story

2006

May 16 - Martin F. Dardis, who connected the Watergate burglars to President Nixon's Committee to Reelect the President, died of vascular disease May 16 at a nursing home in Palm City, Fla., at age 83 Post Story

July 17 - Robert C. Mardian, the attorney for President Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President whose conviction of conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Watergate scandal was overturned on appeal, dies at age 82 at his home in San Clemente, Calif. Post Story

2007

January 27 - E. Howard Hunt, the former CIA agent who organized the Watergate break-in and other "dirty tricks" that ultimately brought down the Nixon presidency, dies of complications from pneumonia at a hospital in Miami at age 88. Post Story

2008

April 25 - DeVan L. Shumway, the spokesman for the Committee to Re-Elect the President who staunchly defended the Nixon administration throughout the Watergate scandal, dies in Baltimore of lung disease at age 77. Post Story