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A Watergate Glossary

The names, dates and quotations that defined a scandal

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 11) -- Even a quarter century later, many of the people, sights, sounds and quotes from the Watergate affair remain enduring icons in American political lore.

They evoke memories of a scandal that grew and grew until Aug. 9, 1974, when a disgraced Richard Nixon said goodbye to the White House staff and lifted off in a helicopter on his way to political exile in California.

Here are some of the names and comments from Watergate that live on today:

Spiro Agnew -- Nixon's vice president stepped down in a tawdry kickback scandal in October 1973. He pled no contest to income tax evasion and resigned. Agnew felt that Nixon threw him overboard in an attempt to mollify critics. He died in 1996.

Howard Baker -- Tennessee Republican who helped chair the Senate Watergate Committee and who asked: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

Bernard L. Barker, Virgilio R. Gonzalez, Eugenio R. Martinez, James W. McCord Jr., Frank A. Sturgis -- The five Watergate burglars

Carl Bernstein -- One of the Washington Post reporters who broke many of the stories as the scandal grew

Robert Bork -- The solicitor general who eventually dismissed Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox in "The Saturday Night Massacre." He was rejected by the Senate for a Supreme Court appointment in the 1980s.

Alexander Butterfield -- The former White House aide who disclosed the existence of the president's secret taping system

"A cancer growing on the presidency" -- White House counsel John Dean's warning to Nixon about Watergate

Class of '74 -- The name for reform-minded Democrats who swept into Congress in the 1974 mid-term elections

William Cohen -- One of six Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee who voted to begin impeachment proceedings against Richard Nixon. He became Secretary of Defense under Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1997.

Charles Colson -- Special counsel to the president who set up the White House "plumbers" unit. He served 207 days for obstruction of justice and is now a born-again Christian.

Archibald Cox -- Appointed special Watergate prosecutor in May 1973, he is later fired during the "Saturday Night Massacre" in October 1973.

"I am not a crook." -- Nixon's line to a group of newspaper editors

Samuel Dash -- Senate Watergate Committee chief counsel

John W. Dean III -- The White House counsel who warned Nixon of a cancer growing on the presidency and was dismissed; some revisionist Watergate buffs blame him for the coverup.

"Deep Throat" -- Named after a pornographic movie of the era, this was Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's still-secret Executive Branch source.

John Ehrlichman -- One of Nixon's most powerful aides; he resigned as the scandal grew.

Daniel Ellsberg -- A Defense Department official who leaked a secret study of the Vietnam War to The New York Times. The White House investigative unit known as the "Plumbers" later broke into office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist, looking for information to discredit him.

Sam J. Ervin -- The folksy chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee, who offered homespun lessons on constitutional law in televised Watergate hearings; those hearings dramatized the issues and personalities, allowing Americans to weigh the credibility of Watergate's key players for themselves.

"Expletive Deleted" -- When transcripts of Nixon's Oval Office tapes begin to surface, Americans were surprised at the coarse tone and the frequent notation, "expletive deleted."

Gerald Ford When he took over after Nixon's resignation, Ford said, "I assume the presidency under extraordinary circumstances ... This is an hour of history that troubles our minds and hurts our hearts." A month later, Ford offered a complete pardon to Nixon for any crimes he might have committed.

"Katie Graham's gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that's published." -- Former Attorney General John Mitchell's crude warning to Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, when Mitchell was asked to comment on a story

H.R. Haldeman -- Another of Nixon's closest aides, he resigned as the scandal tumbled out of White House control.

E. Howard Hunt -- A sometime White House consultant, CIA agent and mystery novelist and one of the original seven defendants in the break-in case

Leon Jaworski -- On November 1, 1973, the Houston lawyer was appointed to replace the fired Cox as Watergate special prosecutor.

Richard Kleindienst -- On April 30, 1973, the same day Dean was dismissed and Haldeman and Erlichman resigned, Kleindienst resigned as attorney general. He was replaced by Elliot Richardson.

G. Gordon Liddy -- One of the original Watergate defendants, the unrepentant Liddy wrote a book, "Will," about the affair.

Jeb Magruder -- As assistant to John N. Mitchell, director of Committee to Re-elect the President, Magruder worked most closely with Dean.

James W. McCord, Jr. -- McCord, one of the original burglars, kept the case alive by writing a letter to Judge John Sirica that higher-ups had approved the break-in.

George McGovern -- Despite the first inklings of Watergate, Nixon defeated McGovern in 1972 in a landslide of epic proportions, winning 49 states.

John Mitchell -- Director of the Committee to Re-Elect the President. Mitchell resigned as attorney general, saying his wife, Martha, demanded he spend more time with his family. He was replaced by Kleindienst.

Richard Nixon -- The first U.S. president to resign, Nixon sowed seeds of his own destruction a week after the break-in when he ordered a coverup of the burglary. His secret taping system, installed to help him write his memoirs, preserved evidence that destroyed him. Nixon died in 1994 at age 81, after partially rebuilding his reputation in foreign policy.

"This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative." -- Nixon Press Secretary Ron Zeigler's classic shuffle during a press briefing

"Plumbers" -- A secret White House team, dating to 1970, that tried to stop news leaks and kept track of the president's political opponents

Elliot Richardson -- After Kleindienst's resignation, Richardson became attornery general. On October 20, 1973, Nixon ordered Richardson to dismiss Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox. Richardson refused to do so and resigned.

William Ruckelshaus -- Deputy attorney general under Richardson, he was fired on October 20,1973, for refusing to carry out Nixon's order to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.

"Saturday Night Massacre" -- On Oct. 20, 1973, Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson to dismiss special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Richardson quit in protest. His deputy, William Ruckelshaus, also refused and was fired. The "Saturday night massacre" created a storm of protest, among the public and in Congress.

Senate Watergate Committee -- Chairman Sam J. Ervin Jr. (D-N.C.); Howard H. Baker, Jr. (R-Tenn.); Herman E.Talmadge (D-Ga.); Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii); Joseph M. Montoya (D-N.M.); Edward J. Gurney (R-Fla.); Lowell P. Weicker (R-Conn.). Only Inouye remains in the Senate.

John J. Sirica -- The tough judge who pushed to make sure the full story of the break-in came out. Sirica offered leniency in sentencing in exchange for more information from the original defendants. He also knocked down Nixon's blanket claim of executive privilege for the tapes, asking, "What distinctive quality of the presidency permits its incumbent to withhold evidence?"

"Smoking Gun" -- When Nixon released tapes in August 1974 that showed he ordered a cover-up and knew of the involvement of White House officials and the Campaign for the Re-election of the President, the tapes became known as "the smoking gun" and sealed his fate. Three days later, he quit.

"A third-rate burglary attempt" -- Nixon Press Secretary Ron Zeigler's first comment on Watergate

The 18 1/2-Minute Gap -- Three days after the Watergate break-in, Nixon and Haldeman discussed the arrests. A tape made then contained a supicious 18 1/2-minute gap.

The Watergate-- The condominium-office complex along the Potomac River in downtown Washington where the Democratic National Committee had its offices

"What did the president know and when did he know it?" -- The famous question by Sen. Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) during the Watergate Senate hearings

Frank Wills -- The Watergate security guard who noticed tape on a lock and called police at 1:47 a.m. on June 17, 1972 to report the break-in. Police came and took five men into custody.

Rose Mary Woods -- Nixon's personal secretary, Woods is best remembered for bizarre testimony about the 18 1/2-minute tape gap. She said she had inadvertently kept her left foot on the pedal of a tape recorder while stretching behind her to answer a telephone call, at the same time mistakenly pushing the "record" button on the machine, and thus erased perhaps five minutes of the taped conversation. Asked to re-enact it in court, Woods reached for an imaginary phone -- and lifted her left foot.

Bob Woodward -- One of the Washington Post reporters who broke many of the stories on the scandal

Ron Ziegler -- Nixon press secretary whose utterances include this classic: "This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative."





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