Watergate at 40: So many 'what ifs'

Undate photograph of President Richard M. Nixon shaking hands with musician James Brown. (Rolling Stone)

Undate photograph of President Richard M. Nixon shaking hands with musician James Brown. (Rolling Stone)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Four decades later, Watergate's "what ifs" are tantalizing.

What if a security guard hadn't noticed tape on a door latch outside Democratic headquarters at the Watergate office building.

What if a calculating president hadn't taped his private words for posterity?

And perhaps most intriguing: What if Richard Nixon had simply come clean about the break-in and cover-up and apologized?

Sunday is the 40th anniversary of the break-in in which burglars working for Nixon's re-election committee were caught red-handed inside the Democrats' Watergate offices.

But despite all the years since of investigation, reporting, trials and historical research, there's still no simple answer to the scandal's central riddle: How did a clumsy raid that Nixon's spokesman termed a "third-rate burglary" became a constitutional struggle that ultimately expelled him from office?


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 159293385