US History Essay – Watergate

After winning the election in 1968, Richard Nixon ran in the presidency again in 1972. On June 17, 1972, five men were arrested while trying to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee. This took place at the Watergate hotel in Washington, D.C. Two days later on June 19, John Mitchell, head of Nixon’s reelection campaign, denies that they have anything to do with the operation. A few months later, it is reported that John Mitchell controlled a secret Republican fund used to finance widespread intelligence-gathering operations against the Democrats. Then on October 10, FBI agents established that the Watergate break in stemmed from a large campaign of political spying conducted on behalf of the Nixon reelection effort. On November 11, Nixon is elected president with more than 60% of the votes.

In January of 1973, G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. are convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and wiretapping in the Watergate incident. After this, five other men plead guilty on the incident. Some of Nixon’s top White House staff including H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Attorney General Richard Kleindienst end up retiring over the Watergate scandal. John Dean, White House counsel, is also fired. Vice President Agnew is linked to the mafia and also resigns. Watergate prosecutors find a memo addressed to John Ehrlichman describing in detail the plans to burglarize the office of Pentagon Papers. Alexander Butterfield reveals in congressional testimony that since 1971, Nixon had recorded all conversations and telephone calls in his offices.

After Butterfield tells that Nixon had recorded all phone calls, Nixon disconnects the White House taping system and refuses to give the tape recordings to the special prosecutor or Senate Watergate committee. In the 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. In 1974 the White House releases edited transcripts of the Nixon tapes but will not release the tapes. The Supreme Court rules that Nixon must turn over the tapes of 64 White House conversations, rejecting Nixon’s claims for executive privilege.

The House Judiciary Committee then passes the first article of impeachment with charges of obstruction of justice. The House Judiciary Committee ends up passing a total of three impeachment articles. After this, Nixon becomes the first president to resign. The Republicans pick Gerald Ford to take over office. Ford pardons Nixon of all charges having to do with the Watergate case so that nothing will be televised and the nation can move on.

From the facts I know about the Watergate scandal, I think Nixon was the mastermind behind it all. In the Saturday Night Massacre, Nixon fired everyone that had to do with or knew about the Watergate scandal. Firing everyone associated with the scandal makes Nixon look like he is trying to protect himself, and he looks very suspicious. If he had nothing to do with the scandal, he would not have acted like he had something to hide. I also think that Nixon was behind the scandal because he withheld information. He refused to give up the tapes of the White House calls. When he gave the transcripts of the tapes, they were altered. I do not think that Nixon would have withheld the tapes of the White House phone calls unless he had something to do with the scandal.



In the United States presidential election of 1972, Richard Nixon was was elected to a second term defeating Democrat George McGovern in one of the largest landslides in US history. Early in the morning of June 17, 1972, several burglars were arrested inside the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), located in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. This was no ordinary robbery: The prowlers were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught while attempting to wiretap phones and steal secret documents. While historians are not sure whether Nixon knew about the Watergate espionage operation before it happened, he took steps to cover it up afterwards, raising “hush money” for the burglars, trying to stop the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from investigating the crime, destroying evidence and firing uncooperative staff members. In August 1974, after his role in the Watergate conspiracy had finally come to light, the president resigned. His successor, Gerald Ford, immediately pardoned Nixon for all the crimes he “committed or may have committed” while in office. Although Nixon was never prosecuted, the Watergate scandal changed American politics forever, leading many Americans to question their leadership and think more.

Six weeks after the new president Gerald Ford (1913-2006) was sworn in, he pardoned Nixon for any crimes he had committed while in office. Some of Nixon’s aides were not so lucky: They were convicted of very serious offenses and sent to federal prison. Nixon himself never admitted to any criminal wrongdoing, though he did acknowledge using poor judgment. His abuse of presidential power had a negative effect on American political life, creating an atmosphere of cynicism and distrust. While many Americans had been deeply dismayed by the outcomes of the Vietnam War, Watergate added further disappointment in a national climate already soured by the difficulties and losses of the past decade.

Gatsby Day Reflection

When I first walked into the library, I didn’t see many decorations but I liked the lights on the table and thing to walk through. There were a lot of different kinds of foods. First we had to wait for a while for the people that were in other classes. Once everyone arrived, we started the fashion show, then danced, ate caviar, and ate the rest of the food.
First was the fashion show. For the fashion show, girls lined up on one side of the room and the boys lined up on the other side. The boy and girl at the end of each line would meet in the middle and walk down through the rest of the people. At the end they would pose for a picture and then get back in line. I liked watching the fashion show because some people added something creative to it while they walked down.
After the fashion show, the dance committee divided up the boys and girls and taught us the Charleston. Salwa taught me and she did a very good job. I learned that the Charleston consists of taking steps forward and back, steps with kicks, spins, and moving your knees. I also learned that the boy and girl parts of the Charleston are the same except they start with different feet. After everyone learned the Charleston, there was a dance contest. Nat and Ruby won the contest and they were also in the dance committee.
After the contest, everyone had to try caviar on a cracker. They are little black fish eggs that taste very salty. I didn’t think they tasted bad, but just salty tasting. After trying the caviar, you got to walk through the entrance again and eat the buffet of food everyone brought. Everyone had to sign up to bring a certain food for a grade. I signed up and brought the tea and lemonade. I thought all the food was delicious, but some of my favorites were the spinach dip, chicken minis, and homemade truffles. Lauren made the spinach dip and Alex Blose made the homemade truffles.
I loved reading The Great Gatsby and thought it was a great book. I like how we get to learn more about the 1920’s with the Gatsby Day activity. My favorite things were learning the Charleston and getting to eat all the food everyone brought. . It was a very fun experience and I would like to do more things similar to it.

Civil Rights and Vietnam

Second Red Scare: The second Red Scare occurred after World War II (1939–45), and was popularly known as “McCarthyism” after its most famous supporter, Senator Joseph McCarthy.

HUAC: The House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. It was originally created in 1938 to uncover citizens with Nazi ties within the United States.

McCarthyism: McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means “the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism”.

Alger Hiss: Alger Hiss (November 11, 1904 – November 15, 1996) was an American lawyer, government official, author, and lecturer. He was involved in the establishment of the United Nations both as a U.S. State Department and U.N. official. Hiss was accused of being a Soviet spy in 1948 and convicted of perjury in connection with this charge in 1950.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg: Julius Rosenberg (May 12, 1918 – June 19, 1953) and Ethel Greengrass Rosenberg (September 25, 1915– June 19, 1953) were American citizens executed for conspiracy to commit espionage, relating to passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union.

Hollywood 10: The Hollywood blacklist—as the broader entertainment industry blacklist is generally known—was the mid-20th-century practice of denying employment to screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals because of their suspected political beliefs or associations.

Ronald Reagan: Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was an American actor and politician. He was the 40th President of the United States (1981–89), and served as the 33rd Governor of California (1967–75) prior to his presidency.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail:

He says “On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations.” to support his points with religion.

He is talking to the people in Birmingham and asking them to support him so they can get justice.

A metaphor he uses is “Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their “thus saith the Lord” far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid”.

We  have laws to protect other races and get justice now. A lot of what he said would not need to be said today.

Group 2:

Nation of Islam: The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a syncretic new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad on July 4, 1930. The Nation of Islam’s stated goals are to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans in the United States and all of humanity. Its critics accuse it of being black supremacist and antisemitic.

Malcolm X: Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was an African-American Muslim minister and a human rights activist. To his admirers he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

Black Panthers: The Black Panther Party or BPP was a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982. Initially, the Black Panther Party’s core practice was its armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of police officers and challenge police brutality.

Elijah Muhammad: Elijah Muhammad (October 7, 1897 – February 25, 1975) was an African-American religious leader, who led the Nation of Islam (NOI) from 1934 until his death in 1975. He was a mentor to Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Muhammad Ali, and his son, Warith Deen Mohammed.

Assassination of Malcolm X: Malcolm X, the 39-year-old leader of a militant black nationalist movement, was shot to death in a ballroom in Washington Heights. Shortly before midnight, a 22-year-old Negro, Thomas Hagan, was charged with the killing. The police rescued him from the ballroom crowd after he had been shot and beaten.

Muhammad Ali: Muhammad Ali (born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.) is an American former professional boxer, generally considered among the greatest heavyweights in the sport’s history. A controversial and polarizing figure during his early career, Ali is today widely regarded for the skills he displayed in the ring plus the values he exemplified outside of it: religious freedom, racial justice and the triumph of principle over expedience

Successful or not?

US Doolittle Raiders:The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders was a group of eighty men who flew into history on April 18, 1942. They were all volunteers and this was a very dangerous mission. Sixteen B-25 bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet, led by Jimmy Doolittle. They were to fly over Japan, drop their bombs and fly on to land in a part of China that was still free. Things did not always go as planned.

German Invasion of Russia:The Battle of Stalingrad (July 17, 1942-Feb. 2, 1943), was the successful Soviet defense of the city of Stalingrad in the U.S.S.R. during World War II. It stopped the German advance into the Soviet Union and marked the turning of the tide of war in favor of the Allies. The Battle of Stalingrad was one of the bloodiest battles in history, with combined military and civilian casualties of nearly 2 million.

US Manhattan Project: The Manhattan Project was the U.S. project during World War II to develop an atomic bomb. It was initiated by President Franklin Roosevelt out of fears that Nazi Germany was developing similar weapons. The project was successful.

Operation Paperclip: Operation Paperclip was the codename under which the US intelligence and military services extricated scientists from Germany, during and after the final stages of World War II.  An aim of the operation was capturing equipment before the Soviets came in. The US Army destroyed some of the German equipment to prevent it from being captured by the advancing Soviet Army. The operation proved successful.

Battle of Coral Sea: The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought in the waters southwest of the Solomon Islands and eastward from New Guinea, was the first of the Pacific War’s six fights between opposing aircraft carrier forces. Though the Japanese could rightly claim a tactical victory on “points”, it was an operational and strategic defeat for them, the first major check on the great offensive they had begun five months earlier at Pearl Harbor.

US History Unit 6

FDR’s Quarantine Speech called for an international “quarantine of aggressor nations”. This was an alternative to the political climate of American neutrality. The speech caused protest by non-interventionists and foes to intervene. Although no countries were mentioned in the speech, it was interpreted as referring to Italy, Germany, and Japan. Roosevelt suggested the use of economic pressure, a forceful response, but less direct than outright aggression. FDR’s Four Freedoms speech was about the values of democracy behind the bipartisan consensus on international involvement that existed at the time. A famous quote from the speech is “As men do not live by bread alone, they do not fight by armaments alone.” In the speech he lists the benefits of democracy, which includes economic opportunity, employment, social security, and the promise of “adequate health care”.

The Atlantic Charter was a policy statement issued in August 14, 1941 that defined the Allied goals for the post-war world early in WWII. The Charter stated the ideal goals of the war: no territorial aggrandizement; no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people; restoration of self-government to those deprived of it; reduction of trade restrictions; global cooperation to secure better economic and social conditions for all; freedom from fear and want; freedom of the seas; and abandonment of the use of force, as well as disarmament of aggressor nations.

CTYP conferences were held as a strategy meeting between Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill. The main outcome of the conference was the commitment to the opening of a second front against Nazi Germany by the Western Allies.

The UN Charter was the foundational treaty of the United Nations. It is a constituent treaty, and all members are bound by its articles. Article 103 of the Charter states that obligations to the United Nations prevail over all other treaty obligations. Most Countries in the world have now ratified the Charter.

The Marshall Plan was the American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $17 billion  in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II.

Group 3:
Communism International- an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919. The International intended to fight “by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie and for the creation of an international Soviet republic as a transition stage to the complete abolition of the State”

Joseph Stalin- Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) was the dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1929 to 1953. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union was transformed from a peasant society into an industrial and military superpower. However, he ruled by terror, and millions of his own citizens died during his brutal reign.

Nikita Khrushchev- Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963.

Yuri Gagarin- first man to orbit the earth. He was in spacecraft Vostok 1

Homestead and Morrill Acts

The Homestead Act provided that any adult citizen who had never borne arms against the U.S. government could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land. They were required to improve the land by building a dwelling and cultivating the land. After 5 years on the land, the original filer was entitled to the land with a small registration fee. Title could also be acquired after only a 6-month residency and trivial improvements, provided the claimant paid the government $1.25 per acre. The act didn’t help poverty. Few laborers and farmers could afford to build a farm or acquire the necessary tools, seed, and livestock.
The Morrill Act of 1862 was also known as the Land Grant College Act. The land-grant act was introduced by a congressman from Vermont named Justin Smith Morrill. He envisioned the financing of agricultural and mechanical education. He wanted to assure that education would be available to those in all social classes.
It was a major boost to higher education in America. The grant was originally set up to establish institutions is each state that would educate people in agriculture, home economics, mechanical arts, and other professions that were practical at the time.