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Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, several University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumni have played unique roles in the Watergate scandal, from the formation of the Senate Watergate Committee (in 1973) to now.

The Watergate scandal was a political scandal that encompassed the arrest of five individuals breaking into the Democratic National Convention headquarters at the Watergate complex, the ensuing coverup by the Nixon administration, and Nixon’s subsequent resignation. The increasing public interest in the scandal and the decreasing public approval ratings of Nixon were largely informed by the actions of investigative journalists, particularly Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, and the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities (also known as the Senate Watergate Committee). Established in early 1973, the purpose of the committee was to investigate the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters as well as any subsequent cover-up of criminal activity. The committee hearings were publicly broadcast from May 17 to August 7, and were followed by the eventual release of the Nixon tapes, the start of impeachment proceedings, and President Nixon’s resignation on August 8, 1974.

This digital exhibit primarily focuses on three Carolina alumni whose papers at the Wilson Special Collections Library hold important records related to the Watergate scandal:

That being said, there are more traces of Watergate throughout the University Libraries than these individuals. More examples can be found in the section entitled “Watergate in the Eyes of…” as well as the collections of individual figures—such as the papers of Richard J. Murphy, whose office at the Watergate complex was the site of the first Watergate break-in on May 28, 1972.