- May 28, 1972 Electronic
surveillance ("bugging") equipment is installed at Democratic National
Committee headquarters in the Watergate building.
- June 17, 1972
Five men are
arrested while attempting to repair the surveillance equipment at
Democratic National Committee headquarters.
- August 30, 1972 President Nixon
announces that John Dean has completed an investigation into the
Watergate buggings and that no one from the White House is involved.
- January 8, 1973 Watergate
break-in trial opens. Hunt pleads guilty (January 11); Barker, Sturgis,
Martinez, and Gonzalez plead guilty (January 15); Liddy and McCord are
convicted on all counts of break-in indictment (January 30).
- February 7, 1973 U.S. Senate
creates Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, chaired by
North Carolina Democrat Sam Ervin.
- April 17, 1973 President Nixon
announces that members of the White House staff will appear before the
Senate committee and promises major new developments in investigation
and real progress toward finding truth.
- April 23, 1973 White House
issues statement denying President had prior knowledge of Watergate
- April 30, 1973 White House staff
members H. R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman, and John Dean resign.
- May 17, 1973 Senate committee
begins public hearings.
- May 25, 1973
Archibald Cox sworn in as Special Prosecutor.
- July 7, 1973 President Nixon
informs Senate committee that he will not appear to testify nor grant
access to presidential files.
- July 16, 1973
Alexander Butterfield informs Senate committee of the presence of a
White House taping system.
- July 23, 1973 Senate Committee
and Special Prosecutor Cox subpoena White House tapes and documents to
- July 25, 1973 President Nixon
refuses to comply with Cox subpoena.
- August 9, 1973 Senate committee
files suit against President Nixon for failure to comply with subpoena.
- October 19, 1973 President Nixon
offers a compromise on the tapes: Senator John Stennis (D-Miss.)--a man
notoriously hard of hearing--would review tapes and present the Special
Prosecutor with summaries.
- October 20, 1973 Archibald Cox
refuses to accept the Stennis compromise. President Nixon orders
Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire Cox, but Richardson refuses
and resigns in protest. Acting Attorney General Robert Bork fires Cox.
These events come to be known as the "Saturday
- October 23, 1973 President Nixon
agrees to hand over tapes to comply with subpoena.
- November 1, 1973 Leon Jaworski
named Special Prosecutor.
- November 21, 1973 Senate
Committee announces discovery of 18½ minute gap on tape of
Nixon-Haldeman conversation of June 20, 1972. White House secretary
Rosemary Woods later claims to have accidentally erased the material,
illustrated in this
- February 6, 1974 House of
Representatives authorizes House Judiciary Committee to investigate
whether grounds exist for impeachment of President Nixon.
- April 16, 1974 Special
Prosecutor issues subpoena for 64 White House tapes.
- April 30, 1974 President Nixon
submits tape transcripts to House Judiciary Committee.
- July 24, 1974 Supreme Court
unanimously upholds Special Prosecutor's subpoena for tapes for
- July 27-30, 1974 House Judiciary
articles I, II, and III of impeachment resolution charging President
with obstruction of investigation of Watergate break-in, misuse of
powers and violation of his oath of office, and failure to comply with
- August 9, 1974 President Nixon
- September 8, 1974 President
Gerald Ford pardons Nixon.