The history of Watergate
and how two journalists
brought down a
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In June of 1972, five men
were arrested in a
burglary at the
in Washington, D.C.
June 17, 1972
During the early morning hours, a security
guard notices that an office is being
burglarized in the Watergate office
building in Washington, D.C.
He calls police. Five men are arrested,
including a former CIA agent. All five
men are wearing suits, ties and rubber
A burglary…so what?
What was unusual was
that this burglary was
at the Democratic
Here’s what made it strange:
•It was right before President Richard
Nixon, a Republican, ran for re-election.
• The men were only after
file folders. All of the
men had large amounts
of cash in their pockets,
supposedly as payment
for the burglary.
Bob Woodward and Carl
Bernstein were two
young reporters at The
Washington Post who
investigated the story
behind the burglary.
• A reporter at the Washington Post. He
was known for making a hundred phone
calls each day and working on stories
for hours and hours.
• Woodward graduated from
Yale University and started
out reporting for a local
• He called the editor of The Washington
Post every week until he was hired as a
reporter. On his first day of work,
Woodward made over 100 phone calls,
just looking for a story.
• He was an average writer, but better at
• A reporter at the
Washington Post for ten
years when the story
broke. He was messy, a
chain- smoker and very
pushy and obnoxious
doing whatever needed
to get information for a
• He was a better writer
than he was at getting
When the Watergate burglary
happened, The Washington Post ran
the story on Page One.
The New York Times ran it on Page 28.
No one took the story seriously except
The day after the break in, Woodward
had worked on the story from nine in
the morning until eight at night.
Woodward wrote a small story about a
former CIA agent being arrested in
connection with the burglary.
Listening to Answers
As part of the story, he called the
U.S. Attorney General to ask him
if he knew anything about the
He was told, “The burglars were not
operating for us or with our
Woodward hadn’t even asked that
Amount of Research
• Because Woodward was suspicious
that the burglary was really a cover-up
for something else, he began
investigating the story.
• Woodward realized that he needed
someone to do the writing while he did
Amount of Research
Woodward found out that Bernstein was
also interested in finding out what had
He ended up asking Bernstein to help him
work on the story.
He and Bernstein
asked their editors if
they could work only on
this one story.
Sept. 15, 1972
• The five Watergate burglars, plus two
members of the White House staff, are
found guilty of planning and taking part
in the break-in.
• In addition to taking files, the men had
tried to “bug” the Democratic National
• Since two of the men had direct ties to
the White House, Woodward and
Bernstein tried to find out more.
Over the next few months…
• Woodward and Bernstein were able to prove that
not only was the White House staff involved in the
Watergate break-in, but other things as well.
• The U.S. Attorney General, John Mitchell,
controlled a secret fund for President Nixon to
provide money for the break-in and other shady
• Some people who worked
for Nixon had been
threatened with their lives.
•Woodward and Bernstein worked for months
to uncover the entire story of Watergate.
•The publication of their stories caused the
U.S. Senate to investigate President Richard
•Nixon chose to resign as president once the
truth came out.
•Most people in the U.S. said they didn’t trust
the president, let alone the government.
• It wasn’t the break-in that was so
bad. It was the cover-up of the
• President Nixon went to great lengths to
make sure he was not connected to the
break-in, when he had actually ordered
• This called into question the integrity
and honesty of the president himself.
Where did they get the
• Woodward and Bernstein had many
sources, some unnamed, but their most
famous source was called “Deep
• This was a secret source that had inside
information about the president and the
• They never revealed the man’s name.
His identity was one of the
longest running journalism
One of the biggest secrets
in journalism history
• Only three people knew Deep
Throat’s identity: Woodward,
Bernstein and their editor, Ben
When will we know who Deep
• Many people guessed who Deep
Throat was, but Woodward and
Bernstein said they wouldn’t reveal
the man’s name until after Deep
• FBI’s number 2 man
• Served as the deputy director of the
• 30 year career
Mark Felt is Deep Throat
• Deep Throat’s identity became known
on May 31, 2005 when he stepped
forward and identified himself.
• He identified himself. The reporter’s
only confirmed it once Felt made the
The Pulitzer Prize in 1975
• Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein,
along with the Washington Post,
received a Pulitzer Prize for reporting
the Watergate scandal.
• The Pulitzer Prize is the highest award
given yearly in American journalism.
The Power of the Press
The work of two journalists
resulted in changing the history
of the United States.