The Watergate Scandal (1972-1974) (or just "Watergate") was an American political scandal and constitutional crisis that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
The term 'Watergate' refers to the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. The hotel was the location of the Democratic Party National Headquarters in 1972.
A security guard caught a handful of burglars breaking into the Democratic Party Headquarters. Some of the burglars had ties to people in the Nixon administration, and president Nixon tried to minimize the damage to his administration. The resulting cover-up became known as 'Watergate'.
The scandal came in the political context of the ongoing Vietnam War, which had since Lyndon Johnson's presidency grown increasingly unpopular with the American public. The term "Watergate" refers to a series of events, spanning over two years, that began with the Nixon administration's abuse of power toward the goal of undermining political opposition in the public anti-war movement and the Democratic Party.
Ultimately, the congressional investigations uncovered numerous unethical and illegal activities by people very close to the president.
Though Nixon had endured two years of mounting political embarrassments, the court-ordered release of the "smoking gun tape" in August 1974 brought with it the prospect of certain impeachment for Nixon, and he resigned only four days later on August 9.
Today, any public scandal, real or exaggerated, can be identified as such simply by attaching the suffix -gate to the word. Nanny-gate, Iran-contra-gate, and Travel-gate are examples.
President Richard Nixon's staff broke in to the Watergate hotel (hence the name Watergate) and stole information from the Democrats. For this Nixon would have been impeached (he would have been tried and, when found guilty, fired from his job as president). To prevent being impeached, Nixon resigned (i.e. quit).
Watergate is a hotel in Washington DC. During Richard Nixon's run for reelection the Democratic campaign headquarters was located in this hotel. Men from the Committee to Reelect Nixon broke into and burgled the Democrat offices and were caught. This burglary is called the Watergate break-in. This eventually lead to Nixon's resignation.
The resignation of a president Obstruction of an FBI investigation Legislation to curb executive power
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