Research Aids

What Was the Watergate Scandal About?

The Watergate scandal involved activities that stretched over almost four years, beginning with the Fielding break-in of September, 1971, and ending with former President Nixon’s grand jury appearance in July, 1975 (after which the term of the last of the three Watergate grand juries expired).

It is beguilingly complex. Hundreds of books and articles have been written and there are surely more to come.

Even after four decades, much information remains unavailable to researchers. All of the internal staff notes and investigatory information from both the Senate Watergate Committee and the House Judiciary Committee’s Impeachment Inquiry were sealed for fifty years – and are not scheduled to be released until 2024. There remain thousands of pages of internal files from the Watergate Special Prosecution Force stored at the National Archives that are being released only in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. There remains hope that grand jury records from this most historic of political cases will someday become available to researchers.

In the interim, what follows are the resources the author has assembled to aid in his own understanding of Watergate.