Iron Bottom Bay – A Poem for #MemorialDay2017

Regardless the reason for Memorial Day, many gave and some gave all. Remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice and thank those who came back safe and those that serve today.

“Iron Bottom Bay” by Walter A. Mahler, chaplain, USS Astoria (World War 2)

Memorial to USS ASTORIA_CA-34_Crew_BJ_4x3_1200x

Crew of the USS Astoria

 

I stood on a wide and desolate shore

And the night was dismal and cold.

I watched the weary rise, –

And the moon was a riband of gold.

~

Far off I heard the trumpet sound,

Calling the quick and the dead,

The long and rumbling roll of drums,

And the moon was a riband of red.

~

Dead sailors rose from out of the deep,

Nor looked not left or right,

But shoreward marched upon the sea,

And the moon was a riband of white.

 ~

A hundred ghosts stood on the shore

At the turn of the midnight flood,

They beckoned me with spectral hands,

And the moon was a riband of blood.

 ~

Slowly I walked to the waters edge,

And never once looked back

Till the waters swirled about my feet,

And the moon was a riband of black.

 ~

I woke alone on a desolate shore

From a dream not sound or sweet,

For there in the sands in the moonlight

Were the marks of phantom feet.

What Happened on May 9th – Annie Jump Cannon’s Stellar Classification System

Annie Jump Cannon in 1922

On May 9, 1922, the International Astronomical Union formally adopted the stellar classification system developed by Annie Jump Cannon.  With only minor changes, her system is still used today.  Annie Jump Cannon (December 11, 1863 – April 13, 1941) was an American astronomer whose cataloging work was instrumental in the development of the contemporary stellar classification. With Edward C. Pickering, she is credited with the creation of the Harvard Classification Scheme, which was the first serious attempt to organize and classify stars based on their temperatures and spectral types. She was nearly deaf throughout her career. She was a suffragist and a member of the National Women’s Party.  She was also the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford University (1925).

Annie Jump Cannon at her desk at the Harvard College Observatory

What Happened on May 6th – Works Progress Administration (WPA)

In 1933, the United States, as well as much of the world, was experiencing a severe economic downturn.  A time that history refers to as the Great Depression. On May 6, 1933, United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) created the W.P.A., the Works Progress Administration.  This and other federally funded programs put unemployed men to work with temporary financial assistance.  Out of the 10 million jobless men in the United States in 1935, 3 million were helped by WPA jobs alone.   FDR knew that there were able-bodied men throughout the country who were unable to provide for their families but a handout was not the answer.  Putting men who were capable of working out to work on useful projects was the answer.  By 1940, the economy was rapidly improving due to defense industry production, the W.P.A. was no longer needed.  It was disbanded by congress in 1943.

WPA road development project

There are so many facilities still used today that owe their existence to programs such as the W.P.A. under the New Deal.  Here are a few but you can see them all by scrolling to the bottom after clicking  HERE

What Happened on May 5th – First American Astronaut in Space

On May 5, 1961, from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Navy Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. was launched into space aboard the Freedom 7 space capsule, becoming the first American astronaut to travel into space. The suborbital flight, which lasted 15 minutes, 28 seconds and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere, was a major triumph for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

 

In June 1961, Laurie Records issued a 45 rpm single featuring William Allen and Orchestra entitled “Space Flight Freedom 7.” It consisted of recreations of the tower to astronaut communications spoken over an instrumental backing.

May 4, 1970 12:24 PM – Remembering Kent State

“Ohio”

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We’re finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio.

written and composed by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970, and performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

#1LinerWeds – Knowledge of History or Doom

I am passionately interested in understanding how my country works and if you want to know about this thing called the United States of America you have to know about the Civil War.  — Ken Burns

Michael Crichton

My post this week is full of quotes that are generally about the same point.  This week the world was treated to another inaccurate fact in United States history and the world was dumbfounded.  This brings to mind a famous saying from George Santayana that has been used or paraphrase many times. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Visit here for the One Liner Wednesday posts from others.

#AtoZChallenge – We Didn’t Start the Fire from A to Z: Zero

WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE

FROM A TO Z

On September 27, 1989, the iconic song by Billy Joel,  We Didn’t Start the Fire hit the airwaves.  It was a history lesson set to music.  When you first heard the song, did you know or remember all the people places, things and events mentioned in the lyrics?  I sure didn’t.  Back in 1989 before the internet was something everyone had access to, my boyfriend (now husband) and I headed to the local public library and looked up all the historical references.  This month, for the A to Z Challenge, I am writing about that history.

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it
Well this year’s A to Z Challenge has come to and end.  I hope you have enjoy this trip through current events of several decades.  What would your life in current events look like?  I want to thank everyone that stopped by to read my posts and especially those that left comments.  The interaction is surely what makes blogging worthwhile.  See you around the blogosphere.
For the letter Z, I have nothing, nada, zilch, ZERO.  Billy Joel did not include any person, places, things or events that begin with the letter Z, so I end this challenge with how it all began.  It began in 1989 with a song that could be a history lesson set to music.  I do not own the rights to this song but I am not gaining from sharing and feel this is for educational purposes.  If you should be prevented from viewing the video now or at anytime in the future, all you have to do is search the name of the song on Youtube and view the video.  Enjoy.

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H-Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye
Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, “Rock Around the Clock”
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Zhou Enlai, Bridge On The River Kwai
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather Homicide, Children of Thalidomide
Buddy Holly, Ben-Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia
Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U-2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, Stranger in a Strange Land
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex
J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say?

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law
Rock and Roller cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on…
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning since the world’s been turning

Written by Billy Joel • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

#AtoZChallenge – We Didn’t Start the Fire from A to Z: Years

WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE

FROM A TO Z

On September 27, 1989, the iconic song by Billy Joel,  We Didn’t Start the Fire hit the airwaves.  It was a history lesson set to music.  When you first heard the song, did you know or remember all the people places, things and events mentioned in the lyrics?  I sure didn’t.  Back in 1989 before the internet was something everyone had access to, my boyfriend (now husband) and I headed to the local public library and looked up all the historical references.  This month, for the A to Z Challenge, I am writing about that history.

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it
Billy Joel did not include any person, places, things or events that begin with the letter Y.  I was thinking about the structure of the song.  Billy started with the year of his birth, 1949 and includes items up through 1989, the year he wrote and released the song.  I came up with Y is for Years.  Using an online random number generator, I entered 1949 as the minimum and 1989 as the maximum and allow it to pick a year for me.  The random winner, 1955Did you ever go into a greeting card store and look through the rack that contains little booklets labeled with years.  You are supposed to spin the rack until you find the year you were born and purchase the history of the year you were born.  If you were born in 1955, this is for you.  For the rest of us, please enjoy this eventful year.

1955

Consumerism: Fashions, and Toys  1955

How Much things cost in 1955:  Inflation Rate USA 0.28%; Average Cost of new house $10.950.00; Average Monthly Rent $87.00; Average Yearly Wages $4,130.00; Minimum Hourly Rate $1.00; Average Cost of a new car $1,900.00; Cost of a gallon of Gas 23 cents; Ladies Swim Suits $12.95; Black and White TV $99.95;
The sale of 7.9 million cars in the US resulted in 7 out of 10 families now owning a motor car.  This lead to a new law requiring seat belts to be installed on all new cars.
The first McDonalds was erected in 1955 and more fast foods and TV dinners are appearing on the market.
The first cans of Coca-Cola are sold up till then it had only been sold in bottles.
Young men’s fashion matches the times with pink shirts and charcoal grey suits.

Technology and Invention 1955

The New Synthetic Material Polyurethane used in more and more everyday goods
First pocket transistor radios available
The first Atomically generated power is used in the US
Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use ):  Atomic Clock England; Hovercraft England by Christopher Cockerell; Lego Gotfried Kirk Christiansen; Velcro Switzerland by George De Mestral.

Human Rights and Social Protests 1955

Rosa Parks, an African-American bus passenger, is arrested after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama.
Emmett Till, a black fourteen year old teenager is murdered for not showing respect to a white woman in Money, Miss.

Medicine 1955

As I wrote in V is for Vaccine, Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine is declared safe and effective in April.

The vaccine for polio is privately tested by Jonas Salk.

Entertainment 1955

Rock and Roll music continues to grow in popularity with more idols:  Elvis Presley , Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry, The Platters and Fats Domino.

Elvis Presley signs with RCA Records on November 21, beginning his pop career.

“The Mickey Mouse Club” debuts on ABC.

The Broadway musical “Peter Pan” was broadcast live on television.

“The $64,000 Question” the popular US television game show starts. he show became extremely popular but the success was relatively short-lived and it ended in 1958 when it was revealed that several popular game shows had been rigged.

The popular Western show “Gunsmoke” debuts on television.

Disneyland opens in California on July 17th.

Disneyland opens on July 17, 1955 as Walt Disney’s first theme park.

The first Commercial TV Station with advertisements starts in London, England

 

James Dean’s stars in the movie East of Eden and then James Dean is killed in car accident near Cholame, California

James Dean achieves success with East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause, gets nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor, and dies in a car accident on September 30 at the age of 24.

Popular Films: Oklahoma; The Quatermass Xperiment; Rebel without a Cause; To Catch A Thief; The seven year itch

 

Books and Literature 1955

First Guinness Book of World Records Published.

World Politics and War 1955

The USS Nautilus becomes the first operational nuclear-powered submarine when it casts off on its first true voyage in January.

Middle Eastern nations and the United Kingdom form a cooperative pact similar to NATO.

West Germany Joins NATO

The Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies sign the Warsaw Pact on May 14th integrating the military, economic and cultural policy between the eight Communist nations.

The United States begins its involvement in the Vietnam War.

Vietnam War 1955-1975

The Military seizes control in Argentina forcing Juan Peron to flee

Clement Attlee who oversaw the creation of the British Welfare System resigns as leader of the Labour Party

US military intervention in Iran

Crime and Disaster 1955

Ruth Ellis, the last woman in England to be executed is hung at Holloway Prison in the United Kingdom.

77 Die in a disaster at 24hr Le Mans Race

Great Britain experienced the worst winter storms to date.  There were roads and rail problems and a shortage of food and medical supplies

United Airlines Flight 629 is blown up shortly after takeoff over Longmont, Colorado

Son plants bomb in mom’s suitcase, killing her and 43 others during flight

Hurricane Diane hits the northeast United States, killing 200 and causing over $1 billion in damage

Hurricane Diane, 1955

Great Britain declares State of Emergency due to National Rail Strike

Other 1955

The St. Lawrence Seaway opens to Ocean Vessels from Montreal to US ports on the Great Lakes

St. Lawrence Seaway opens

British Newspapers Not Printed for 1 month due to strike in Fleet Street By Maintenance Workers

Fleet Street Papers Return After Month Long Maintenance Workers’ Strike. This Day in History, 21/04/ 1955.

 

If you have the time for 9:26 minutes, here is a video that sums up 1955.  It has a lot from the Great Britain point of view but still has enough other.  Many of the events shown are listed in this post.

#AtoZChallenge – We Didn’t Start the Fire from A to Z: Malcolm X

WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE

FROM A TO Z

On September 27, 1989, the iconic song by Billy Joel,  We Didn’t Start the Fire hit the airwaves.  It was a history lesson set to music.  When you first heard the song, did you know or remember all the people places, things and events mentioned in the lyrics?  I sure didn’t.  Back in 1989 before the internet was something everyone had access to, my boyfriend (now husband) and I headed to the local public library and looked up all the historical references.  This month, for the A to Z Challenge, I am writing about that history.

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it
Today is brought to you by the letter X.
1963 – Malcolm X

Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), born Malcolm Little and later also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz, was an African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist. Through his activism, he became associated with the Nation of Islam, an African American political and religious movement, founded in 1930 in Detroit, Michigan, United States, by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad.  To Malcolm X’s  admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of blacks, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans; detractors accused him of preaching racism and violence. He has been called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history.

On December 1, 1963, when asked for a comment about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X said that it was a case of “chickens coming home to roost”. He added that “chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they’ve always made me glad.” The New York Times wrote, “in further criticism of Mr. Kennedy, the Muslim leader cited the murders of Patrice Lumumba, Congo leader, of Medgar Evers, civil rights leader, and of the Negro girls bombed earlier this year in a Birmingham church. These, he said, were instances of other ‘chickens coming home to roost’.” The remarks prompted a widespread public outcry. The Nation of Islam, which had sent a message of condolence to the Kennedy family and ordered its ministers not to comment on the assassination, publicly censured their former shining star. Malcolm X retained his post and rank as minister; but was prohibited from public speaking for 90 days.  In February 1965, he was assassinated by three members of the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm X makes his infamous statement “The chickens have come home to roost” about the Kennedy assassination, thus causing the Nation of Islam to censor him.

#AtoZChallenge – We Didn’t Start the Fire from A to Z: Walter Winchell, Woodstock, Watergate and Wheel of Fortune

WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE

FROM A TO Z

On September 27, 1989, the iconic song by Billy Joel,  We Didn’t Start the Fire hit the airwaves.  It was a history lesson set to music.  When you first heard the song, did you know or remember all the people places, things and events mentioned in the lyrics?  I sure didn’t.  Back in 1989 before the internet was something everyone had access to, my boyfriend (now husband) and I headed to the local public library and looked up all the historical references.  This month, for the A to Z Challenge, I am writing about that history.

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

 

1949 –Walter Winchell

Walter Winchell (April 7, 1897 – February 20, 1972) was an American newspaper and radio gossip commentator, famous for attempting to destroy the careers of people both private and public whom he disliked. During the 1950s, Winchell supported Senator Joseph McCarthy‘s quest to identify Communists in the entertainment industry, but his popularity and influence began to decline as the public turned against McCarthy. 

Walter Winchell is an aggressive radio and newspaper journalist credited with inventing the gossip column.

Walter Winchell was an aggressive radio and newspaper journalist credited with inventing the gossip column.

1969 – Woodstock
On August 15, 1969, the Woodstock Music Festival opened on a farm in White Lake in the town of Bethel in upstate New York.
Woodstock: Famous rock and roll festival of 1969 that came to be the epitome of the counterculture movement.

Woodstock: Famous rock and roll festival of 1969 that came to be the epitome of the counterculture movement.

Promoters John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfield and Michael Lang originally envisioned the festival as a way to raise funds to build a recording studio and rock-and-roll retreat near the town of Woodstock, New York.

Woodstock promoters: John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld, Mike Lang

Woodstock promoters: John Roberts, Joel Rosenman,
Artie Kornfeld, Mike Lang

The longtime artists’ colony was already a home base for Bob Dylan and other musicians.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Despite their relative inexperience, the young promoters managed to sign a roster of top acts, including the Jefferson Airplane, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival and many more.

Jefferson Airplane

Jefferson Airplane

The Who

The Who

The Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead

slyandthefamilystone_woodstock_JasonLaureThe_ImageWorks

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

Jimi Hendricks

Jimi Hendricks

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Plans for the festival were on the verge of foundering, however, after both Woodstock and the nearby town of Wallkill denied permission to hold the event, dairy farmer Max Yasgur came to the rescue at the last minute, giving the promoters access to his 600 acres of land in Bethel, some 50 miles from Woodstock.

220px-Max_yasgur

Max Yasgur, owner of the farm used for the festival

Farm used for the festival

Farm used for the festival

Early estimates of attendance increased from 50,000 to around 200,000, but by the time the gates opened on Friday, August 15, more than 400,000 people were clamoring to get in. Those without tickets simply walked through gaps in the fences, and the organizers were eventually forced to make the event free of charge.

woodstock-crowd

Folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens kicked off the event with a long set, and Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie also performed on Friday night.

Richie Havens opens Woodstock Festival

Richie Havens opens Woodstock Festival

Joan Baez

Joan Baez

Arlo Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie

Somewhat improbably, the chaotic gathering of half a million young “hippies” lived up to its billing of “Three Days of Peace and Music.” There were surprisingly few incidents of violence on the overcrowded grounds.  A number of musicians performed songs expressing their opposition to the Vietnam War.

Among the many great moments at the Woodstock Music Festival were career-making performances by up-and-coming acts like Santana, Joe Cocker and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; the Who’s early-morning set featuring songs from their classic rock opera “Tommy.”

Santana

Santana

Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

The closing set by Hendrix, which climaxed with an improvised solo guitar performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” (I don’t own this video but share for education purposes)

 

Though Woodstock had left its promoters nearly bankrupt, their ownership of the film and recording rights more than compensated for the losses after the release of a hit documentary film in 1970.

warners_woodstock_poster

Later music festivals inspired by Woodstock’s success failed to live up to its standard, and the festival still stands for many as a example of America’s 1960s youth counterculture at its best.

To see some really great photographs of the atmosphere that was Woodstock, check out the work of Dan Garson:  A Teenager’s Look at Woodstock

A FEW FACTS:

Source: By John W. Barry, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal

Where’s the paper trail? There are no records of any permit issued by Bethel, N.Y., granting permission for the Woodstock Music & Art Fair to be held on Max Yasgur’s farm in 1969, says Bethel town clerk Rita Sheehan.

Can they feed half a million? Documents from the Sullivan County Historical Society show that Food for Love, the company hired to provide food, made the following projections based on 50,000 people a day for a three-day festival. (Of course more then 400,000 people came so I guess food was a problem)

A sampling of the food list:

Bread: 30,000 loaves
Marshmallows: 10,000 packages
Peanut butter: 1,500 pounds
Napkins: 600,000
Milk: 20,000 gallons
Cheese: 5,000 pounds
Coffee: 2,000 pounds
Plastic eating utensils: 900,000 pieces
Ice: 450,00 pounds

 THE ARTISTS’ PAYCHECKS
Fees paid to bands that played the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969, from organizer Michael Lang’s book The Road to Woodstock:Jimi Hendrix: $32,000
The Band: $15,000
Janis Joplin: $15,000
Jefferson Airplane: $15,000
Canned Heat: $12,500
Joan Baez: $10,000
Creedence Clearwater Revival: $10,000
Crosby, Stills & Nash: $10,000
Grateful Dead $7,500
Richie Havens: $6,000
Arlo Guthrie: $5,000
Incredible String Band: $4,500
Ravi Shankar: $4,500
Tim Hardin: $2,000
Santana: $1,500

 

1974 – Watergate

Events in the summer of 1972 resulted in the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon by 1974.  Early on the morning of June 17, 1972, a crime with astronomical political fall-out is committed and five men are arrested.  Their crime was breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office-hotel-apartment complex in Washington, D.C.

Watergate Hotel

Watergate Hotel

The political fall-out, the resignation of the President of the United States; however on the day of the arrest, the connection to Richard Millhouse Nixon was unknown.  These men were caught with burglary tools, cameras and film, and three pen-size tear gas guns. At the scene of the crime, in rooms the men rented at the Watergate, sophisticated electronic bugging equipment was found. Three of the men were Cuban exiles, one was a Cuban American, and the fifth was James W. McCord, Jr., a former CIA agent. That day, the suspects, who said they were “anti-communists,” were charged with felonious burglary and possession of implements of crime.

Conspirators

On June 18, however, it was revealed that James McCord was the salaried security coordinator for President Richard Nixon’s reelection committee.

PHOTO: Electronics expert and former CIA agent James W. McCord was arrested in connection. Metropolitan Police/AP Photo

PHOTO: Electronics expert and former CIA agent James W. McCord was arrested in connection. Metropolitan Police/AP Photo

The next day, E. Howard Hunt, Jr., a former White House aide, was linked to the five suspects.  In July, G. Gordon Liddy, finance counsel for the Committee for the Re-election of the President, was also implicated as an accomplice.

E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy

E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy

In August, President Nixon announced that a White House investigation of the Watergate break-in had concluded that administration officials were not involved. In September, Liddy, Hunt, McCord, and the four Cubans were indicted by a federal grand jury on eight counts of breaking into and illegally bugging the Democratic National Committee headquarters.  If you know anything about Watergate, you know that it did not end there.

W is also for Woodward and Berstein and Washington Post

In September and October, reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of The Washington Post uncovered evidence of illegal political espionage carried out by the White House and the Committee for the Re-election of the President, including the existence of a secret fund kept for the purpose and the existence of political spies hired by the committee. Despite these reports, and a growing call for a Watergate investigation on Capitol Hill, Richard Nixon was reelected president in November 1972 in a landslide victory.

Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein, whose reporting of the Watergate case won them a Pulitzer Prize, sit in the newsroom of the Washington Post in Washington May 7, 1973. (AP Photo)

Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein, whose reporting of the Watergate case won them a Pulitzer Prize, sit in the newsroom of the Washington Post in Washington May 7, 1973. (AP Photo)

In January 1973, five of the Watergate burglars pleaded guilty, and two others, Liddy and McCord, were convicted. At their sentencing on March 23, U.S. District Court Judge John J. Sirica read a letter from McCord charging that the White House had conducted an extensive “cover-up” to conceal its connection with the break-in. In April, Attorney General Richard Kleindienst and two top White House advisers, H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, resigned, and White House counsel John Dean was fired.

watergate_graphic

On May 17, 1973, the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, headed by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, began televised proceedings on the rapidly escalating Watergate affair.

Senators Howard Baker (R-TN) and Sam Ervin (D-NC) cast votes during the Senate Watergate Committee hearings of 1973. Seated behind the senators is the committee deputy counsel Rufus Edmisten, whose oral history interview is included in the collection of the U.S. Senate Historical Office. (Photo courtesy Senate Historical Office.)

Senators Howard Baker (R-TN) and Sam Ervin (D-NC) cast votes during the Senate Watergate Committee hearings of 1973. Seated behind the senators is the committee deputy counsel Rufus Edmisten, whose oral history interview is included in the collection of the U.S. Senate Historical Office. (Photo courtesy Senate Historical Office.)

One week later, Harvard Law professor Archibald Cox was sworn in as special Watergate prosecutor.

Archibald Cox sworn in, 5/25/73

Archibald Cox sworn in, 5/25/73

During the Senate hearings, former White House legal counsel John Dean testified that the Watergate break-in had been approved by former Attorney General John Mitchell with the knowledge of White House advisers Ehrlichman and Haldeman, and that President Nixon had been aware of the cover-up. Meanwhile, Watergate prosecutor Cox and his staff began to uncover widespread evidence of political espionage by the Nixon re-election committee, illegal wiretapping of thousands of citizens by the administration, and contributions to the Republican Party in return for political favors.

19730730_Newsweek-The_Nixon_Tapes

In July, the existence of what were to be called the Watergate tapes–official recordings of White House conversations between Nixon and his staff–was revealed during the Senate hearings. Cox subpoenaed these tapes, and after three months of delay President Nixon agreed to send summaries of the recordings. Cox rejected the summaries, and Nixon fired him. His successor as special prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, leveled indictments against several high-ranking administration officials, including Mitchell and Dean, who were duly convicted.

L JaworskiPublic confidence in the president rapidly waned, and by the end of July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee had adopted three articles of impeachment against President Nixon: obstruction of justice, abuse of presidential powers, and hindrance of the impeachment process. On July 30, under coercion from the Supreme Court, Nixon finally released the Watergate tapes. On August 5, transcripts of the recordings were released, including a segment in which the president was heard instructing Haldeman to order the FBI to halt the Watergate investigation. Four days later, Nixon became the first president in U.S. history to resign. On September 8, his successor, President Gerald Ford, pardoned him from any criminal charges.

I can remember where I was when President Nixon resigned even though I wasn’t even a teenager yet.  I was at Girl Scout Camp in New Jersey and one of counselors had us sit in the camp pavillion and listen to his resignation on the radio.  I know at the time, I didn’t really understand what the Watergate Scandal was all about.  Years later I enjoyed the movie All the Presidents Men.

1983 – Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin. The show features a competition in which contestants solve word puzzles, similar to those used in Hangman, to win cash and prizes determined by spinning a giant carnival wheel.The daily syndicated version of Wheel premiered on September 19, 1983, preceded by a series of episodes taped on location at the Ohio State Fair and aired on WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio. Would you like to buy a vowel?

Wheel of Fortune: A hit television game show which has been TV's highest-rated syndicated program since 1983.

Wheel of Fortune: A hit television game show which has been TV’s highest-rated syndicated program since 1983.