On This Day, June 17, 1972 – Nixon Allies Break into DCC Watergate HQ

74Watergate DNC offices

1972 – Five burglars are arrested in the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office and apartment complex in Washington, D.C. James McCord, Frank Sturgis, Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, and Eugenio Martinez were apprehended in the early morning after a security guard at the Watergate noticed that several doors leading from the stairwell to various hallways had been taped to prevent them from locking. The intruders were wearing surgical gloves and carrying walkie-talkies, cameras, and almost $2,300 in sequential $100 bills. A subsequent search of their rooms at the Watergate turned up an additional $4,200, burglary tools, and electronic bugging equipment.

Although there was no immediate explanation as to the objective of the break-in, an extensive investigation ensued, eventually unveiling a comprehensive scheme of political sabotage and espionage designed to discredit Democratic candidates. McCord, who was one of the burglars, was also Richard Nixon’s security chief for the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP). Nixon campaign funds were ultimately linked back to the Watergate break-in. In addition, equipment used during the burglary had been borrowed from the CIA. In the fall of 1972, Nixon was re-elected into office, but the probe continued.

FBI agents soon established that hundreds of thousands of dollars in Nixon campaign contributions had been set aside to pay for a massive undercover anti-Democratic operation. According to federal investigators, CREEP had forged letters and distributed them under Democratic candidate’s letterhead, leaked false and manufactured information to the press, seized confidential Democratic campaign files, and followed Democratic candidates’ families in order to gather damaging information.


0362 – Emperor Julian issued an edict banning Christians from teaching in Syria.

1579 – Sir Francis Drake claimed San Francisco Bay for England.

1775 – The British took Bunker Hill outside of Boston.

1789 – The Third Estate in France declared itself a national assembly, and began to frame a constitution.

1799 – Napoleon Bonaparte incorporated Italy into his empire.

1837 – Charles Goodyear received his first patent. The patent was for a process that made rubber easier to work with.

1856 – The Republican Party opened its first national convention in Philadelphia.

1861 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln witnessed Dr. Thaddeus Lowe demonstrate the use of a hydrogen balloon.

1876 – General George Crook’s command was attacked and defeated on the Rosebud River by 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne under the leadership of Crazy Horse.


statue-of-liberty-construction5

1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City aboard the French ship Isere.

1917 – The Russian Duma met in a secret session in Petrograd and voted for an immediate Russian offensive against the German Army. (World War I)

1928 – Amelia Earhart began the flight that made her the first woman to successfully fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

1930 – The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Bill became law. It placed the highest tariff on imports to the U.S.

1931 – British authorities in China arrested Indochinese Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.

1932 – The U.S. Senate defeated the bonus bill as 10,000 veterans massed around the Capitol.

1940 – The Soviet Union occupied Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

1941 – WNBT-TV in New York City, NY, was granted the first construction permit to operate a commercial TV station in the U.S.

1942Yank, a weekly magazine for the U.S. armed services, began publication. The term “G.I. Joe” was first used in a comic strip by Dave Breger.

1944 – The republic of Iceland was established.

1950 – Dr. Richard H. Lawler performed the first kidney transplant in a 45-minute operation in Chicago, IL.

1953 – Soviet tanks fought thousands of Berlin workers that were rioting against the East German government.

1963 – The U.S. Supreme Court banned the required reading of the Lord’s prayer and Bible in public schools.

1965 – Twenty-seven B-52’s hit Viet Cong outposts but lost two planes in South Vietnam.

1991 – The Parliament of South Africa repealed the Population Registration Act. The act had required that all South Africans be classified by race at birth.

 

Source: On-This-Day.com; History.com