"OPEN THE DOOR, RICHARD!"

Artist: Herc Ficklen

Collection: Editorial Cartoon Collection, C3 D5

Appeared: Dallas News [ca. 1974]

Repository: The University of Southern Mississippi

Historical Note:

The Watergate scandal (1972-1974) resulted from the exposure of a break-in by supporters of President Richard M. Nixon into the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC, and the subsequent cover-up of Nixon's role in the plot. The crucial question for investigators in regard to the break-in and other "dirty tricks" was "What did the president know, and when did he know it?"

A break in the case came when the Senate committee charged with investigating the president learned that Nixon had installed a taping system in the White House, and that many of the conversations regarding the scandal were recorded. Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox sought to obtain the tapes, but the president initially refused to release them, pleading executive privilege. Nixon ordered the Attorney General to fire Cox, and in what became known as the "Saturday Night Massacre" both the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General resigned rather than carry out the order. Following a ruling by the Supreme Court in July 1974, the president produced White House tapes, but a key segment had been deleted.

After the House Judiciary Committee recommended three articles of impeachment, including obstruction of justice, Nixon finally handed over the complete set of tapes. Aware that the tapes were the "smoking gun" implicating him in the cover-up, President Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

Cartoon Menu | Editorial Cartoon Exhibit | Special Collections

Created by Dr. P. Toby Graham, Mississippiana Curator, March 31,1999
Last updated: March 30, 2006url: http://www.lib.usm.edu/~spcol/aaec

The University of Southern Mississippi