Explore the Internet to understand the key issues and events of the Watergate Scandal. Visit each Web site listed below (in order) and complete the activity for each Web site.

  1. Watergate scandal: A look back at crisis that changed US politics (CNN Politics) (includes video)

    • Describe the background to the scandal. 

    • What scandalous behavior was attributed to President Nixon and his staff?

  2. The "Smoking Gun" Tape (from

    • Listen to the June 23, 1972 conversation known as "The Smoking Gun". Follow along with the tape by accessing the transcripts of the conversation in the same location. Answer the questions below as you listen and read.

    • Why does Presidential Aide H.R. Haldeman warn President Nixon about the FBI?

    • What solution do Haldeman and Nixon agree upon to restrain the FBI?

    • How does President Nixon refer to the Watergate investigation?

    • What does Haldeman imply about the FBI thinking that the Watergate break-in was a "Cuban thing"?

    • President Nixon tells Haldeman that to avert a close investigation, the FBI should be told that the break-in was related to the Bay of Pigs incident and that. . . .

    • Based on this conversation, what is your reaction to President Nixon's awareness and involvement in the break-in? What evidence leads you to this reaction?

  3. The Reforms (from

    • Based on what you know and what you have read, do these reforms adequately address the concerns that were raised as a result of Watergate?

    • Which reform seems to be most significant? Why?

  4. America and Watergate Today: Of what lasting significance was the event? (from

    • How did the citizens polled in 1997 think that Nixon's Watergate scandal compared to President Clinton's Whitewater scandal?

    • Watergate is considered one of the most influential scandals in political history. Based on the polling data presented, explain why.