|Text on Button||FREE THE WATERGATE 500 5000|
Blue text on a white background
|Curl Text||N.G. SLATER CORP. N.Y.C. 11 union bug|
In 1972, five men were caught breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Complex in Washington, D.C. The group was attempting to wire-tap phones and steal documents in order to assist the Republican party’s bid for re-election. Organizers of this plan included G. Gordon Liddy, general counsel to the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP). The Watergate scandal and President Richard Nixon’s subsequent resignation was the result of an attempted cover-up these illegal activities.
On January 5, 1974 President Nixon, claiming executive privilege, flatly refused to turn over more than 500 documents and tapes which were subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. These included tape recordings made from conversations that took place in the oval office. A host of pinback buttons and bumper stickers expressed the American public’s growing impatience with Nixon’s refusal to cooperate with the committee. Buttons proclaiming “Free the Watergate 500” soon became “Free the Watergate 5000.” Nixon was eventually forced by the Supreme Court to turn over the tapes, which proved so damaging that he was forced to resign on August 9, 1974, rather than face impeachment.