Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 17

I recently attended the Elder Abuse Awareness Day sponsored by Denver DA Mitch Morrissey at the Pavilion at City Park. Attendance was up from last year and while I was not on the official program, Mitch invited me to regale the crowd of 70 folks with a song. Instead of my usual Colorado Song, I asked, "Why is June 17, 1972 an important date in American history?" Only one older gentleman from Arapahoe County answered back to me, "Watergate." I gave his an auditor's round pin as a reward for remembering history. Yes, the Watergate scandal started on June 17. The headline in Washington Post of June 18 read: "5 Held in Plot to Bug Democrats' Office." I re-read it, and it was a long story. The Democrats' office was located in the fancy Watergate Apartment complex in Washington.On his rounds through the building, Guard Frank Wills saw the tape which one of the White House burglars placed over the lock of the office door. He called Washington police and they arrested the five burglars. What ever happened to Frank? In 1974 after Nixon resigned the presidency, Regis University invited Senator Sam Ervin, Democrat of North Carolina who chaired the committee to investigate the White House break ins to speak on campus. The day of the senator's speech, I was honored to host Senator Ervin for lunch at the old Bratskellar located in Larimer Square. Courtlandt Doyle, a long time Democratic activist from North Denver went with us. He thanked Senator Ervin for saving our Republic. Everybody in the place came up to thank him for what he did for the country. Courtlandt paid for the lunch. Senator Ervin who endeared himself to the nation during the Watergate hearings by whimsically referring to himself as "just a country lawyer," shared with us that he worked closely with Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters from the Washington Post who worked on the story which brought down Nixon, our modern day Macbeth.

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