World History 1973

About the history of the world in 1973, the Watergate hearings begin, a coup in Chile, Spiro Agnew resigns, the oil embargo starts.



May 17 Sen. Sam Ervin (D-N.C.) gaveled the Watergate hearings to order before live TV cameras. The hearings would lay out numerous sordid crimes and dirty tricks committed by or in the mane of President Nixon and lumped under the heading of Watergate. A list of all the President's men later convicted of wrongdoing read like a combination of Washington's Who's Who and a police blotter:

1. Dwight Chapin--President's appointments secretary--found guilty on two counts of perjury--sentenced 10--30 months. Served 8 months.

2. Charles Colson--special counsel to the President--copped a plea and turned state's evidence--sentenced 1--3 years. Served 6 1/2 months.

3. John Dean--White House counsel--pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice and defraud; turned state's evidence--sentenced 1--4 years. Served 4 months.

4. John Ehrlichman--chief domestic affairs adviser to the President--convicted of conspiracy and perjury in the break-in of the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist and conspiracy and obstruction of justice in the Watergate break-in--sentenced 2 1/2--8 years to be served concurrently with 20-months to 5-year sentence for a separate conviction in the "plumbers" case. Imprisoned Oct. 28, 1976. Served 18 months.

5. H. R. Haldeman--President's chief of staff--convicted with Ehrlichman--sentenced 2 1/2--8 years. Imprisoned June 21, 1977.

6. E. Howard Hunt--White House consultant--pleaded guilty to burglary--sentenced 2 1/2--8 years. Served 2 years, 8 months.

7. Herbert Kalmbach--Nixon's personal attorney--pleaded guilty to campaign law violations--sentenced 6--18 months, fined $10,000. Served 6 months.

8. Richard Kleindienst--attorney general--copped a plea down to a misdemeanor in the ITT scandal--sentenced 1 month, fined $100, both suspended.

9. Egil Krogh--White House aide--pleaded guilty to violating Daniel Ellsberg's civil rights--sentenced 2--6 years, all but 6 months suspended. Served 4 1/2 months.

10. Frederick LaRue--White House aide--pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the cover-up--sentenced 6 months. Served 6 months.

11. G. Gordon Liddy--White House assistant--convicted in both Watergate and Ellsberg burglaries--sentenced 7--23 years, fined $40,000. Served 4 years, 4 1/2 months.

12. Jeb Magruder--White House aide--pleaded guilty to cover-up--sentenced 10 months--4 years. Served 7 months.

13. John Mitchell--attorney general--found guilty with Ehrlichman and Haldeman--sentenced 2 1/2--8 years. Imprisoned June 22, 1977.

14. Herbert Porter--White House aide--pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI--sentenced 5--15 months, all but 30 days suspended. Served 1 month.

15. Maurice Stans--commerce secretary--copped pleas down to five campaign law misdemeanors--fined $5,000.

Sept. 11 Chilean Pres. Salvador Allende was killed in a military coup in Santiago. A junta led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet took over and dissolved Congress. Chile's three-year experiment in socialism had collapsed into repression. The CIA clearly played some role in the coup, but how large a one remains unclear.

Oct. 10 U.S. Vice-Pres. Spiro Agnew resigned and pleaded no contest to a charge of income tax evasion, following weeks of plea bargaining between Agnew's attorneys and the Justice Dept. As part of the bargain, the prosecution made public a 40-page document spelling out a pattern of kickbacks, extortion, and bribery over a 10-year period, allegedly involving Agnew while he served as governor and county executive in Maryland and continuing even after he became vice-president. Although Judge Hoffman, in conferring sentence, conceded that Agnew's uncontested crime usually brought a 2-to 5-month prison term, he merely fined Agnew $10,000 and put him on three years' probation, because, he said, "the man has been punished enough." Thus, the number-two elected official in the U.S., the man who had reviled Democrats for their soft stance on law and order, the man who constantly and vociferously had voiced confidence in the American system, the man who had admonished young protesters to work within the system--had been working outside the system himself all along. The man who had denounced permissive judges for letting convicted criminals roam the streets accepted a sentence with no prison term for a crime for which the average citizen would have been jailed. House Republican leader Gerald Ford of Michigan later replaced Agnew as vice-president.

Oct. 17 The politics of oil escalated as the Arab countries imposed an oil embargo against the U.S. in order to generate higher prices and to arm-twist the U.S. into "reevaluating" its support of Israel.

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