The 1970's
A Burglary, a Scandal, and a President

A Burglary, a Scandal, and a President
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.86

     challenging words:    subpoena, wiretap, break-in, burglary, influential, investigation, counsel, investigators, scandal, resign, best, presidency, massacre, extensive, refused, re-election
     content words:    Frank Willis, Democratic National Committee, Democratic Committee, Republican Party, Richard Nixon, United States, White House, By April, President Nixon, Robert Haldeman

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A Burglary, a Scandal, and a President
By Jane Runyon

1     It was a normal work night for Frank Willis. He was a security guard at a large complex in Washington, D.C. This complex had buildings that people lived in. It had a hotel. It also had buildings with offices. Frank Willis was guarding a building that housed the office of the Democratic National Committee. On one of his rounds, Willis noticed that someone had placed a piece of tape over the lock in a door. The tape kept the lock from working properly. Cleaning people often used this to keep from having to unlock a door each time they went in or out. Willis removed the tape thinking that a cleaning crew must have forgotten to remove it. Later that night, Willis discovered that a new piece of tape had been placed on the lock. He realized that something was wrong and contacted the Washington police department.
2     What the police discovered in the Watergate building would set in motion the largest scandal Washington had known. When they entered the building, the police found and arrested five men who had broken into the Democratic Committee offices. It was later discovered that this was their second break-in of the offices. During their first break-in, they had planted wiretap equipment. It was used to listen in on what the Democrats were doing. The second break-in was to replace some of the wiretaps that were not working.
3     You might want to ask these questions: Who would want to break into a political party office? What would they steal? The answers were fairly simple in the minds of the police. Their attention immediately went to the Republican Party. They were the ones who would benefit from information that would be found in this office. It was June of 1972. Richard Nixon, a Republican, was the President of the United States. He was in the middle of a campaign to be re-elected to the presidency. Any bit of information the Republicans could secure to keep the Democrats from defeating Nixon was important.

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