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8 Facts About the Nixon White House Tapes

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1

The Nixon White House tapes are audio recordings of conversations between U.S. President Richard Nixon and Nixon administration officials, Nixon family members, and White House staff, produced between 1971 and 1973.

The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800.

Richard Milhous Nixon was an American politician who served as the 37th President of the United States from 1969 until 1974, when he became the only U.S. president to resign from office.

Offensive Nixon Tapes Released by CBS

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In February 1971, a sound-activated taping system was first installed in the Oval Office, including in Nixon's Oval Office desk, using Sony TC-800B open-reel tape recorders to capture audio transmitted by telephone taps and concealed microphones.

Sony Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation that is headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo.

Nixon tapes show regrets over 1960 debate with Kennedy by CBS News

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3

The system was subsequently expanded to include other rooms within the White House and Camp David.

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4

The recording system was turned off on July 18, 1973, two days after it became public knowledge as a result of the Senate Watergate Committee hearings.

The Senate Watergate Committee was a special committee convened by the United States Senate to investigate the Watergate scandal after it was learned that in 1972, the Watergate burglars had been directed to break into and wiretap the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee by the Committee to Re-Elect the President, President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign fund raising organization.

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5

Nixon was not the first president to record his White House conversations; the practice was initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly known as FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945.

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The tapes' existence came to light during the Watergate scandal of 1973 and 1974, when the system was mentioned during the televised testimony of White House aide Alexander Butterfield before the Senate Watergate Committee.

Watergate was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s, following a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. in 1972 and President Richard Nixon's administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement.

Alexander Porter Butterfield is a retired U.S. military officer, public servant, and businessman.

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Nixon's refusal of a congressional subpoena to release the tapes constituted an article of impeachment against Nixon, and led to his subsequent resignation on August 9, 1974.

A subpoena is a writ issued by a government agency, most often a court, to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure.

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8

On August 19, 2013, the Nixon Library and the National Archives and Records Administration released the final 340 hours of the tapes that cover the period from April 9 through July 12, 1973.

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives.

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