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Phi Theta Kappa Members Attend Tulsa University Lecture

March 29, 2012

Members of the Eta Gamma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Coffeyville Community College were among the large crowd at Tulsa University’s Donald W. Reynolds Center for the March 27 Presidential Lecture Series featuring journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.  The event was sponsored by The Darby O’Brian Endowed Chair at Tulsa University.  As senior statesmen of the American Press, Bernstein and Woodward related the events surrounding the infamous Watergate break-in and the eventual downfall of the Nixon presidency.  This June will mark forty years since Watergate, considered by many to be a third rate break-in.  However, according to the journalists, Watergate was just one small part of a much larger political scheme that involved sabotage and other criminal activity.  In explaining the importance of Watergate, Woodward noted “it was a war on five fronts:  the Anti-Vietnam War effort, the press, Democrats, the justice system which involved massive cover-ups, and finally, a war on history itself.”

Woodward and Bernstein were working as young reporters at the Washington Post when they first shared a contributing byline on a story headlined “5 Held in Plot to Bug Democrats’ Office Here.”  The story – which ran on the bottom of page 1 on June 18, 1972 – detailed a bizarre break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate office building in which the burglars had tried to bug the Party’s office.  For the next two years, Woodward and Bernstein’s stories unraveled a scandal that resulted in the resignation of President Richard Nixon and the incarceration of 43 people including many top Nixon officials.  Today, the two journalists are still seeking “the best obtainable version of the truth.”

Following the lecture, chapter members obtained a copy of Bob Woodward’s book "The War Within, a Secret White House History 2006-2008" which the chapter will use for its book club.  Representing the Eta Gamma Chapter at the lecture were Hannah Potter, Bryant Traxson, Kacie Serrault, Aaron Neely, Wesley Burdiek, Melissa Morgan, Bryn Reid, and Brandon Huskey.