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Sunday May 13, 1973
. . . where the 1970s live forever!

News stories from Sunday May 13, 1973

Summaries of the stories the major media outlets considered to be of particular importance on this date:

  • The Skylab space lab will be launched Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, astronauts Conrad, Kerwin and Weitz will link up with Skylab and live in space for 28 days. At Cape Kennedy, Florida, launch director Walter Kapryan stated that the dual countdown is going well. Launch coverage will be televised beginning at 1:20 p.m. EST on Monday. [NBC]
  • The Viet Cong charged that American planes made attacks in South Vietnam in violation of the cease-fire. The U.S. denied the charges. [NBC]
  • U.S. bombing continues in Cambodia. Senators Frank Church and Clifford Case said that they will introduce a bill to stop the bombing. [NBC]
  • U.S. special envoy David Bruce will open a liaison office in China this week. The Chinese are working at top speed to build a U.S. headquarters in Peking. [NBC]
  • A commission reported that the damage caused by Mississippi River flooding totals over $420 million. Louisiana has been hit hardest by the floods. [NBC]
  • Secretary of State William Rogers will meet with the Mexican president to discuss ways to lower the salt content of the Colorado River. [NBC]
  • Bobby Riggs defeated Margaret Court in a tennis match. [NBC]
  • The Los Angeles Times reports that a White House aide met with James McCord last January and tried to get him to remain silent during his Watergate trial in exchange for executive clemency; the aide was identified as John Caulfield, who denied the charges. The White House said that President Nixon had no knowledge of any cover-up in the Watergate case. [NBC]
  • It was almost one year ago that burglars were caught in the Democratic party headquarters at the Watergate office complex. It was soon discovered that they had connections with the White House; the scandal has now grown to epic proportions. It is time to review the facts of the Watergate case and bring into focus the questions it has raised.

    H.R. Haldeman was the President's chief-of-staff and John Ehrlichman was chief domestic adviser. Dwight Chapin was the presidential appointments secretary. John Mitchell was Attorney General and later President Nixon's campaign director; Mitchell resigned shortly after the Watergate burglary. The Senate Watergate committee wants to know which of the President's associates helped plan the break-in at Democrat headquarters and which ones knew of or helped in covering up the scandal.

    G. Gordon Liddy is a former FBI man who worked on the Nixon re-election committee; E. Howard Hunt is a former CIA agent who had been involved in fixing elections abroad; in 1971 and 1972 he was a White House consultant. James McCord is a former CIA and FBI agent who was security chief for the Nixon campaign. Three of the men who broke into the Watergate were part of a political espionage ring. They were hired in the summer of 1971. At that time the New York Times had just published the Pentagon Papers and polls showed President Nixon as being less popular than Senator Edmund Muskie.

    The White House went to work on both problems. In September, the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist was broken into and Ellsberg's records were gone through. That mission was carried out under the authorization of White House aide Egil Krogh. Hunt and Liddy were aided by the CIA after John Ehrlichman so requested. Nine months later the Watergate building was burglarized. In the intervening nine months it appears that Hunt and others engaged in efforts to sabotage the Democratic party. [NBC]

  • The Watergate burglars may have been part of a larger operation to disrupt the Democrats. A letter distributed in Florida by the Nixon campaign claimed to be sent by "Citizens For Muskie." That letter accused rival Democrats Hubert Humphrey and Henry Jackson of sexual misconduct. Two men are now under indictment in Florida for having fabricated the phony letter.

    Donald Segretti is believed to be the key man in carrying out political sabotage. Segretti was hired by Dwight Chapin and Gordon Strachan, White House assistant to H.R. Haldeman. Chapin was Segretti's main contact. He is said to have told President Nixon's personal attorney Herbert Kalmbach to pay Segretti $30,000. E. Howard Hunt is accused of leading the White House attempt to disrupt Democratic primary campaigns. A letter discrediting Muskie in the New Hampshire primary may have been connected with political sabotage.

    Muskie campaign director Berl Bernhard claims that a schedule of appointments for the entire Muskie campaign was stolen. In the New Hampshire primary, some organization called people between midnight and 3 a.m. identifying itself as the Muskie campaign and soliciting support. Other incidents could also have been sabotage-related.

    The aim of the sabotage ring was to help George McGovern by hurting his opponents. The White House felt that McGovern would be the weakest opponent. Former Nixon campaign treasurer Hugh Sloan has testified that the Nixon campaign collected $1-2 million in cash before the April 7, 1972, law requiring contributions to be reported was passed. Records of donations were destroyed. It is believed that G. Gordon Liddy got $235,000 for political sabotage. Herbert Kalmbach got $30-40,000 from the campaign treasury and gave it to Donald Segretti for spying and sabotage. $350,000 was given to H.R. Haldeman to be used as "hush money." $275,000 is not yet accounted for.

    The Senate Watergate committee will investigate Republican political contributions and sabotage as well as the Watergate incident itself; NBC will cover the Senate Watergate investigations live beginning Thursday morning. [NBC]

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