Forty years ago, all of America learned the name of a particular condominium, hotel and office complex along the Potomac in the nation’s capital.
“Watergate” has been irrevocably tattooed on the national psyche, the story so familiar that only the very young need a primer. For most, the very name Watergate is synonymous with government corruption and the uniquely odd and criminally paranoid 37th president of the United States, Richard M. Nixon.
To members of a certain generation, it is a where-were-you-when question. Where were you during the Watergate hearings? For those over 50 or so, the answer likely is “glued to the television.” The Watergate hearings were great TV not only because of the content of the investigation but also because of the characters. Two consistently spring to mind — Sam Ervin, the colorful North Carolina senator who oversaw the Senate hearings. And Maureen Dean, the gorgeous blond wife of then-White House counsel (and now-ubiquitous) John Dean. Many will confess that the ethereal Mo, who wore her platinum hair pulled back into a tight bun and sat like a sparkling hallucination in a battlefield of wounded men, was as mesmerizing as the testimony.