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Friday, June 17th marks 50th Anniversary of the Watergate complex break-in

President Nixon waves outside the White House after his farewell address Aug. 9, 1974.
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
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President Nixon waves outside the White House after his farewell address Aug. 9, 1974.

June 17, 1972 five men infiltrated the Democratic National Committee headquarters. With ties to the Committee to Re-Elect President Richard Nixon, a cover-up followed. It would lead to hearings and the impeachment of Nixon. Gerald R. Ford would assume the presidency and pardon Nixon. Grand Rapids’ Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum is exploring the legacy.

“My work is about the celebration of the American presidency as an institution that can be a bulwark for democracy, against socialism on the left, against authoritarianism on the right, and we need to bolster and treasure in Revere that institution. But I also recognize that there have been some people who held the office who have not lived up to the standards that we require the office. And so, my message is really what about leadership in the executive having the right leaders to take this country through the 21st century and for hopefully many centuries and beyond as a beacon of democracy and freedom to the rest of the world.”

Tevi Troy is Director of the Presidential Leadership Initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He’s former Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, presidential historian and author of the book, Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump.

“I think it's a great question. It’s one I've been given a lot of thought to. So, I think if you can have a leader who has great communication skills. Who has a vision who can articulate it to both sides of the aisle. Who stand strong in a crisis. Who can handle infighting on his team

while still being willing to hear different points of view and who is a curious leader, I think that would be the person who would serve us well in the 21st century.”

The Ironies of Watergate and Three Presidencies: Nixon, Ford, and Carter – and Beyond begins @ 7pm at Grand Rapids Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.