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Nixon tapes span Watergate, Soviet summit

August 22, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this June 18,1973 file photo, Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev, left, whispers in the ear of President Richard M. Nixon as the two leaders stand on a balcony at the White House in Washington. The meeting was the only summit ever recorded on an American presidential taping system. The last 340 hours of tapes from Nixon’s White House were released Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, along with more than 140,000 pages of text materials. (AP Photo/File)

YORBA LINDA, Calif. (AP) — President Richard Nixon had just delivered his first major national address on the Watergate scandal that would ultimately cost him the White House when the calls of support began pouring in.

Audio tapes released Wednesday show that within hours of the speech on April 30, 1973, the beleaguered 37th president heard from Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and evangelist Billy Graham.

The calls were captured on a secret recording system that Nixon used to tape 3,700 hours of phone calls and private meetings in his executive offices between February 1971 and July 1973.

The final chronological installment of those tapes — 340 hours — were posted online by the National Archives and Records Administration as part of a release that also includes more than 140,000 pages of text documents. Another 700 hours of tapes remain sealed for national security and privacy reasons.

Since 2007, the National Archives has released hundreds of hours of the tapes, offering the public an unvarnished and sometimes shocking view of the inner workings of Nixon’s administration and insight into the president’s private musings on everything from Watergate to Vietnam.

Wednesday’s release did not include significant new material on Watergate, but did show the incredible strain on Nixon in the summer of 1973 with the growing scandal stemming from the 1972 break-in at Democratic headquarters by burglars tied to the president’s re-election committee.

The day Nixon gave his Login to read more

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