Presentation Title

The Overlooked Investigator of Watergate: Senator Robert C. Byrd's Influence

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

Watergate, Byrd, Nixon

Biography

I am currently working on a Masters in Public Administration at Marshall University. I have previously earned a Bachelors of Science with a major in Agriculture and Extension Education and a Masters of Science with a major in Agriculture both from West Virginia University. I am in my first year at Spring Valley High School as the Agriculture Education Teacher. I previously taught for four years at Lincoln County High School and worked one year for the Virginia Extension Service.

Major

Masters of Public Administration

Advisor for this project

Damien Arthur

Start Date

20-4-2017 9:15 AM

End Date

20-4-2017 10:30 AM

Abstract

The Honorable Senator Robert C. Byrd valiantly served his home state of West Virginia as a member of the United States Congress for fifty-eight years. Ask any West Virginian and they will likely tell you how Senator Byrd provided funds for his state, enhanced the safety of the state’s industrial workers, and worked tirelessly to make American extraction industries the fuel of the Republics manufacturing. What most West Virginians don’t know, however, is the impact Senator Byrd had on shining a light on the most trying time of the 1970’s – the Watergate affair.

Drive any road or cross any number of bridges in West Virginia and signs abundantly proclaim the contribution that Senator Byrd has had on the states infrastructure. He should also be mentioned along with the likes of Howard Baker, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and Mark Felt in shining the light of truth on the dark cover-up perpetrated by President Richard Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John Dean, and many more in the inner workings of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (C.R.E.E.P.). Senator Byrd has largely been left out of the Watergate narrative due to his standing as a senator from a largely innocuous state in the union.

The goal of this presentation is to show not only the citizens of West Virginian but also the denizens in the realm of public history that Senator Byrd should be placed high atop the scale along with the previously mentioned Baker, Bernstein, Felt, and Woodward. Had it not been for his tenacity, the corruption long embedded in the Nixon White House would not have been uncovered and history needs to properly recognize the Senator for his contribution.

Because of the exhaustive nature that Senator Byrd’s associates on Capitol Hill went through to preserve his legacy, the Byrd Center at Shepherd University has kept and archived his work from his nearly six decades in Washington. In searching this archive for the specific time period between June of 1972 and August of 1974, we can finally shine a light on Senator Byrd’s work on behalf of all American’s, not just West Virginian’s, in finding the truth about - to paraphrase Howard Baker - what the President knew and when he knew it.

For far too long, Woodward and Bernstein have been the folk heroes who brought down a President and essentially undid an election. They are, however, merely one part of the Watergate saga. Men like Senator Byrd who took their oaths of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” did so in a time when the Constitution and article II of that document were in peril. Woodward and Bernstein got the snowball of Watergate careening down the hill, but a tenacious Senator rolled it down one of the many mountains he grew up amongst.

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Apr 20th, 9:15 AM Apr 20th, 10:30 AM

The Overlooked Investigator of Watergate: Senator Robert C. Byrd's Influence

The Honorable Senator Robert C. Byrd valiantly served his home state of West Virginia as a member of the United States Congress for fifty-eight years. Ask any West Virginian and they will likely tell you how Senator Byrd provided funds for his state, enhanced the safety of the state’s industrial workers, and worked tirelessly to make American extraction industries the fuel of the Republics manufacturing. What most West Virginians don’t know, however, is the impact Senator Byrd had on shining a light on the most trying time of the 1970’s – the Watergate affair.

Drive any road or cross any number of bridges in West Virginia and signs abundantly proclaim the contribution that Senator Byrd has had on the states infrastructure. He should also be mentioned along with the likes of Howard Baker, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and Mark Felt in shining the light of truth on the dark cover-up perpetrated by President Richard Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, John Dean, and many more in the inner workings of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (C.R.E.E.P.). Senator Byrd has largely been left out of the Watergate narrative due to his standing as a senator from a largely innocuous state in the union.

The goal of this presentation is to show not only the citizens of West Virginian but also the denizens in the realm of public history that Senator Byrd should be placed high atop the scale along with the previously mentioned Baker, Bernstein, Felt, and Woodward. Had it not been for his tenacity, the corruption long embedded in the Nixon White House would not have been uncovered and history needs to properly recognize the Senator for his contribution.

Because of the exhaustive nature that Senator Byrd’s associates on Capitol Hill went through to preserve his legacy, the Byrd Center at Shepherd University has kept and archived his work from his nearly six decades in Washington. In searching this archive for the specific time period between June of 1972 and August of 1974, we can finally shine a light on Senator Byrd’s work on behalf of all American’s, not just West Virginian’s, in finding the truth about - to paraphrase Howard Baker - what the President knew and when he knew it.

For far too long, Woodward and Bernstein have been the folk heroes who brought down a President and essentially undid an election. They are, however, merely one part of the Watergate saga. Men like Senator Byrd who took their oaths of office to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” did so in a time when the Constitution and article II of that document were in peril. Woodward and Bernstein got the snowball of Watergate careening down the hill, but a tenacious Senator rolled it down one of the many mountains he grew up amongst.