It was on 7 February, 1973, that the US Senate voted 77 – 0 to approve Senate Resolution 60 and establish a select committee to investigate Watergate, with Senator Sam Ervin named chairman the next day.
The committee hearings were televised and the office of the Committee Counsel was flooded with as many as 200 telegrams a day and thousands of letters per week. Many corresponded questions that they hoped the Counsel would put to the witnesses. Never had so many people actively participated in such an intimate investigation of their own government. The witnesses, from office managers to beat cops to the former Attorney General of the United States and the one time white house chief of staff, became as familiar as the neighbors with their faces beamed nightly into American living rooms.
The testimony ranged from poignant confessions to terse denials. As the clip below illustrates, the testimony could also be combative. In this exchange, White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman and his Counsel, John Wilson, tussle with Committee Chair Sam Ervin and the committee Counsel, Sam Dash…..