The Watergate was an office-apartment-hotel complex on the banks of the Potomic River in downtown Washington. It was an odd choice for the national headquarters of the Democratic Party, as it had come to be identified with Washington's Republican ruling class. Its tenants included John and Martha Mitchell, Maurice Stans, Bob Dole, Rose Mary Woods, and Hadley's other cousin, Anna Chenault.

Two years prior to the unfortunate break-in, one hundred anti-Nixon demonstrators stormed the Watergate chanting "Pigs", "Fascists" and "Seig Heil". They were restrained by cops with tear gas and billy clubs, another obvious symbol of the Nixon administration. Carl Bernstein, who was covering the story for the Washington Post, was knocked to the ground by a cop who mistook him for a worthless, longhaired miscreant.

Recently the Watergate returned to notoriety as the residence of Monica Lewinsky.

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