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Since opening in 1965, the Watergate complex has been one of Washington’s chicest addresses, a home to power brokers from both political parties and the epicenter of a scandal that brought down a president. Join writer and political consultant Joseph Rodota for a new perspective into the building, the people, and the scandals of the Watergate.
Fifty years since the infamous Watergate break-in, reexamine the history of the place where it all began. Students will learn about the complex’s controversial beginnings — its construction was protested from the very start. Once built, the Watergate housed a litany of powerful figures, from politicians to celebrities, and continues to host world-class dining, events, and concerts to this day. But any discussion of the Watergate, Rodota must also address the Nixon break-in scandal that made it a household name and its lasting cultural influence.
The Washington Post once called the Watergate a “glittering Potomac Titanic.” Learn about the architectural history of Watergate, from the planning stages to construction to opening.
Over the years, Watergate residents have included an intriguing cast of politicians, journalists, socialites and spies. Discover some of the most famous names who have called the Watergate home and the untold stories of their time at the complex.
On June 17, 1972, the history of the Watergate infamously changed. Unravel how the Nixon break-in transformed the Watergate’s reputation and spawned generations of “-gate” scandals, from Koreagate to Deflategate.
Purchase The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address.
Class will take place on Thursdays, February 10, 17, and 24 from 2-3 pm ET. This class will be recorded for later viewing by patrons.
Online programs:An access link will be emailed to you after purchase
In-person programs:Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination is Required for all adults and children ages 12+. Proof of vaccination for children ages 5+ is required for certain programs. Learn more.
Masks must be worn at all times by everyone over the age of 2.
Joseph Rodota is a writer who focuses on overlooked stories in American political history.
His book The Watergate: Inside America’s Most Infamous Address (William Morrow, 2018), tells the complete a history of the midcentury complex that became synonymous with scandal.
He is the host of Oppo File, a new podcast about the history and practice of opposition research. The podcast made its debut in June 2020 among the top 100 history podcasts on Apple Podcasts …
He is the host of Oppo File, a new podcast about the history and practice of opposition research. The podcast made its debut in June 2020 among the top 100 history podcasts on Apple Podcasts.
His play The Jeane Dixon Effect, a one-woman show based on the life of the “celebrity psychic” Jeane Dixon, has been released as an audio play.
Rodota is the author of Chessman, a play about the final days of Caryl Chessman, the “Red Light Bandit,” as seen through the eyes of Governor Pat Brown and his family. Chessman premiered at Sacramento’s B Street Theatre in 2016 in a sold-out run.
Rodota has worked at the highest levels of federal, state, and local politics for more than 30 years. He served as a writer and communications manager in the Reagan White House and as a top campaign and government aide to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In October 2008, as part of a team of bipartisan political consultants who managed the campaign against Proposition 8, Rodota ran the rapid-response “war room.”
Shakespeare with Leo Schaff