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Library of Congress, WGBH Digitize Watergate Hearings

Even as some critics of Donald Trump have been using the "I" word (impeach), the Library of Congress and WGBH Boston announced Friday (Nov. 3) that "one of the most popular series in public broadcasting" is now available for online viewing: the 1973 Watergate hearings that resulted in the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

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The move marks the first time in 44 years that the broadcasts will be available for viewing, this time online.

Public TV covered the Watergate hearings gavel-to-gavel and they were must-watch TV for many Baby Boomers. Noncommercial station WETA Washington donated the tapes, which have been digitized and are available as part of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting ( All 51 days of coverage are included.

WGBH and the Library of Congress jointly oversee the archive.

The Senate Watergate Committee hearings ran from May 17 to Nov. 15, presided over by the ironically Southern and avuncular committee chairman, Sam Ervin (D-N.C.), who became a national celebrity. 

Related | 15 Figures Who Made Watergate an American Epic

The Library of Congress noted that the hearings marked the first uniting of Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer as anchors of the coverage, which it said "became a model for public television and, later, C-SPAN."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.