If you think binge watching began with The Sopranos or House of Cards, think again.
Forty years ago this summer, millions of American sat glued to their TVs, watching a program packed with the drama, larger-than-life characters, and plot twists worthy of today's binge-worthy best. And it was all live and all too real. On July 24, 1974, members of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee began meeting in a televised debate following the Watergate hearings to decide whether President Richard M. Nixon should be impeached.
TV Guide ranks Nixon's resignation as the 4th biggest news moment of all time.
At a time when most Americans had perhaps 10 channels to choose from and often far less, the three major networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC, took turns broadcasting the evening portions of the committee hearings. PBS showed the morning and afternoon sessions, giving viewers a total of 13 hours a day of coverage. The proceedings lasted six tense, cliff-hanging days. When it was over, the House returned its decision: proceed with impeachment.
Ten days later, on August 8, 1974, Nixon appeared on national TV to announce that he was resigning the Presidency effective the next day. "I have never been a quitter," the 61-year-old told a viewing audience estimated at 130 million, almost 50 percent of the population at the time. "To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President, I must put the interest of America first."
Cable news never had it so good.
TV Guide ranks Nixon's resignation as the 4thbiggest news moment of all time. (#1 is the John F. Kennedy assassination; #2 the first moon landing; #3 events of September 11.) To mark the moment, The Connectivist collected some of the most interesting Nixon coverage from across the web and TV this week. From the serious to the hilarious, there's plenty to binge on here.
• HBO documentary: "Nixon by Nixon: In His Own Words"
• PBS documentary: "Dick Cavett's Watergate" featuring fresh interviews with reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, authors of All the President's Men. As a talk show host in 1974, Cavett interviewed many Watergate figures
• History Channel video: House Judiciary Committee recommends impeachment
• CNN Press Room video: Host Candy Crowley interviews Carl Bernstein and former CBS White House reporter Dan Rather
• The Colbert Report goes retro with a mock 1974 newscast of the resignation.
• Saturday Night Live video: Dan Ackroyd plays Nixon in "Final Days" in 1976