Night watchman Frank Willis was making his rounds on the night of June 17, 1972. As he passed one of the doors in the office building’s parking complex, he noticed a piece of duct tape on the latch, preventing it from locking. It didn’t strike him as particularly unusual, so he removed the tape and continued on his rounds.
On his next pass, he found duct tape again covering the door’s latch. This raised his suspicions, and he began a thorough search of the building.
Willis could hardly have imagined that the duct tape had started a chain of events that would lead to the fall of a presidency. The building where he served as a security guard was the Watergate Hotel. His actions that night uncovered the amateurish burglary attempt by five men who had been hired to steal information from the Democratic National Committee Headquarters. Over the course of the next two years, the crime and subsequent attempted cover-up would lead all the way to President Richard Nixon, who resigned his office on August 9, 1974.
At the time Willis broke up the Watergate burglary, he was making $80 per week. Because of his role in capturing the burglars, he was able to get another security job with better hours, earning him $85 per week.
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