The name of an office complex in Washington, D.C.-Watergate-filled the daily headlines and evening news programs after five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters there in 1972.
Two years later the incident would result in the resignation of President Richard Nixon, whose administration was charged with an attempted cover-up of the break-in. Several top administration officials were convicted and served prison time on related charges.
Nixon, who had just been re-elected in November 1972, is the only president in history to resign from office.
Photos from The Associated Press
Watergate was among several newsmaking events that occurred 40 years ago, but have continued to impact the nation and world today.
Marietta attorney and former Ohio Rep. Jennifer Garrison was 10 years old in 1972, but recalled the political fallout that lasted for years after Watergate. While attending college in Washington, D.C., she became interested in books and articles about the scandal.
"And Watergate is still significant to politics today," she said. "The media became more deeply involved in covering political campaigns and candidates. And since then there has been a lot more emphasis, not only on candidates, but also on how they got there."
Average cost of new house-$27,550.
Average income per year-$11,800.
Average monthly rent-$165.
Cost of a gallon of gas-55 cents.
Other happenings in 1972:
Thirteen Catholics were killed when British soldiers fired into the crowd during a civil rights march in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The day was later dubbed Bloody Sunday.
President Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing, China for a week-long "journey for peace" visit.
Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit Moscow. While there he participated in a week of summit talks at the Kremlin that eventually resulted in a strategic arms pact.
Alabama Gov. George Wallace was shot and wounded while campaigning for president at a Maryland shopping center.
Hurricane Agnes hit the east coast of the U.S. in June, killing hundreds.
Paul Berg, a Stanford University biochemist, pasted two DNA strands together to form a hybrid circular molecule. This was the first recombinant DNA molecule. The first successful DNA cloning experiments were also performed in California that year.
Mark Spitz earns a record seven gold medals for the U.S. swim team in the summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
Sources: World Almanac; BBC; thepeoplehistory.com; genome.gov and Times research.
Garrison said the break-in itself was not so scandalous as the administrative cover-ups afterward.
"And where the buck stopped in Watergate was at the desk of the most powerful man in the country," she said.
The incident began with the five burglars arrested in the Watergate offices in June where it was later learned they were attempting to gather information on the Democrats that would benefit Republican Nixon's re-election campaign.
The break-in was linked to a larger effort by Nixon election aides that included spying, sabotage and "hush money" payoffs.
The president and White House officials initially denied having any knowledge of the activities, but in 1974 the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Nixon to turn a series of audio tapes related to the case over to the special prosecutor.
The tapes clearly revealed the president and others knew about the events from the beginning and had tried to cover it up.
Impeachment proceedings were underway by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee when Nixon resigned in August of 1974. A month later his successor, Vice President Gerald Ford, granted a pardon to the former chief executive.
Much of what the public knew about the case was through investigative work from Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who relied heavily on a mysterious informant known at the time only as "Deep Throat."
In 2005 it was finally revealed that "Deep Throat" was Mark Felt, an official with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Felt died in December 2008.
The Vietnam War
By 1972 America's decades-long involvement in the Vietnam War was winding down. Combat troops were withdrawn in August and seven months later the last U.S. troops were pulled out of the country.
"They were a forgotten group when they returned home and there was a lot of protesting going on here at the time," said Carl Magers, 71, of Pinehurst.
He said his friends who served in Vietnam didn't talk much about their experience after coming home because it was such an unpopular war and they didn't want to stand out.
"It wasn't their fault," Magers added. "The administration made the decision for our troops to stay there."
Stephen Gill, 57, of Marietta, had just graduated from high school in Lisbon, Ohio, in 1972.
"I registered for selective service in 1972 but the next year they ended the draft," he said.
"Some people think we lost the war in Vietnam because we had to pull out," Gill said. "I've always believed in peace, not war, but sometimes it may be necessary. Still, we should always try to negotiate first."
Kelvin Arnett, 56, was a junior at Belpre High School in 1972 and joined the Navy after graduating in 1973. Later, in 1978, he also enlisted in the Air Force.
"All the protesting and negative feelings about the military was so different back then," he said, noting that the country seems to have turned a corner since Vietnam.
"When soldiers return home from war now they're treated much better and that makes all the difference," Arnett said.
In an article entitled "The Postwar Impact of Vietnam," University of New Hampshire history professor Harvard Sitikoff noted the U.S. paid a high political cost for the Vietnam War.
"...It weakened public faith in government, and in the honesty and competence of its leaders. Indeed, skepticism, if not cynicism, and a high degree of suspicion of and distrust toward authority of all kind characterized the views of an increasing number of Americans in the wake of the war," Sitikoff wrote.
Women and sports
The world changed dramatically for American women in 1972 as the U.S. Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment. And the similar passage of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 prevented sex discrimination in schools.
"That made a huge difference, allowing girls to participate in competitive sports, something they couldn't do before," said Tina Thomas, a 1974 Marietta High School graduate who was class president in 1972.
She said prior to the passage of Title IX, girls only had non-contact gym activities like dancing, tumbling and volleyball.
"We played volleyball but we couldn't represent our school in competition," Thomas recalled.
Working with then-MHS Principal Ben Webb and about 20 girls who wanted to play on school sports teams, Thomas helped bring girls teams into the school.
"The girls loved to play sports-it teaches leadership skills, discipline, skill development and how to win and lose," she said. "And we had truly talented female athletes but it was frustrating that they could play other sports but couldn't represent their school in intercollegiate games."
All that changed in 1972. In fact, that same year women were finally allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon and other marathons around the country, although they could unofficially run before.
"It had a great impact on my life, too," Thomas said, noting that she's not only been able to play but has coached several teams over the last 40 years.
Title IX required gender equality not only in sports, but for both boys and girls in any federally-funded educational program.
According to a National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education report, prior to Title IX female students were not allowed to take certain courses, such as auto mechanics or criminal justice in some schools, and male students could not take home economics.
The report also noted that after winning two gold medals in the 1964 Olympics, swimmer Donna de Varona could not obtain a college swimming scholarship because they did not exist for women.
The U.S. Department of Education has reported, because of Title IX, by 1997 more than 100,000 women participated in intercollegiate athletics, a four-fold increase from 1971. And by 1996 the number of women in high school athletics had increased to 2.4 million, from only 300,000 in 1971.
Space shuttle program
Ryan Hebert of Marietta wasn't born until 1973 but he grew up with the U.S. shuttle program, instituted by President Nixon in 1972.
"I think the shuttles made a big difference to space exploration," he said. "It was a remarkable program and now we're planning to go to Mars and maybe other planets. It started a real adventure."
Hebert said he would never forget the shuttle Challenger explosion that occurred on Saturday's date, Jan. 28, in 1986.
"I was still in school but I'll always remember the year the shuttle blew up," Hebert added. "That really had a major impact on me."
The Challenger exploded just seconds after launch from Cape Canaveral, killing all seven crew members, including a school teacher, Christa McAuliffe, who went along for the ride.
The program suffered another tragedy on Feb. 1, 2003, when the shuttle Columbia fell apart during re-entry. All seven crew members were also killed in that accident.
But the program, which ended with the last shuttle flight in July 2011, also had plenty of achievements.
According to the NASA website, shuttles Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour repeatedly carried crews into orbit who launched, recovered and repaired satellites, conducted cutting-edge research and built the International Space Station.
One of the shuttle program's greatest accomplishments was the Discovery's launch of the Hubble telescope in 1990 that has since provided scientists with an unparalleled look at the universe from space.
But 1972 had its tragedies as well.
On Sept. 5, eight Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and killed 11 members of Israel's team from the Olympic village at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. The terrorists were reportedly seeking the release of more than 200 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.
Ray Fluharty, 62, of Marietta, followed details of the incident on television.
"I had recently returned from Germany where I had served as a Russian linguist for the Air Force," he said. "And the site of the Olympics and the taking of the hostages was just 10 or 12 miles from where I was stationed."
Later Fluharty and his wife returned to Europe where he worked as a civilian for the U.S. military. He felt there was more tension in the country after the 1972 terrorist attack at the Olympics.
"We had to keep our eyes open and were very cautious wherever we traveled after we went back," he said. "We probably weren't in any danger at the time but (after 1972) you just knew something could happen."