Boca Woman Runs Unofficial Watergate Museum
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) _ A woman fascinated with Watergate has built an unofficial museum to the 1972 break-in that led to the only presidential resignation in U.S. history.
Malka Kornblatt’s collection will go on display at Old Town Hall in Boca Raton today, the 20th anniversary of the Watergate burglary.
″The reason I ate, slept and breathed Watergate for two years is that we were living such a historical event,″ Kornblatt said. ″It’s one thing to pick up a history book and record it, but to live it.″
Included in her collection is a set of tickets printed for the impeachment proceedings that Richard Nixon prevented with his resignation in August 1974.
She also has a copy of the articles of impeachment autographed by all 36 committee members who recommended them to the full House of Representatives and a copy of Nixon’s terse resignation letter.
″Dear Mr. Secretary,″ Nixon wrote on White House stationery to then- Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, ″I hereby resign the Office of President of the United States. Sincerely, Richard Nixon.″
Kornblatt marvels at its simplicity: ″This was a changing of power in the greatest country in the world with one sentence. When you look at the changes in other countries with coups and revolutions ... it’s mind-boggling.″
Kornblatt was a dean at Washington University in St. Louis when the Watergate break-in became news. She collected every issue of The New York Times and The Washington Post to learn more about the subject.
In July 1974, she spent a week in Washington.
She stayed in Room 723 of the Howard Johnson’s, where the burglars gathered before breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate hotel and apartment complex across the street.
A key and photographs of the room and Democratic headquarters are mementos of the visit.
She hung around the Republican cloakroom so much that she became friends with the U.S. House doorkeeper, who gave her the impeachment tickets, she said.