By Michael Williams
It seemed like a harmless college frat boy prank at first. Three Duke University Law School students who were all near the top of their class, wanted to find out what their final exam grades were. The three young men put together a clandestine plan to break into the dean’s office and take a look at their scores. It was a pointless act because the three young men were star pupils and had little to be concerned about as they had passed all their other exams.
Nonetheless, they put their plan into action. The door was locked and the three youths noticed a transom over the door leading to the dean’s office. Two of the young men lifted the third up one their shoulders and, the young man known as “Gloomy Gus” to his classmates, squirmed through the open transom and unlocked the door. The other two men quickly went inside and the three located the keys to the dean’s file cabinet and opened the drawer.
They quickly located their files and took a look at their grades. Satisfied with what they saw, they closed the file cabinet and put the keys back where they found them and left.
The irony of the break-in is that one of the three participants would later be involved in another infamous break-in. This one would secure him an ignominious place in history. Gloomy Gus later went into politics. His career was one laden with triumphs and disappointments. But, in 1969, he was elected President of the United States. By that time he had shed his moniker of Gloomy Gus and was known as Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon.
In June of 1972, Nixon was involved break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration’s attempted cover-up of its involvement. The scandal eventually led to the resignation of Richard Nixon, the President of the United States, on August 9, 1974, the only resignation of a U.S. President. The scandal also resulted in the indictment, trial, conviction and incarceration of 43 people, including dozens of Nixon’s top administration officials. The biggest irony of the Watergate break-in was, like the break-in at the dean’s office, the Watergate break-in was unnecessary as well. The break-in came just five months before the election which Nixon won by a landslide.
Michael Williams is the author of a book entitled “Stranger than Fiction: The Lincoln Curse.” The book is a collection of 50 strange and unusual but true stories. The stories will leave the reader convinced that perhaps Mark Twain was right when he said “truth is stranger than fiction.”
The book is 187 pages in a softbound edition with numerous photos. The book can be purchased from amazon.com for $19.95 plus shipping and handling or you can save shipping cost and save $2 on the purchase price by ordering a signed copy directly from the author. Send $17.95 to P.O. Box 6421 Sevierville, TN. 37864.
The book is available in Kindle on Amazon.com for $3.99. For more information visit the website www.strangerthanfictionnews.com.