The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and former assistant Attorney General William Ruckelshaus will highlight a 40-year commemoration of the “Saturday Night Massacre” when President Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, setting in motion the events that led to the president’s resignation.
Supreme Court Justice Stephan Breyer, who was on Cox’s staff, has been invited to speak.
The event will be held on Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Club’s Holeman Lounge. Tickets are $5.00 for members and $10.00 for nonmembers. They can be purchased through the Club’s website.
As the Watergate investigation zeroed in on President Nixon, he ordered on Oct. 20, 1973 that Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox be fired. Attorney General Elliott Richardson and Ruckelshaus refused to carry out the order and resigned. The job fell to Solicitor General Robert Bork.
But the ensuing backlash of public opinion engulfed Nixon, and his presidency never recovered before he was forced to resign the following August. The Saturday Night Massacre remains a pivotal moment in modern American history, which demonstrated that even the president is not above the law.
This historic program will bring together key figures in these events, who will share recollections of the tense days in October of 1973 and discuss the impact that the Saturday Night Massacre and Watergate have had on America’s system of laws and government.
Joining Woodward and Ruckleshaus will be Philip Heymann, who was Cox’s deputy; Cox’s former press secretary, James Doyle; and Jill Wine-Banks, the only female trial lawyer on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force.
The program will be co-moderated by Gil Klein, chairman of the Club’s history and heritage committee, and Ken Gormley of Duquesne Law School and author of Archibald Cox’s biography.
The events of that day began at the National Press Club when Cox held a press conference that sparked Nixon’s decision to fire him. Snippets of that press conference will be shown during the presentation.
Former members of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force and Elliott Richardson’s team in the Attorney General’s office will be in the audience.
When & Where
The National Press Club
The National Press Club, a private club for journalists and communications professionals, has been a Washington institution for more than a century. It is also a world-class conference and meeting facility that hosts thousands of events each year for sophisticated clients from around the globe. And while these are the Club’s functions, its mission is to be The World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists. It is a social and business organization dedicated to supporting the ongoing improvement of the profession of journalism.