Lessons in Black History – Frank Wills


Frank Wills – On June 17, 1972, security guard Frank Wills was making his rounds at the Watergate Hotel, when he noticed that a lock on one of the doors was being held open by a piece of duct tape. Wills called the police to report a break-in at the Watergate Hotel, which was the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The break-in that Wills discovered led to a massive investigation and what history now simply refers to as Watergate. The Watergate investigation uncovered corruption at the highest levels of government, and eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Newspaper reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are the men credited with blowing the lid off Watergate and bringing down Nixon, but it all started with Frank Wills. Catapulted into the national spotlight, Wills unfortunately was not prepared for the fame that attached itself to him. His life pretty much spun out of control after Watergate, and in 1983 he was busted for shoplifting. He spent most of his life living in poverty, until he died in 2000 of a brain tumor at the age of 52.

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