SAT Subject US History Practice Question 757: Answer and Explanation
18. What major consequence occurred as a result of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel?
A. The New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers.
B. President Reagan had to discuss the diversion of money to the Contras.
C. President Nixon resigned.
D. The truth about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was revealed.
E. The October Surprise was revealed, and Carter's efforts to free the hostages in Iran were given new respect.
Correct Answer: C
The 1972 break-in at the Watergate Hotel was the beginning of the Watergate Scandal, which forced Richard Nixon to resign. The Pentagon Papers (A) were leaked to the New York Times by the Pentagon researcher Daniel Ellsberg, an action not directly related to the Watergate break-in, although Nixon's "plumbers" also broke into Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in an attempt to discredit Ellsberg. The Reagan administration's (B) Iran-Contra scandal came to light in 1986, a decade after Watergate. The truth about the Gulf of Tonkin Incident (D) was revealed in Senate hearings led by William Fulbright. The October Surprise (E) was an accusation that Ronald Reagan's aides foiled negotiations between President Carter and the Iranians to free the hostages in Tehran so that Carter would lose the election of 1980. It did not involve a break-in and was not revealed in time to save Carter's reputation.