News in Brief

Watergate Secrets Revealed in New Nixon Museum Exhibit

This past week the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum located in Yorba Linda released a new exhibit intended to shed light on the events that took place throughout the unfolding of the 1972 Watergate Scandal.

On the evening of June 17, 1972, the Democratic National Committee Headquarters, located in the Watergate Hotel and Office Building in Washington, DC, was broken into and compromising information was stolen from the office. These events sparked a national uproar that centered around President Nixon, who at the time was leading the country in an unpopular war and an even more unpopular mandatory draft. The public did not take kindly to the alleged presidential cover-ups and the government’s secretive actions. With the country in turmoil, President Nixon resigned from office and withdrew from politics.

The exhibit at the Nixon Presidential Library was created by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, and is intended to be unbiased and informative to the public. The museum had previously held an exhibit that tried to establish reasonable doubt in the minds of the public, essentially underplaying the severity of the situation. The new exhibit, however, presents the facts — many of which the public will be seeing for the first time — in a non-leading way so that the public is left to form their own sentiments on the scandal.

“[The exhibit is] designed to help today’s visitor make sense of the web of personalities, actions and intentions at the heart of the Watergate Scandal,” the National Archive and Records Administration said. “[The exhibit also] chronicles the events beginning in June 1971, with the leak of the Pentagon Papers and the formation of a clandestine White House group known as the Plumbers, and ending with former President Richard Nixon’s public explanations of Watergate after he left office.”

Although sentiments over the past four decades have been mixed over President Nixon’s actions, his followers still believe that there is an underlying story to tell and that President Nixon will be a famous figure in history rather than an infamous one.

It is for this reason that after plenty of debate and hesitance over this exhibit, Nixon’s aide John Taylor decided that it was pertinent for the truth to be displayed. “If we’re really sure the President over time will be seen as the great President some of us believe he is, we can’t be afraid of what someone might say that’s critical,” Taylor said.

The museum felt as though the consensus of their patrons was that the previous exhibit, which was established in 1990, was biased in favor of Nixon. However, it has been publicly expressed recently in the Los Angeles Times. Professor Jon Wiener, a UC Irvine history professor, recently wrote in an opinion article, “Historians often complain that presidential libraries tend to present rosy pictures of former presidents, ignoring anything controversial. The Nixon Library’s original Watergate exhibit was one of the worst offenders. It took a long time, but at the new Watergate exhibit at the Nixon Library, our long national nightmare really is over — at last.”

His sentiments are shared by many, and finally the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum has addressed the issue to enlighten the public.

With new facts introduced into the exhibit and previously misguided notions abolished, the new Watergate Exhibit at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum is sure to draw crowds to discover the secrets that time (and the U.S. government) have kept secret.

Robot-Assisted Surgery at Medical Center First of its Kind

UC Irvine Medical Center surgeon Dr. Amir Abolhoda performed Orange County’s first robot-assisted lobectomy to treat lung cancer on Friday, March 25, 2011.

Dr. Abolhoda used the da Vinci surgical robot to remove the lowest lobe of the right lung and to take samples of nearby lymph nodes in a 52-year-old patient with early-stage lung cancer. The minimally invasive procedure offers a more precise method of extracting the cancerous tissue in the lungs, and results in less pain and a shorter duration of recovery.

Putting For A Cause: Golfing for a Greater Good

A philanthropic Orange County golf tournament will benefit UCI dermatology on April 18. All proceeds will go toward UC Irvine’s department of dermatology in effort to find a cure for melanoma.

The tournament is the eighth annual Hack’n’ Smack Kerry Daveline Memorial Celebrity Gold Classic, and will take place at El Caballero Club in Tarzana at 11 a.m. The tournament is presented by The Actors’ Network and was first started in April 2004. Celebrity appearances will include Ryan Matthews of the San Diego Chargers and actors J. K. Simmons, Jeremy Sumpter and  Kevin Sorbo.

Urban Arts Festival Provides Quality Hip-Hop Appearances

UC Irvine’s Hip-Hop Congress hosted their Urban Arts Festival on April 6 in the Student Center’s Pacific Ballroom, featuring performances by native California rappers.

The lineup included Dom Kennedy from Leimart Park in LA, Fashawn from Fresno, Yancy Deron of AME from Pasadena and Cobe Obeah from LA.