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May 5, 2006

Contact: Michael Widener, Head of Special Collections, Tarlton Law Library, (512) 471-7263, mwidener@law.utexas.edu.

Law Library Exhibit Examines Watergate

AUSTIN, Texas — A new exhibit by the Tarlton Law Library titled "Writing Watergate: Written Works from the White House and Beyond" is on display in The University of Texas School of Law's Susman Godfrey Atrium through November 2006. The exhibit looks at how the professional roles of four skilled writers shaped the way they wrote about Watergate.

The exhibit highlights documents and artifacts from two Tarlton Law Library manuscript collections, the Charles Alan Wright Papers and the Harold J. "Tex" Lezar Papers. "Both collections are recent acquisitions for the Law Library and reflect the public service of individuals who have a long association with the Law School," said Professor Roy Mersky, Harry M. Reasoner Regents Chair in Law and Director of Research at the Tarlton Law Library. "Together these collections provide a fascinating look at what went on behind the scenes at the White House during Watergate."

Charles Alan Wright was one of the great constitutional law scholars of the 20th century and a longtime faculty member at the Law School. He served as President Richard Nixon’s attorney in the Watergate tapes litigation of 1973. Tex Lezar, a 1976 graduate of the Law School, served as one of President Nixon’s speechwriters from 1971-1974, and collaborated with head speechwriter Ray Price on a number of Watergate statements.

Featured in the display are outlines, drafts, memos and correspondence that reflect the unique challenges that Wright and Lezar each faced while working for the White House. Notable items include one of Tex Lezar's early drafts of a statement on the Ellsberg break-in, and the last written exchange between Charles Alan Wright and Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox before Cox was fired in the "Saturday Night Massacre."

The exhibit also includes reproductions of documents in the Woodward-Bernstein Watergate files, on loan from the Harry Ransom Center. The research notes and interview transcripts on display provide a detailed look into the Woodward and Bernstein investigation into Watergate.

"Writing Watergate" was curated by Adrienne Sonder, Assistant Archivist at the Tarlton Law Library, with assistance from Michael Widener and Scott Webel.

Related Links:
Tarlton Law Library: http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/