August 21, 1971: Nixon's Enemies List is started by White House aides (though Nixon himself may not have been aware of it); to "use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies."
September 3, 1971: "White House Plumbers" E. Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy, and others. break into the offices of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist Lewis Fielding looking for material that might discredit Ellsberg, under the direction of John Ehrlichman or his staff within the White House. This was the Plumbers' first major operation.
By early 1972, the Plumbers, at this stage assigned to the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP), had become frustrated at the lack of additional assignments they were being asked to perform, and that any plans and proposals they suggested were being rejected by CREEP. Liddy and Hunt took their complaints to the White House – most likely to Charles Colson – and requested that the White House start putting pressure on CREEP to assign them new operations. It is likely that both Colson and White House Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman did so, starting the train of events that led to the Watergate break-ins a few months later. This narrative was confirmed in the famous "Cancer of the Presidency" conversation between Nixon and White House Counsel John Dean on March 21, 1973.
June 23, 1972: In the Oval Office, H.R. Haldeman recommends to President Nixon that they attempt to shut down the FBI investigation of the Watergate break-in, by having CIA Director Richard Helms and Deputy Director Vernon A. Walters tell acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray to, "Stay the hell out of this". Haldeman expects Gray will then seek and take advice from Deputy FBI Director Mark Felt, and Felt will obey direction from the White House out of ambition. Nixon agrees and gives the order. The conversation is recorded.
September 15, 1972: Hunt, Liddy, and the Watergate burglars are indicted by a federal grand jury.
January 8, 1973: Five defendants plead guilty as the burglary trial begins. Liddy and James W. McCord Jr. are convicted after the trial.
January 20, 1973: Nixon is inaugurated for his second term.
February 28, 1973: Confirmation hearings begin for confirming L. Patrick Gray as permanent Director of the FBI. During these hearings, Gray reveals that he had complied with an order from John Dean to provide daily updates on the Watergate investigation, and also that Dean had "probably lied" to FBI investigators.
March 17, 1973: Watergate burglar McCord writes a letter to Judge John Sirica, claiming that some of his testimony was perjured under pressure and that the burglary was not a CIA operation, but had involved other government officials, thereby leading the investigation to the White House.
April 6, 1973: White House counsel John Dean begins cooperating with federal Watergate prosecutors.
April 27, 1973: L. Patrick Gray resigns after it comes to light that he destroyed files from E. Howard Hunt's safe. William Ruckelshaus is appointed as his replacement.
April 30, 1973: Senior White House administration officials Ehrlichman, Haldeman, and Richard Kleindienst resign, and John Dean is fired.
July 27 to July 30, 1974: House Judiciary Committee passes Articles of Impeachment.
Early August 1974: A previously unknown tape from June 23, 1972 (recorded a few days after the break-in) documenting Nixon and Haldeman formulating a plan to block investigations is released. This recording later became known as the "Smoking Gun".
Key Republican Senators tell Nixon that enough votes exist to convict him.
August 8, 1974: Nixon delivers his resignation speech in front of a nationally televised audience.
August 9, 1974: Nixon resigns the presidency. Gerald Ford becomes President.
September 8, 1974: President Ford ends the investigations by granting Nixon a pardon.
December 31, 1974: As a result of Nixon administration abuses of privacy, Privacy Act of 1974 passes into law. Ford is persuaded to veto the bill by Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld; Congress overrides Ford's veto. (Note that the newly elected Congress had not taken office yet, this Congress was still the 93rd Congress.)
January 1, 1975: John N. Mitchell, John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury.
April 22, 1994: Richard Nixon dies aged 81, after suffering a stroke. In keeping with his own wishes, he was not given a state funeral, though his funeral service 5 days later was a high-profile affair, attended by all 5 living U.S. Presidents and a host of other VIPs.
May 31, 2005: W. Mark Felt, former Associate Director of the FBI during the Watergate years, declares that he is Deep Throat; this declaration was later confirmed by reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, although it was disputed by some writers.