February 16, 1971 – Like other Presidents before him, Richard Nixon wanted to record conversations he had in his Oval Office. He said it was to ensure historical accuracy. Others noted that it was to verify what was said in private if public statements later proved contradictory. The system was installed by Presidential Aid Alexander Butterfield and in this first conversation he instructs the President and the President’s Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman on how to use the system. The existence of the system was largely unknown until revealed by Butterfield during the Watergate hearings. This lead to a tenacious tug of war between the Congress and the President for possession of the tapes. The conversation recorded June 23, 1972 would eventually be called “The Smoking Gun” that contributed to the Presidents resignation.