On September 2, 1974, the Wall came down.
If you were around at the time, you understood the meaning at a glance. Garry Trudeau had drawn the wall in front of the White House, a reference to “stonewalling” on the Nixon tapes. Nixon resigned August 9; three weeks was the quickest a syndicated comic strip could acknowledge the event.
“Our long national nightmare is over,” Jerry Ford had said three weeks earlier, a line that might not have worn well, but felt right at the time. Watergate was consuming, consuming in a way we wouldn’t feel again for more than forty years. You couldn’t escape it.
And then it was past.