Samuel James "Samy" Ervin, Jr. (Democrat) served as a United States Senator from North Carolina from 1954 to 1974. His work in the investigation committees helped bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1954. His investigation in 1972 and 1973 of the Watergate scandal led to the August 9, 1974 resignation of President Richard Nixon. (read more...)
NEW: Slate has series called Slow Burn - A Podcast About Watergate; produced by Leon Neyfakh and Jeff Friedrich. Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Slow Burn every week. For Slow Burn: Episode 4: Lie Detectors: How Watergate became the greatest show on Earth — the bonus episode has Leon Neyfakh talking with Rob Caughlan, one of the founders of the National Sam Ervin Fan Club. Just click here on this link to listen to the interview (kindly provided by Slate).
July 11, 1973
The New York Times wrote:
...Still, although Mr. Ervin, the chairman, and Mr. Baker, the vice chairman, will not get their turns as interrogators until tomorrow, the North Carolina Democrat became the focus of some attention today.
He discovered that he had a fan club named for him.
Two young men from Palo Alto, Calif., Rob Caughlan, who described himself as a writer, and David Oke, who said he is a member of the Stanford University administrative staff, braved the 90-degree heat and the third day of a Washington smog alert to attend the hearings and pass out membership cards in the National Sam Irvine Fan Club.
They said they started with eight members and now have 2000. Membership is free. All it takes is a card, which has a likeness of Mr. Ervin, whom they call "Uncle Sam."
"I believe in integrity, fairness, and in the Constitution of the United States," the card says. "I think that Chairman Ervin is the real thing."
July 13, 1973
The New York Times wrote:
Ervin Gives Constitution To Fan Club Members
WASHINGTON, July 13 (UPI) – Two founders of the San Ervin fan club that their hero today and came away with a souvenir, an autographed copy of the Constitution.
Rob Caughlan and David Oke, two of eight Californians who started the "Uncle Sam Fan Club" on July 4, traveled to the Capital this week, where they sat in at the Watergate hearings.
The highlight of their trip was an audience with the North Carolina Democrat at a lunch break in the proceedings.
Mr. Ervin, who keeps copies of the Constitution in his office for such purposes, autographed eight copies for the founders of the club with the inscription: "The Constitution is America's most precious possession."
Official National Sam Ervin Fan Club Paraphernalia was made that included buttons, T-shirts and posters.
After The Roanoke Company was established, the above anti-Nixon poster was printed and distributed. It reads:
“Welcome to Nixon-land. A land of slander and smear, of sly innuendo, of the poison pen, the anonymous phone call, and hustling, pushing, shoving–the land of the smash and grab–anything to win.” Adlai Stevenson–1954
Published as a public service by The Roanoke Company, Palo Alto, Ca. (Reproduce at will)