EADERS KNOW I have an obsessive interest in Richard Nixon and Watergate. One of the Watergate burglars was E. HOWARD HUNT. On 8 December 1972, Dorothy Hunt—his wife, whom he loved—died in a plane crash. This broke Watergate wide open for two reasons: (a) They found tons of cash in Dorothy’s purse, since she was part of the money laundering scheme; (b) E. Howard Hunt was so grief-stricken by his wife’s death he no longer cared about protecting former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, the man responsible for the Watergate break-in.1 WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY was godfather (!) to three of E. Howard Hunt’s children.
Bill Buckley • With 1,504 episodes over 33 years, WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY’s Firing Line Television Show was the longest-running public affairs show (with a single host) in television history. My teacher knew Priscilla Buckley (d. 2012), the sister of Willam F. Buckley. My teacher also knew Father Michael Bozell (of Solesmes), whose father was a man named LEO BOZELL (d. 1997). Leo Bozell published TRIUMPH MAGAZINE—a publication associated with folks from Christendom College—and was married to Patricia Buckley (d. 2008). So we must be careful to distinguish between Willam F. Buckley’s sisters, since two of them (!) begin with the letter “P” and end with the letter “A”—Priscilla and Patricia.
Triumph Catholic Magazine • Leo Bozell recruited famous people to write for TRIUMPH MAGAZINE; e.g. Dietrich von Hildebrand (d. 1977). The journal was political, yet published tons of commentary about what was happening in the Catholic Church. Consider this 1969 sample page. Or consider a sample page from 1974, which talks about Gregorian Chant, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Father Leonard Feeney, Monsignor Richard J. Schuler, Cardinal Jean Villot, and more:
Many have wondered whether TRIUMPH MAGAZINE would ever be placed online. Today, I can report that somebody has scanned in thousands of pages from that magazine, now available free of charge.
Buckley and Solesmes Abbey • The son of Leo Bozell is a monk at Solesmes Abbey in France. Someone has posted an interview during which Father Bozell talks about Gregorian Chant recordings. In 1997, William F. Buckley wrote at length regarding his ordination in France:
Many will wish to read that story. It’s funny how Mr. Buckley secretly used a camcorder to record the entire ceremony. He later gave VHS copies to the entire family. Since Mr. Buckley played the harpsichord, he noticed the piece played as part of the ordination was Bach’s “Passacaglia & Fugue in C Minor,” which many consider the greatest organ piece ever written. The best part was where Leo Bozell sopke about Michael’s future as a priest. He closed with: “You will note, my son, that I have had difficulty in this letter in distinguishing words to you and about you. That is because you are the largest public glory of my life.”
1 Believe it or not, Attorney General John N. Mitchell actually lived at the Watergate complex! Richard Nixon did not know about the break-in until after it happened.