Bernstein and fellow Watergate reporter Bob Woodward bought the wringer for $10 at an antique store and presented it to Graham after Nixon resigned. The necklace was a gift from a friend, and Graham wore it frequently.
Other items on display include the mask Graham wore to Truman Capote’s 1966 black-and-white ball, which was held in her honor, and a handwritten page from her memoir alongside her 1998 Pulitzer.
Visitors to the exhibit can hear Graham talk about her experience with the Pentagon Papers and Watergate in video excerpts from a “Living Self-Portrait” interview conducted through the National Portrait Gallery.
“Watergate was like wading into a stream into which you get deeper and deeper,” Graham says in the video. She goes on to describe how the scandal “seemed like a farce” because no other newspapers had jumped on it, as they did with other big stories. “If this is so great, where the hell is everybody else?” she said she asked herself.
Her decision to go with the story changed American history — and made her an important figure in it.
“One Life: Katharine Graham” will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery through May 30.