On June 23, 2009, the Nixon Presidential Library opened approximately 154 hours of tape recordings from the Nixon White House recorded in January and February 1973, and consisting of approximately 994 conversations. The conversations cover topics such as the conclusion of a peace settlement between the United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the return of American POWs, President Nixon’s second inauguration, the U.S. and Europe, the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, energy policy, the reorganization of the executive branch, and the first Watergate trial.
The newly released recorded conversations are available on the Library’s website. They are also available at both the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, CA and at the National Archives College Park, MD facility.
There are no transcripts for these recordings; however, tape subject logs are available at each location and on the web to aid researchers in locating specific conversations and participants. Each log identifies the name, date, and location of the conversation as well as an outline of the general content. In addition, researchers may consult finding aids—-a tapes description and a Scope and Content note—to these newly released tapes on the web. Listening stations will be available for researchers at both locations on a first come, first served basis.
This is the 13th opening of Nixon White House tapes since 1980 and with this release approximately 2,371 hours of tape recordings from the Nixon White House are now available to the public.
The opening also includes approximately 10.5 cubic feet of previously restricted materials from the White House Special Files, Staff Member and Office Files; the National Security Files; and the Henry A. Kissinger Files. The materials include documents on U.S. policy toward Europe, on U.S. policy in the Middle East, on the investigation of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on the investigation of Jack Anderson, also known as the Radford Affair, and on the conduct of the war in Cambodia and Vietnam. The opening also includes CIA Bay of Pigs materials personally delivered to the White House in 1971 by the Director of Central Intelligence, Richard Helms, at President Nixon’s request. The President asked for these materials in support of activities associated with the so-called Plumbers unit. Although other copies of these documents have been released by the CIA on its website, these materials were not previously publicly known to have been received by the Nixon administration.
The Library also opened the files of Nixon aide Kenneth Cole from the White House Central Files, Staff Member and Office files collection at its Yorba Linda facility. The bulk of the Nixon presidential materials collection is still housed at the National Archives in College Park. To accelerate processing for the benefit of researchers some domestic policy collections, like the Cole collection, were moved to California in advance of the move of the entire textual holdings in 2010. In May 1973 Cole replaced John Ehrlichman as President Nixon’s chief domestic affairs advisor. The 12,000-page Cole collection provides a new portal into the formulation of President Nixon’s domestic policy. This collection is only available at the Library’s Yorba Linda Facility.