October 16, 2000
National Archives Releases 420 Hours of Additional Nixon White House Tape Recorded Conversations
WHAT: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will open approximately 420 hours of White House tape recordings from the Nixon Presidency. The 4140 conversations were recorded at the White House from August 1971 to December 1971, and are the second of five chronological segments of conversations to be released. These tape segments are reproduced on 650 cassettes. In accordance with the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 and its implementing regulations, the National Archives have designated 89 hours as personal and returnable to the Nixon Estate. Nine hours are restricted for national security, as provided for in Executive Order 12958. One hour is restricted for invasion of privacy, three hours as unintelligible, and four hours as non-historical.
The tapes cover a wide variety of domestic and foreign topics relating to international crises and initiatives; and domestic issues, such as the economy and political appointments. Topics of interest include:
1. The International Monetary System and the US Economy: There are several key policy discussions between the President, members of the White House staff, senior administration officials, business and labor leaders, and foreign government officials. There are substantial discussions about the US decision to end the Gold Standard and allow the dollar to "free float." There are also discussions about the President's New Economic Policy, which provided for a wage and price freeze, a repeal of excise taxes, federal spending cuts, imports surcharges, and tax reforms.
2. The President's Trip to the People's Republic of China: There are many discussions throughout this period about the President's forthcoming trip to the PRC in February, 1972. They include logistical details and arrangements, media and press coverage, possible itineraries, public relations efforts, agenda proposals, and discussion topics for meetings with PRC leaders.
3. Supreme Court Appointments following the resignation of Justices Black and Harlan: There are detailed discussions between the President, members of the White House staff, Attorney General John Mitchell, Members of Congress, Governors, and other leaders. They discuss and evaluate several possible candidates and recent Supreme Court rulings (e.g. busing), the President's judicial philosophy, and the President's efforts to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court.
4. United Nations Vote to expel Taiwan from the UN General Assembly: There are several discussions between the President, members of the White House staff, Secretary of State William Rogers, US Ambassador to the UN George Bush, Members of Congress, and foreign leaders, detailing US efforts to prevent Taiwan's expulsion. There are also many conversations following the vote complaining about the UN delegates behavior, US reaction and US public relations efforts.
At the opening, the National Archives will also release corresponding portions of a tape log that includes the date, time, location, outline of conversations, and names of participants that will help locate conversations. Because this portion of the log contains 8,000 pages, researchers are encouraged to use the electronic version in CD-ROM, which can be accessed in Word and WordPerfect 6.1 formats.
WHEN: 9 A.M. Thursday, October 26, 2000.
WHERE: National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road. Lecture Rooms D & E.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: To assist researchers in locating conversations on the tapes, a free finding aid on disc in WordPerfect 6.1 and Word format will be available on Monday, October 23, at 9 A.M. in Room G-5 at the National Archives Building on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Beginning on Tuesday, October 24, the discs may be obtained from the Nixon Project staff at the National Archives at College Park by calling 301-837-3290.
All researchers must have a current National Archives researchers card. Clean research room rules will apply. No recording or transmission devices, of any kind, will be allowed in the research room. Laptop computers and stenographs will be allowed.
In accordance with NARA regulations, these tape segments may not be reproduced. The National Archives and Records Administration will revoke privileges for anybody who attempts to record these materials. In addition, all members of the organization with which he or she is affiliated will lose privileges for all future openings as well.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.