May 8, 2021

NARA Releases Final Installment of Nixon Tapes Online Plus New Text Docs and Transcripts

The audio recordings were released online today.

Audio

Direct to Summary, Finding Aid For All Material, and Online Audio (via Nixon Library)

Direct to Audio Clips (via Nixon Library, YouTube)

Summary (via NARA)

The final installment of 94 Nixon White House Tapes cover the period from April 9 – July 12, 1973. The tapes cover discussions of foreign policy issues including: implementation of the Vietnam peace settlement and the return of Prisoners of War (POWs); tensions over Most Favored Nation tariff status for the Soviet Union; and the historic 1972 “Soviet Summit” between the United States and the USSR. Domestic conversations include presidential appointments and personnel management, energy policy, wage and price controls, campaign finance reform, Wounded Knee, and Watergate.

The tapes also include excerpts from President Nixon’s meetings and calls with Heads of State including Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Giulio Andreotti of Italy, Willy Brandt of Germany and Pierre Trudeau of Canada. The taping system captured the June 1973, Oval Office meeting between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and President Nixon, the only summit meeting ever recorded on an American Presidential taping system.

Notable figures heard on the tapes include White House staff members Alexander Haig, Henry Kissinger, and Brent Scowcroft, Cabinet officers William Rogers and George Shultz, and future presidents George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan. Public figures include Billy Graham; Vera Clemente, the widow of Roberto Clemente; and soccer superstar Pelé.

Text Documents Released Today

This opening includes the release of approximately 30,000 pages declassified, in whole or in part, under systematic review. They cover national security issues including: U.S. intelligence analysis of Vietnam; Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker’s negotiations with South Vietnam President Thieu; Henry Kissinger’s meetings with Chinese leaders in advance of President Nixon’s February 1972 trip; and U.S. policy toward Latin America. They also contain some National Security Council files, Kissinger’s office files and transcripts of his telephone conversations, and the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board records.

Office files of Special Assistant for Urban Affairs John Price and Staff Assistant Barbara Franklin comprise the bulk of the newly released textual records. Franklin was hired to recruit qualified women for high-level government positions, and her files outline her efforts. Price’s records include correspondence with Ken Cole and John Ehrlichman on domestic policy and document his work with Daniel Patrick Moynihan on welfare reform and the development of the Family Assistance Plan.

Most of these documents are NOT available online.

A small sample of newly released documents are available here.

A finding aid (606 pages; PDF)  is available with info about the newly released text documents.

Also new today, transcripts of 75 oral histories.

See Also: Nixon Library Research Guide (255 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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