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James H. Cavanaugh

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The Presidential historical materials of James H. Cavanaugh are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note) and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed this file group to identify personal and private materials (including materials outside the date span covered by the act) as well as nonhistorical items. Such items have been returned to the individual who has primary proprietary or commemorative interest in them.

Materials covered by the act have been archivally processed and are described in this register. Items that are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (NA Form 14021) marks the original position of the withdrawn items. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restriction. Certain classified documents may be reviewed for declassification under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to a Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear feet of materials:  18.3
  • Approximate number of pages:  14,640

Biographical Note

James Henry Cavanaugh

March 3, 1937 Born, Madison, NJ

1955 U.S. Naval Reserves

1959 B.S., Fairleigh Dickinson University

1961 M.A., University of Iowa

1961-1962 Member, administrative staff, Princeton Hospital

January 20, 1962 Married to Ester Sally Musselman

1962-1966 Faculty, College of Medicine, University of Iowa

1964 Ph.D. in Public Administration, University of Iowa

1966-1968 Director, Comprehensive Health Planning Office, U.S. Public Health Service, H.E.W.

1968-1969 Assistant Secretary for Health & Science Affairs, H.E.W.

1969-1970 Office of the Secretary, H.E.W.

1970-1971 Detailed to the White House

1971-1973 Domestic Council--Staff assistant to the President for Health Affairs

1973-1976 Domestic Council--Associate director for Human Resources

1976- Domestic Council--Special assistant to President Ford for Domestic Affairs

Scope and Content Note

The James H. Cavanaugh file group documents, to some extent, Cavanaugh's responsibilities as a staff member in the office of the Secretary of H.E.W., and more completely his tenure on the Domestic Council. His major areas of expertise involved fields related to health and education, including veterans and consumer affairs, vocational education, manpower, and product safety programs.

Almost half of the collection is comprised of an extensive Subject File, dealing with varied topics relevant to Cavanaugh's positions on the Domestic Council. Also included is material devoted to Cabinet Departments, agencies, councils, and individuals whom he dealt with professionally.

The Correspondence File contains incoming and outgoing correspondence relative to Cavanaugh's duties, as well as invitations to speak at meetings and conferences. There is some correspondence to and from Melvin R. Laird interfiled in this series.

The series dealing with Meetings and Conferences contains invitations and scheduling of speaking engagements, and attendance at specific events. The Presidential Scheduling and Activities series deals with suggestions for Presidential and First Family events, with some for the Vice President as well.

There are also series of Speeches made by the President and others, and one highlighting Statements and proclamations on various topics.

The two series of Reports and Publications provide printed material which, once again, deals mainly with health and education related subjects.

Related files which may be of interest include the Special Files collections of John D. Ehrlichman who was the first head of the Domestic Council, and Egil Krogh, who had some responsibility for drugs and housing, two peripheral areas in which Cavanaugh had an interest. The Central Files categories ED (Education), FG 6-15 (Domestic Council), FG 23 (Department of Health, Education and Welfare), HE (Health), HU (Human Rights), IN (Insurance), and, to a lesser extent, FG 109 (Equal Employment Commission), and FG 325 (ACTION) may provide further material for research.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-8
Series:   Correspondence File, 1972-1974 | Folder Title List
Description:   Composed primarily of incoming and outgoing correspondence and some memos dealing with health and education issues, including cancer, veterans affairs, Office of Economic Opportunity and vocational rehabilitation. Also included is some correspondence to and from Melvin R. Laird and a fair amount of material originated by Caspar W. Weinberger. There are a number of White House Referral Sheets from 1973-1974, which accompany correspondence referred to another office for answering. The series is divided into the Chronological or Reading File section, followed by Memos for the President, 1973-1974, which were sent by Cavanaugh, Laird and Kenneth R. Cole; memos to John D. Ehrlichman, 1972; and the White House Referral Sheets. Arrangement is chronological within each subseries.

Boxes:   9-33
Series:   Subject File, 1969-1974 | Folder Title List
Description:   Includes correspondence, notes, fact sheets, briefing papers, schedules, lists, press releases, polls, printed materials, and curriculum vitae of applicants for various positions on councils and White House Fellowships. Subjects covered mainly have to do with health and education related areas and include: cancer; career education; consumer affairs; administration domestic policy; health insurance; the 1971 health options paper; HEW state monetary obligations and budget requests; manpower; product safety; revenue-sharing; veterans affairs; and vocational rehabilitation. There is also a section on Presidential related materials, including a folder on suggestions for Presidential phone calls. Arrangement is alphabetical by key word. If the key word does not begin the folder title, it has been underlined.

Boxes:   34-35
Series:   Speech File, 1970-1974 | Folder Title List
Description:   Copies of Presidential speeches, drafts and background information for the annual State of the Union Addresses, and messages on health and education related topics. There are also some speeches by Vice President Agnew, Kenneth R. Cole, Elliot L. Richardson, and others. Arrangement is chronological by date of the speech.

Boxes:   36
Series:   Statements, 1971-1974 | Folder Title List
Description:   Included in this series are press releases, fact sheets, drafts, and copies of proclamations on various health topics. These statements differ from the previous series in that they generally were not publicly presented by the President, but were put out by the White House Press Office, and dealt with a more narrow subject or event than Presidential speeches. Arrangement is chronological by the date of the statement.

Boxes:   37-39
Series:   Presidential Scheduling and Activities, 1971-1974 | Folder Title List
Description:   Comprised of schedules, press releases, notes, correspondence and lists dealing with the scheduling of events for Presidential and First Family (especially the President's daughters) participation, with a few events for the Vice President also included. There are some "color reports" of Presidential meetings which are interfiled. Arrangement is chronological.

Boxes:   40-41
Series:   Meetings and Conferences, 1970-1974 | Folder Title List
Description:   Included invitations, schedules, correspondence, travel related documents, and papers and remarks given at various professional events. There are copies of a number of papers which were presented at the National Health Insurance Conference in November 1970. Most of the material deals with events slated for Cavanaugh's participation, but some others, including James B. Clawson, also have an interest in these meetings. At the end of this series is a folder listing phone calls made by Cavanaugh between January and March 1974. Arrangement is chronologically date of the event.

Boxes:   42-51
Series:   Reports, 1966, 1970-1974 | Folder Title List
Description:   Composed of copies of printed reports, periodicals, press releases, and transmittal materials. The majority of the series is made up of submitted reports to the President's Commission on School Finance. Other topics include: cancer; career education; consumer affairs; new technological opportunities under study by the Domestic Council; and housing. Arrangement is alphabetical by key word in the title. If the key word does not begin the title, it has been underlined.

Boxes:   52-54
Series:   Publications, 1969-1974 | Folder Title List
Description:   Includes periodicals, books, booklets, a campaign newspaper, and court briefs on such topics as education, health, law, and tax matters. Arrangement is alphabetical by key word. If the key word does not begin the folder title, it has been underlined.

Boxes:   55
Series:   Miscellany, 1973 | Folder Title List
Description:   The majority of this series is comprised of material dealing with the S.P.A. (Self Pronouncing Alphabet) for children. Also included are petitions regarding the location of a proposed veterans home, which were sent in by Lois Braymes and removed from Box 33.

Folder Title List

Available as a searchable Adobe Acrobat PDFpdf file.

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