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Gwendolyn B. King

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

Materials covered by the Act have been archivally processed and are described in this register. Items which are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (GSA Form 7279 or NA Form 14021) with a description of each restricted document has been inserted at the beginning of each folder from which materials have been removed. A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item. 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 declassified under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to a Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear feet of materials:   6.6
  • Approximate number of pages:   5,280

Biographical Note


October 27, 1915 Born, Hartsville, South Carolina as Mabel Gwendolyn Bair; later changed name to Gwendolyn Mabel Bair

1932-1936 B.A., Coker College, Hartsville, South Carolina

1936-1937 Strayer Business College, Washington, D.C.

1937 Catholic University, Washington, D.C.

1937 Married to LaBruce W. King

1937-1942 Administrative Assistant to Librarian & Junior Librarian's Assistant, Library of Congress

1942 Farm Credit Administration, Kansas City, Missouri

1942-1953 Housewife

1953- Clerk-Stenographer, Office of Examining Branch, Army Board of Correction of Military Records, Office of the Secretary of the Army, Washington, D.C.

1953-1969 Assistant to the Appointments Secretary, White House; along with other short-term positions

1969-1974 Director of Correspondence for Mrs. Nixon

1974-1976 Volunteer on Mrs. Ford's staff

1976- Public speaker and active in community activities, Santa Rosa, California


April 16, 1950 Born, Dayton, Ohio as Cynthia Ann Vanden Heuvel

1968-1970 Attended Westminster College, London, England & the London division of the University of Maryland

1968-1969, 1970 Switchboard operator, Arlington, Virginia

1969-1970 Cashier, Douglas House, London, England

1970 Correspondence Clerk, White House

1970-1974 Stenographer/Typist, Office of Gwen King, White House (Personal secretary to the Eisenhowers and Coxes)

Scope and Content Note

The Gwendolyn B. King file group documents the activities of the First Lady's correspondence office from 1969 to 1974. The office was responsible for answering all mail received by Mrs. Nixon, Julie and David Eisenhower, and Tricia and Edward Cox. Mail addressed to the President and Mrs. Nixon was also handled by this office.

Letters went out over the signature of Mrs. Nixon or Gwen King, depending on the nature of the incoming correspondence and the type of response decided upon. Aside from those drafted by Mrs. King, herself, letters were drafted by other members of the office, including Belinda Baltzell, Mary Austermiller, Diane Carroll and Nancy Nathan. Carbons drafted by these women have been segregated in the Correspondence File series.

The nature and volume of incoming mail often allowed the White House response to be in the form of an individually tailored form letter. Examples of these were kept for future reference, and are filed as Form Responses, alphabetically, by subject treated. In addition, the Correspondence office distributed photographs, recipes and engraved greeting cards when these items were requested.

Much of the research that went into answering First Family mail was done by staff members, or was solicited from appropriate Federal Departments and agencies, as well as rom other White House offices.

A large segment of outgoing correspondence, answers to invitations sent to First Family members, is located in the Appointments Office files of Susan A. Porter.

One staff member under Mrs. King, Cynthia A. ("Cindy") Vanden Heuvel, evolved into a sort of personal secretary to the Eisenhowers and Coxes. Her records were segregated as the "Girl's Office". The nature of this sub-office was similar to that of the larger Correspondence Office. Letters were signed by members of the First Family and by Miss Vanden Heuvel. After the "CVH" Chronological File, the major subseries is the Wedding File, which provides background information on Julie's and Tricia's weddings. Most of the material dealing with the Nixon-Eisenhower marriage, however, has been withdrawn and returned to Mrs. Nixon since the event occurred before President Nixon assumed office. There are also binders of Form Responses, General Information, and Gift Logs for the Eisenhowers and Coxes present in this subseries.

Related Staff Member and Office Files collections that should be consulted include the files of Susan A. Porter, Helen M. Smith, Lucy A. Winchester and the White House Social Files. Taped exit interviews with Constance C. Stuart, Penelope A. Adams, William R. Codus and notes from an interview with Coral F. Schmid will also prove informative. In addition, an oral history program is in progress which includes former members of the First Lady's staff.

The extensive photographic, film and video collection contained in the Nixon presidential materials has much material documenting the activities of the First Lady. Also available are audio recordings of Mrs. Nixon and Constance Stuart, taped by the White House Communications Agency.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-6
Series:   Chronological File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1971-1974
Description:   Composed predominantly of carbons of outgoing correspondence from Mrs. Nixon and Gwen King. There are also some letters from Connie Stuart and other members of the First Lady's staff. Arrangement is chronological. Following the main body of carbons, 1971-1974, there are segregated segments of letters drafted by various staff members, including Belinda Baltzell (1972-1973), Mary Austermiller (1973-1974), Diane Carroll (1972-1973) and Nancy Nathan (1973-1974). These are also arranged chronologically.

Boxes:   7
Series:   Subject File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Includes biographical information, printed material, fact sheets, quotations by President Nixon, etc., and used as background for answering First Family correspondence. Arrangement is alphabetical by key word indicated. If the key word does not begin the folder title, it has been underlined.

Boxes:   8-10
Series:   Form Responses | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1970
Description:   Copies of outgoing correspondence used as forms for producing responses to similar requests received. There is also some background material included in the file. Arrangement is alphabetical by key word. If the key word does not begin the folder title, it has been underlined.

Boxes:   11
Series:   Cards & Recipes | Folder Title List
Spans:   [1969-1974?]
Description:   Representative copies of cards sent by the President and Mrs. Nixon to people celebrating birthdays, wedding anniversaries and other special events. Also included are printed recipes distributed by the White House upon request.

Boxes:   12
Series:   Photographs | Folder Title List
Spans:   [1969-1974?]
Description:   Binder containing copies of official White House photos distributed to the public upon request.

Boxes:   13
Series:   Publications | Folder Title List
Spans:   1971-1972
Description:   Books and booklets probably used as reference aids in answering mail. Subjects include Revenue-Sharing proposals and volunteer and environmental programs.


Boxes:   14-17
Series:   Chronological File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Primarily carbons of outgoing correspondence of Vanden Heuvel, Tricia Cox (with a few Edward Cox), Julie Eisenhower and David Eisenhower. Arranged by principle and thereunder chronologically. The various folders of "Trip Letters" are basically lists of persons to receive thank you's and photos in connection with their help during a particular trip made by Julie or Tricia.

Boxes:   18
Series:   Subject File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1968-1973
Description:   Includes Wedding Files of Julie and Tricia Nixon, providing background on the preparations for the ceremony and related events. Composed mostly of press releases and fact sheets. Most of the material for the Nixon-Eisenhower wedding has been withdrawn and returned because it is pre-Presidential. Other subjects include photographs, official calendars for Tricia and Edward Cox and Julie Eisenhower (1971-1973), staff memos, and an editorial sent to the New York Times by Tricia Cox. Arrangement is alphabetical by key word. If the key word does not begin the folder title, it has been underlined.

Boxes:   19
Series:   Form Responses | Folder Title List
Spans:   [1969-1974?]
Description:   Examples of form letters for answering mail received by Julie and Tricia.

Boxes:   20
Series:   Miscellany | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Includes a Correspondence Count of incoming letters for Julie & David Eisenhower and Tricia & Edward Cox, 6/1973-8/1974; General Information on the First Family, including biographical sheets, form responses, a transcript of an interview with Tricia Cox, etc.; Gift Log for the First Daughters, 1969-1970, which lists Date received, Donor, Description, and Disposition.

Folder Title List

Available as a searchable Adobe Acrobat PDFpdf file.



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