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Office of Presidential Papers and Archives (OPPA) - Daily Diary

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The Presidential historical materials comprising the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives Files (OPPA) 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. No items have been returned to former President Nixon.

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 A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item.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:   19.6
  • Approximate number of pages:   47,200

Organization Note

On December 23, 1969, after President Nixon requested its creation, the National Archives and Records Service detailed Walter Barbash and Terry Good to the President's Appointment Office to set up the Daily Diary. It was created to serve a twofold purpose. First, as a Presidential activities log it was to provide for the immediate use of the staff a rapid retrieval of information needed in planning a balanced schedule, maximizing the use of the President's time. Secondly, it was created to provide a central storage location for "personal papers" of all staff members turned over to the National Archives for an eventual Presidential library.

From December 23, 1969 to June 14, 1971, Dwight Chapin and Alexander Butterfield were responsible, respectively, for supervision of the President's Daily Diary. On June 14, 1971 the Daily Diary effort became a semi-autonomous unit within the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives (OPPA). This semi-autonomous unit, the Nixon Records Liaison Staff, had as its Staff Director Jack Nesbitt.

Jack Nesbitt and his staff were responsible for: coordination with the Office of Presidential Libraries, National Archives and Records Service (GSA) on day-to-day matters relating to the future Nixon Library, and provide liaison regarding Nixon Library matters with White House Staff, EXOP Agencies, Nixon Foundation, and Republican National Committee. The Nixon Records Liaison Staff, in order to carry out its responsibilities, supervised different records management programs. The staff directed three programs, that were created in 1969 to effectively control materials destined for an eventual Nixon presidential Library. The programs: President Nixon's Diary; Reference and Card Index on Presidential Contacts; and Courtesy Storage of Papers and Reference Service on Pre-Presidential Materials. With the exception of the Reference and Card Index on Presidential Contacts, these programs continued until President Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. The responsibility for the Reference and Card Index on Presidential Contacts program shifted to White House Central Files effective January 20, 1973.

During 1971, other programs evolved. These programs included: exit interviews with key White House and EXOP Agency Staff; identification of White House photographs; purchase of books and periodicals; acquisition of personal papers of key Nixon Administration Officials; Nixon Library Vertical File; acquisition of Records of Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP) and Records of Republican National Committee (1960-1976); and Nixon Library Facility Planning. Records documenting these programs now comprise other file segments of the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives.

Scope and Content Note

The Daily Diary files represent a consolidated record of the President's activities. Most of the information contained in these files was compiled from other sources of White House documentation, for example: movement logs - typed by the Signal Board; telephone logs - handwritten by the White House switchboard; Oval Office logs - show the President's contacts inside the Oval Office; EOB Office logs - compiled for each day the President entered the EOB office whether or not he received any visitors on that day; Military Aide's logs - show the President's activities in such locations as Key Biscayne, Camp David, and San Clemente; Alex Butterfield's Oval Office logs; Henry Kissinger's logs; Usher's logs - prepared daily and recorded activities of the First Family inside the Residence; Secret Service Shift Reports; Detailed Advance Schedules; Paul Fisher, White House Projectionist; Ron Ziegler's Press Briefing Transcripts; Pool Reports; Manolo Sanchez - valet to the President; EPS Station H-4; Mark I. Goode - Press Office Assistant to the President; and Social Office. Other sources of information for the Daily Diary included scenarios confirmed by White House Offices for various events in which the President participated, White House Photo Office contact sheets showing events not mentioned in the above sources, Central Files, newspapers, magazines, and television reports.

Seven days was the normal time lag between the actual day and the staff's ability to compile, write, and deliver a completed Daily Diary. Copies of the Daily Diary were supplied to key White House people. H. R. Haldeman, Assistant to the President, Alexander P. Butterfield, Haldeman's principal deputy and Dwight L. Chapin, Appointments Secretary to the President were among those receiving copies.

Series Description

Boxes:   1
Series:   Administrative File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Original and electrostatic copies of memoranda, handwritten notes, newsclippings, and sample forms of the input format for various Presidential activities. Compiled materials containing basic information about the procedures used by the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives (OPPA) to collect and record the President's activities in the diary. Arranged by subject.

ACTIVITY FILE, 1969-1974

Original and electrostatic copies of memoranda, diaries, schedules, abstracts, lists, reports, and logs of the President's activities. Arranged in seven subseries as follows:

Boxes:   RC2-RC14
Series:   Ribbon Copy-Daily Diary | Folder Title List
Spans:   January 21, 1969-August 9, 1974
Description:   Approved official copy of the day-to-day chronological listing of the President's activities. For each day listed, the diary shows the place the day began, together with references to the time activities began and ended. Specifically, listed are meetings, phone calls and public engagements of the President. Arranged in chronological order.

The Ribbon Copy of the Daily Diary is available online as searchable PDF files.

Boxes:   FC15-FC43
Series:   File Copy-Daily Diary | Folder Title List
Spans:   January 21, 1969-August 9, 1974
Description:   Work copy of the Daily Diary with appendices maintained to provide for staff members a centralized source for recording and retrieval of official and off-the-record information about ongoing administrative activity. Arranged in chronological order.

Boxes:   PC44
Series:   Photo Copy-Daily Diary | Folder Title List
Spans:   July 1971-November 1971
Description:   Daily Diary copies with attached lists containing contact sheet and frame numbers created for the purpose of identifying White House photographs. Arranged in chronological order.

Boxes:   45
Series:   Errata Copies-Daily Diary | Folder Title List
Spans:   May 12, 1974-July 2, 1974
Description:   Compiled lists of corrigenda for the Daily Diary. Arranged by subject and thereunder in chronological order.

Boxes:   46-48
Series:   President's Schedule | Folder Title List
Spans:   1971-1974
Description:   Original and electrostatic copies of calendars and press releases of the President's official schedule; also includes the activities of Mrs. Nixon, Tricia Cox, Ed Cox, and Julie Eisenhower. Arranged in two subseries as follows:

Boxes 46-47: President Nixon's Daily Schedule, April 5, 1971-August 9, 1974. Arranged in chronological order. NOTE: Duplicate calendar dates reflect revisions in the official schedules.

Box 48: President Nixon's Weekly Schedule, January 27, 1969-June 30, 1969. Arranged in reverse chronological order.

Boxes:   49-51
Series:   President Nixon's Weekly Abstract | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Electrostatic copies of the President's official weekly schedule. NOTE: Abstracts for the period January 20, 1969 through October 25, 1970 were handwritten by several people; consequently, there is considerable variation in legibility, style, and phrasing. On March 20, 1971, the weekly abstract format changed to cover the week Saturday through Friday instead of the original Monday through Sunday week. Arranged in chronological order.

Boxes:   52
Series:   Presidential Movement Logs | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Original and electrostatic copies of log forms. Listings of President Nixon's movements both inside and outside the White House. Logs show day by day movements including speaking engagements, meetings and routine daily activities. For each activity listed on WHCA Form #15 entries generally indicate the means of transportation used by the President. For example: walking, helicopter, or motorcade. Details of movements in terms of location and date, together with references to military time of arrival and departure are recorded. Daily Diary Movement Logs created by the OPPA Staff were copied from originals located in WHCF SMOF OPPA - President of the United States, Movements and Telephone Call Logs, 1969-1973. Arranged in chronological order.

Boxes:   53-54
Series:   Contact File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Original and electrostatic copies of lists, logs, and index cards with names of persons, who met or talked or flew with the President. Files index names under categorical headings of Congress, Cabinet, Governors, Foreign Visitors, or General Alphabetical Names. The EPS Daily Appointment Log sheets are source materials for Presidential appointments that were turned down and/or cancelled. Arranged in chronological order.

Boxes:   54-55
Series:   Subject File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Original and electrostatic copies of statistical requests and replies, draft copies of annual reports, travel reports, and news events relating to the activities of the President. Subject files maintained on President Nixon's visit in February of 1972 to the People's Republic of China include: detailed schedule logs, pool reports, airline manifests, news conference reports, lists of Chinese public officials, list of meeting times with Chou En-Lai, advance party information, fact books, and intelligence reports. Arranged by subject and thereunder in chronological order.

Folder Title List

Available as a searchable Adobe Acrobat PDFpdf file.



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