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Rose Mary Woods

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The Presidential historical materials of Rose Mary Woods 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 A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item.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:   17.75
  • Approximate number of pages:   35,500

Biographical Note

December 26, 1917 Born, Sebring, Ohio

1935-1943 Secretary, Royal China, Inc., Sebring, Ohio

1945-1943 Secretary, Office of Censorship, Washington, D.C.

1945-1947 Secretary, International Trade Administration

1947 Secretary, Christian A. Herter's Committee on Foreign Aid, U.S. House of Representatives

1947-1951 Secretary, Foreign Service Educational Foundation

1951-1953 Secretary to Senator Richard M. Nixon

1953-1961 Secretary to Vice President Nixon

1961-1963 Secretary, law firm of Adams, Dugue & Hazeltine, Los Angeles, California

1963-1968 Secretary, law firm of Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander & Mitchell, New York City

1969-1974 Personal secretary and executive assistant to President Richard M. Nixon

Scope and Content Note

The materials of Rose Mary Woods, President Nixon's personal secretary and executive assistant, date from 1969 through August 1974. Immediately prior to President Nixon's resignation on August 9, 1974, Woods' working files, along with those of the President, were transferred to La Casa Pacifica (the Western White House) in San Clemente, California. Before her remaining files could be transferred to California, they were impounded in a court fight over the former President's papers and tapes. Unable to gain access to and custody of personal items, she filed suit on August 7, 1975, as a plaintiff/intervener in the two Nixon cases. In accordance with orders of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, issued on April 22 and July 14, 1976, approximately 22 cubic feet of personal and nonhistorical materials were returned to her in April, and approximately 8 cubic feet in July.

The Rose Mary Woods materials consist of five series: Correspondence, Legal Correspondence and Printed Materials, Trip Files, News Clippings and Printed Materials, and Photographs.

The Correspondence file consists primarily of perfunctory letters to and from admirers of Rose Mary Woods. The contents of these letters are for the most part adulatory and contain little substance. Many merely accompany newspaper articles which feature Woods. One segment of the series had been retired to the White House Central Files unit for general storage.

The remainder of the file group consists primarily of Miss Woods' notes, which include her observations on the legal and internal White House Watergate problems pertaining to the 18 1/2 minute tape gap, transcripts of telephone conversations, legal briefs, reports, and annotated newsclippings. Much of the material in the Legal Correspondence and Printed Material Series consists of shorthand notes, which are closed pending review. Most of the materials in the News Clippings and Printed Material Series are photocopies of newspaper or magazine articles, many of which contain annotations made by people who mailed items to Woods or by White House staff members. Many of the newspaper articles are incomplete. For the unannotated magazines and newspapers, only the covers of mastheads were copied.

The Trip Files consist primarily of background papers and information provided to staff members who accompanied the President on his official trips in 1969 and 1972. This information ranges from protocol procedures and clothing recommendations to floor plans, room assignments, and facilities available on the trip. Other items in these files include maps and tourist information on local customs and traditions, economies, and political structures of the countries visited.

Photographs, tapes, and film have been transferred to the Audiovisual Collection (PA 78-6-264). Each audiovisual item has been replaced with a withdrawal sheet and, in the case of the photographs, an accompanying electrostatic copy.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-14
Series:   Correspondence | Folder Title List
Spans:   1968-1974
Description:   Congratulatory messages and supportive letters containing news clippings, personal photographs, small mementos, together with carbon copies of replies, 1968-1974; supportive letters concerning the 18 1/2 minute tape gap with news clippings and carbon copies, 1973-1974; correspondence relating to President Nixon's resignation, 1974; newspaper clippings and printed materials; correspondence to and from Woods relating to gifts, autograph requests, expressions of sympathy, requests for donations and patronage, recommendations, and introductions, 1969-1974.

There are three principal file segments in this series, each arranged alphabetically by surname of correspondent. The first two segments cover the years 1973-1974 and 1974, respectively. The third segment, which had been retired to the White House Central Files, covers the period 1969-1974.

Boxes:   15-26
Series:   Legal Correspondence and Printed Materials | Folder Title List
Spans:   1973-1974
Description:   Notes, many in shorthand script, from telephone conversations with her lawyers and others, court transcripts, reports, legal briefs, subpoenas, Senate Watergate Committee transcripts, lists of campaign contributors, news clippings dealing with the 18 1/2 minute tape gap, the Hughes and Vesco campaign contributions, and major campaign contributors. Arranged by subject and thereunder alphabetically or chronologically.

Boxes:   27-28
Series:   Trip Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1972
Description:   Trip schedules, background information, maps, tourist information, and official mementos from Presidential trips to Bangkok, Thailand, New Delhi, India, Pakistan, Austria, the Soviet Union, China, and Belgium. Arranged chronologically.

Boxes:   29-42
Series:   News Clippings and Printed Materials | Folder Title List
Spans:   1970-1974
Description:   Newspaper clippings, magazines, magazine articles, White House News Summaries, pamphlets, and letters, expressing support or disapproval of President Nixon. Arranged chronologically.

Boxes:   43
Series:   Photographs | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969-1974
Description:   Black and white and color prints, mostly official White House photographs of Rose Mary Woods, Marje Acker, and the First Family. Some are candid portraits and a few are of official events, such as the State of the Union Address and the Inauguration. Unarranged.

Folder Title List

Available as a searchable Adobe Acrobat PDFpdf file.

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