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Harry S. Dent

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The Presidential historical materials of Harry S. Dent, Special Counsel to the President, 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 (P.L. 93-526, 88 Stat. 1695) and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify personal and private materials as well as non-historical items. Twenty-eight documents were identified as personal and private or non-historical and returned to Dent.

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) 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 A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item.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 portion 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:   5
  • Approximate number of pages:   9,600

Biographical Note

1930 February 21 Born St. Matthews, South Carolina

1951 B.A., Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina

1952-1953 United States Army

1954 Washington, D.C. correspondent for several South Carolina newspapers and radio stations

1955-1965 Administrative Assistant to U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond

1957 LL.B, George Washington University Law School

1959 LL.M., Georgetown University Law School

1962 Co-Founder and Chairman, Senate Staff Prayer Breakfast Group

1964 Chairman, Thurmond Speaks for Goldwater Committee

1965-1969 Attorney, Dent and Kennedy, Columbia, South Carolina

1965-1968 State Chairman, South Carolina Republican Party

1966 Manager, South Carolina Republican State-Wide Campaign

1968 Manager, Thurmond Speaks for Nixon-Agnew Committee

1969 Deputy Counsel to the President

1969-1972 Special Counsel to the President

1973-Present Attorney, Harry S. Dent and Associates, Columbia, South Carolina

1973-1974 General Counsel, Republican National Committee

1976 Southern Campaign Manager and member, National Campaign Steering Committee, President Gerald R. Ford Reelection Campaign

1977 Member, Campaign Advisory Committee of the Republican National Committee

Scope and Content Note

The materials of Harry S. Dent cover the years 1969 through 1970. During his tenure as Deputy Counsel to the President, Dent worked under John Ehrlichman until May 1969. He provided legal opinions for Ehrlichman on airline cases which the Civil Aeronautics Board sent over to the White House for Presidential determinations.

In May 1969, Dent's responsibilities expanded as he acquired his own staff. He served as a liaison between the President and party politicos, especially those in the South. Dent became a significant link between the White House and the GOP executive committee. In addition to his liaison functions, he handled patronage, requests for special favors, and inquiries from Federal departments, governors, and other public officials. Dent's files also concern busing, import problems in the textile industry, and appointments to local post offices.

The materials are arranged into four series:

  1. Memoranda and Departmental Referrals
  2. Subject Files
  3. Planning Groups
  4. Thank You and Congratulatory Letters

The memoranda and departmental referrals series includes requests for special favors. Many of these requests are from southerners asking for autographed pictures of the President. There are various letters concerning patronage and appointments. Employment applications and resumes are frequently attached to correspondence.

Statements on proposed political strategies for promoting Republican candidates reveal the administration's involvement with State and congressional elections. This series also contains materials regarding staffing problems in local post offices.

The subject files series includes materials on appointments, busing, and poll ratings. Most materials on appointments relate to the employment of loyal Republicans and the ouster of high-ranking Democrats. Correspondence on the Clement Haynsworth nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court reveals Dent's efforts to solicit support for Haynsworth's appointment. Copies of news articles and telegrams in the files disclose Haynsworth's supporters and opponents. Due to the busing issue, much correspondence in the files concerns school desegregation and events in local school districts. This series also contains statistical surveys from pollsters and news articles on Nixon's poll ratings.

Copies of correspondence relating to weekly planning meetings constitute the planning groups series. The purpose of the planning groups was to clarify the administration's weekly objectives and to coordinate weekly assignments for White House staff members. Weekly calendars of key events and agenda for meetings were used by the planning groups to identify major topics for discussion. Copies of statements of tentative plans and fact sheets indicate strategies for implementing Presidential activities. Included in this series is a copy of the "game plan" for the President's address to the nation on the war in Vietnam given on November 3, 1969, in Washington, D.C.

A photograph has been removed from the collection and transferred to the audiovisual collection (PA78-2-2-13). The photograph has been replaced with a withdrawal sheet and an accompanying electrostatic copy. In addition, a small gold pin with the initials "SM" (silent majority) has been transferred to the museum collection (PA78-2-2-13).

Series Description

Boxes:   1-5
Series:   Memoranda and Departmental Referrals | Folder Title List
Spans:   1968 (1969) - 70
Description:   Memoranda and correspondence to and from White House staff members, Cabinet members, congresspersons, members of the Republican National Committee, and other individuals. Materials concern patronage, Republican elections, and the textile industry. Folders are arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically; materials therein are arranged in reverse chronological order.

Boxes:   5-11
Series:   Subject Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1968 (1969) - 70
Description:   Materials relating especially to problems in the South, employment, busing, and Republican political activities. Includes memoranda, letters, telegrams, and newspaper articles. Folders are arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically; materials therein are arranged in reverse chronological order.

Boxes:   11-12
Series:   Planning Groups | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969 - 1970
Description:   Correspondence and memoranda (including monthly and weekly calendars, the President's schedules, fact sheets, agenda, and statements of plans) regarding speaking engagements, conferences, meetings, and other Presidential events. Folders are arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically; materials therein are arranged in reverse chronological order.

Boxes:   12
Series:   Thank You and Congratulatory Letters | Folder Title List
Spans:   1969 - 1970
Description:   Letters of appreciation to and from Dent. Also included are congratulatory correspondence and newspaper articles about Dent's appointment as Special Counsel to the President. Folders are arranged chronologically by year and then alphabetically; materials therein are arranged in reverse chronological order.

Folder Title List

MEMORANDA AND DEPARTMENTAL REFERRALS, 1968 (1969)-70

Box 1

[1968-69] REQUEST FULFILLED [1 OF 3]
[1968-69] REQUEST FULFILLED [2 OF 3]
[1968-69] REQUEST FULFILLED [3 OF 3]
1969 Brownell Memos
1969 Ehrlichman Memos
1969 Fisher Memos
1969 Humes Memos
1969 Jackson Memos
1969 Jurick Memos
1969 Lias Memos
1969 Limehouse Memos
1969 Memos to the Cabinet

Box 2

MEMOS TO THE PRESIDENT 1969 [1 of 3]
MEMOS TO THE PRESIDENT 1969 [2 of 3]
MEMOS TO THE PRESIDENT 1969 [3 of 3]
1969 Reed Memos
1969 Staff Memos #1
1969 Staff Memos #2
1969 Staff Memos #3
1969 Staff Memos #4
1970 ALLISON
1970 CHOTINER

Box 3

1970 FLEMING & FLANIGAN
1970 G.S.A. MEMO [S]
1970 HARLOW
1970 JACKSON
1970 MEMOS H.E.W. [Health, Education, and Welfare] Dec.-August
1970 MEMOS TO EHRLICHMAN
1970 MEMOS TO HALDEMAN
1970 MEMOS TO HUSTON
1970 MEMOS TO JOHN M. EVANS
1970 MEMOS TO LIAS
1970 MEMOS TO MILBANK
1970 MEMOS STAFF SECRETARY

Box 4

1970 MEMOS TO THE CABINET MEMBERS
1970 MEMOS TO THE PRESIDENT JAN-MARCH
1970 MEMOS TO THE PRESIDENT MARCH-DEC
1970 MEMOS TO THE VICE PRESIDENT
1970 MEMOS TO TIMMONS
1970 RAVAN
1970 REFERRALS TO AGRICULTURE
1970 REFERRALS TO COMMERCE
1970 REFERRALS TO DEFENSE
1970 REFERRALS TO H.E.W. July-Aug. '69
1970 RUSSELL
1970 STAFF MEMO[S] Dec. 69-Jan.

Box 5

1970 STAFF MEMOS [S] Feb-Aug [Feb-March]
1970 STAFF MEMOS [S] MARCH-APRIL
1970 STAFF MEMOS [S] MAY-DEC.

SUBJECT FILES, 1968 (1969)-70

1969 Candidate Clearance Report
480 Charleston Hospital Strike
EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, PATRONAGE (INACTIVE) [1 of 3]
EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, PATRONAGE (INACTIVE) [2 of 3]
EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, PATRONAGE (INACTIVE) [3 of 3]

Box 6

Haynsworth [1 of 3]
Haynsworth [2 of 3]
Haynsworth [3 of 3]
HAYNSWORTH - (Brownell)
INAUGURAL - NIXON FAMILY
Pre-Inauguration 1968
1969 Republican National Committee [1 of 2]
1969 Republican National Committee [2 of 2]
1969 Republican National Committee 2 [1 of 2]
1969 Republican National Committee 2 [2 of 2]

Box 7

1969 School Compliance File January - April [1 of 3]
1969 School Compliance File January - April [2 of 3]
1969 School Compliance File January - April [3 of 3]
1969 SCHOOL COMPLIANCE -May - December [1 of 3]
1969 SCHOOL COMPLIANCE -May - December [2 of 3]
1969 SCHOOL COMPLIANCE -May - December [3 of 3]

Box 8

1969 Southern GOP [1 of 3]
1969 Southern GOP [2 of 3]
1969 Southern GOP [3 of 3]
1970 MIDDLE AMERICA [1 of 2]
1970 MIDDLE AMERICA [2 of 2]
1970 MUSKIE
1970 NATIONAL FEDERATION OF REPUBLICAN WOMEN
1970 NATIONAL MEDIA ANALYSIS [1 of 2]
1970 NATIONAL MEDIA ANALYSIS [2 of 2]
1970 NATIONAL VISITORS

Box 9

1970 NATIONALITIES AND MINORITIES [1 of 2]
1970 NATIONALITIES AND MINORITIES [2 of 2]
1970 NEW POLITICAL GROUP
1970 NEWS FROM KEN COLE
1970 OFFICE TRAVEL
1970 OFFICE TRAVEL II [1 of 2]
1970 OFFICE TRAVEL II [2 of 2]
1970 PEN PALS (WALLACE FERMIN)
1970 POLITICS (2) A

Box 10

1970 POLITICS (3) A
1970 POLITICS (#3) B [1 of 2]
1970 POLITICS (#3) B [2 of 2]
1970 POLLS II A
1970 POLLS II B
1970 POLL [S] OTHER [1 of 2]
1970 POLL [S] OTHER [2 of 2]
1970 POSTMASTERS LEAGUE

Box 11

1970 REFERENCE
1970 REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION

PLANNING GROUPS, 1969-70

1969 Haldeman Planning Group
Presidential Objectives Planning Group [1] [1 of 3]
Presidential Objectives Planning Group [1] [2 of 3]
Presidential Objectives Planning Group [1] [3 of 3]
Presidential Objectives Planning Group (2) [1 of 2]

Box 12

Presidential Objectives Planning Group (2) [2 of 2]
Presidential Objective [s] Planning Group (3)

THANK YOU AND CONGRATULATORY LETTERS, 1969-70

1970 Congratulatory and Thank You to H.S.D. June '69-May [1 of 2]
1970 Congratulatory and Thank You to H.S.D. June '69-May [2 of 2]
1970 Congratulations Thank You to H.S.D. June-Dec

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