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W. Richard Howard

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The Presidential historical materials of W. Richard Howard, Staff Assistant to Charles W. Colson, 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 nonhistorical items. No such materials were identified or returned to Howard.

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 material has 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 A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item.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:   2.5
  • Approximate number of pages:   5,000

Biographical Note

1941 October 6 Born in Salt Lake City, Utah

1963 B.S., University of Southern California

1963-1969 Sales Executive, International Business Machines Corporation, Los Angeles, California

1964 Married Marcia Ann Northrop

1966 M.B.A., University of Southern California

[?] Manager, Concentric Tool Corporation, Pasadena, California

1969 Administrative Assistant to Kenneth N. Davis, Jr., Assistant Secretary for Domestic and International Business, Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C.

1970 Staff Assistant, White House Staff

1973-July 1974 Special Assistant to the President

Scope and Content Note

The materials of W. Richard Howard date from 1970 to 1974, during which time Howard served as Staff Assistant to Charles W. Colson. According to an undated Colson staff list, Howard's area of responsibility was "Administration." He communicated regularly with media and public opinion representatives to ensure that a favorable political and personal image of the President was presented to the public. In a 1973 memorandum to Alexander Haig, Howard defined his special areas of concern as professional and trade organizations, public opinion, and the New American Majority.

The materials are arranged into three series:

  1. Action Memos
  2. Meetings File
  3. Subject Files

The Action Memos series contains original and electrostatic copies of Presidential and White House staff memoranda prepared during the period 1971-73. They are mainly between Colson, Howard, and two Staff Secretaries, Jon Huntsman (1971) and Bruce Kehrli (1972-73). There are also memoranda to and from Dwight Chapin, H. R. Haldeman, Larry Higby, and the President. These memoranda have the usual attachments and notations of the Staff Secretary's office, a cover sheet bearing a log number, which sometimes include a "P" prefix or an "H" suffix. The Action Memos series clearly reveals Howard's efforts to create a favorable media image for the administration.

The Meetings File indicates another area of Howard's responsibility, that is, to arrange public relations meetings for the President. The files reveal that the meetings were usually brief, lasting from five to twenty minutes, and often included photographic sessions and award presentation ceremonies. The series contains information on the purpose of the meetings, participants, plans for press releases, and possible talking points.

The Subject Files deal with such topics as special interest groups, the Teamsters Union, the war in Vietnam, the 1972 campaign, and the Watergate scandal. Most of the materials in this series pertain to public opinion polls, which Howard presumably used in preparing public relations strategy. The series also includes analyses of the Republican National Committee's budget, of election results, and of statements made by Democratic leaders.

All photographs have been transferred to the audiovisual collection (PA 78-2-2-21). Each photograph has been replaced with a withdrawal sheet and an accompanying electrostatic copy.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-4
Series:   Action Memos | Folder Title List
Spans:   1971 - 1973
Description:   Original and electrostatic copies of action memoranda to and from Howard, Colson, Staff Secretaries Jon Huntsman and Bruce Kehrli, H. R. Haldeman, the President, and other White House staff members. The memoranda deal with the administration's effort to maintain a favorable media image. Arranged chronologically.

Boxes:   4
Series:   Meetings File | Folder Title List
Spans:   1973
Description:   Memoranda, schedules, and photographs concerning brief Presidential public relations meetings. The materials indicate the purpose of the meetings, the participants, plans for press releases, and possible talking points. Arranged in reverse chronological order and by name of the meetings' participants.

Boxes:   5-6
Series:   Subject Files | Folder Title List
Spans:   1970 - 1974
Description:   Original and electrostatic copies of memoranda to and from Howard and other White House staff members concerning special interest groups, the 1972 Presidential campaign, and public opinion polls. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Folder Title List

ACTION MEMOS, 1971-73

Box 1

CWC [Colson] - RN ACTION MEMOS
Completed Colson action
Completed CWC [Colson] action [1 of 2]
Completed CWC [Colson] action [2 of 2]
Completed Haldeman Action [1 of 7]
Completed Haldeman Action [2 of 7]
Completed Haldeman Action [3 of 7]
Completed Haldeman Action [4 of 7]
Completed Haldeman Action [5 of 7]
Completed Haldeman Action [6 of 7]
Completed Haldeman Action [7 of 7]

Box 2

Haldeman Folder
Chapin Completed Actions
[Colson-Staff Secretary Action memos, Nov. 1971-Dec. 1972]
[Staff Secretary] Action Memos [May 11, 1971-Feb. 4, 1972] [1 of 3]
[Staff Secretary] Action Memos [May 11, 1971-Feb. 4, 1972] [2 of 3]
[Staff Secretary] Action Memos [May 11, 1971-Feb. 4, 1972] [3 of 3]
[Staff Secretary] Action Memos [Sept. 27, 1971-May 18, 1972] [1 of 3]

Box 3

[Staff Secretary] Action Memos [Sept. 27, 1971-May 18, 1972] [2 of 3]
[Staff Secretary] Action Memos [Sept. 27, 1971-May 18, 1972] [3 of 3]
[Staff Secretary] Action Memos [Dec. 28, 1972-Jan. 26, 1973]
[Staff Secretary] Action Memos - Feb. '73 [Jan. 29 - Mar. 2, 1973]
[Staff Secretary] Action Memos - March 1973
Staff Secretary [Huntsman Action Memos [1 of 5, March 1971]
Staff Secretary [Huntsman Action Memos [2 of 5, April 1971]
Staff Secretary [Huntsman Action Memos [3 of 5, May 3-May 14, 1971]
Staff Secretary [Huntsman Action Memos [4 of 5, May 17-May 28, 1971]
Staff Secretary [Huntsman Action Memos [5 of 5, June-Aug. 1971]

Box 4

Staff Secretary [Kehrli] Action Memos [1 of 5, Jan.-Mar. 1972]
Staff Secretary [Kehrli] Action Memos [2 of 5, Apr. 1972]
Staff Secretary [Kehrli] Action Memos [3 of 5, May-June 1972]
Staff Secretary [Kehrli] Action Memos [4 of 5, July1972]
Staff Secretary [Kehrli] Action Memos [5 of 5, August 1972]

MEETINGS FILE, 1973

President's Mtg w/Kathleen Balsdon, Wed., Nov. 21, 1973
President's Mtg w/Bud Hermann and Jim Low, Wed., Nov. 14, 1973
HICKMAN MEETING 4/16/73
Pamplin Meeting 3/6/73
Olin Meeting 3/2/73
Meeting w/Doug Kenna 2/8/73 (National Assoc. of Manufacturers)
Meeting w/O'Donnell 2/7/73 Arrived Empty
Meeting w/Sindlinger 2/5/73

SUBJECT FILES, 1970-74

Box 5

BUDGET [1972 White House Mailing]
CAMPAIGN 1972 [1 of 2]
CAMPAIGN 1972 [2 of 2]
Data Base [1 of 2]
Data Base [2 of 2]
Haig
Media Bias
NETWORK COVERAGE BIAS? [1 of 4]
NETWORK COVERAGE BIAS? [2 of 4]
NETWORK COVERAGE BIAS? [3 of 4]
NETWORK COVERAGE BIAS? [4 of 4]

Box 6

NEW AMERICAN MAJORITY
Presidential [Sindlinger Survey Results] [1 of 3]
Presidential [Sindlinger Survey Results] [2 of 3]
Presidential [Sindlinger Survey Results] [3 of 3]
Special Interest
STRATEGY
Teamsters
[Clay T.] Whitehead [1 of 2]
[Clay T.] Whitehead [2 of 2]

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