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Background

During the Nixon administration, the National Archives Office of Presidential Libraries maintained a liaison Office of Presidential Papers and Archives (OPPA). One of the functions of OPPA was to conduct exit interviews with departing staff members.

Available Exit Interviews

The following exit interviews are available for research. They exist in transcript form in the research room at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California and online through the links below; a small number also have audio available online and in the research room.

  • Adams, Penelope A. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   September 26, 1973

    Penelope A. Adams was the radio and television coordinator and later deputy press secretary for Mrs. Nixon. She worked in the White House from December 1, 1969 to September 1973. In the interview, she discussed her responsibilities for press relations and the scheduling of social events for the First Lady.

  • Allin, Lyndon K. (Mort) | Transcript
    Interview Date:   September 4, 1974

    After working as the National Director for Youth for Nixon campaign, Lyndon K. (Mort) Allin began work on the President's Daily News Summary shortly after the President's inauguration in 1969. In his interview, Allin describes the staff, organization and evolution of the daily News Summary, as well as his work on special reports and media analysis.

  • Atkins, Oliver (Ollie) | Transcript
    Interview Date:   November 21, 1974

    Oliver (Ollie) Atkins joined the Nixon campaign in 1968 and later served as the official photographer for the President from January 20, 1969 until November 21, 1974. He discusses the organization, duties, and staff of the White House Photo Office and laboratory, as well as exceptional events and photographic highlights he captured.

  • Ball, Neal | Transcript
    Interview Date:   April 5, 1973

    Neal Ball became Deputy Press Secretary for the Nixon Administration on April 19, 1971. In this capacity he oversaw press and media relations concerning domestic activities. In his interview, Ball recounts his responsibilities and outlines the news-making process and how communication flowed between the White House and the press. He briefly discusses the content and organization of his files.

  • Codus, William R. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   November 29, 1972

    William R. Codus was the Assistant Chief of Protocol for Visits at the Department of State and came to the White House on July 9, 1972 to manage scheduling for Mrs. Nixon, Julie Eisenhower, and Tricia and Edward Cox. His discussion of his duties in the interview included a description of his planning Mrs. Nixon’s 1972 trip to Africa.

  • Colson, Charles W. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   January 12, 1973

    Charles Colson was Special Counsel to the President. He was responsible for political liaison with nongovernmental organizations. His duties also included lobbying on behalf of the administration and political analysis. In addition to outlining his responsibilities in the interview, Mr. Colson discussed the campaigns of 1970 and 1972 and his advice to the President concerning the Vietnam War.

  • Fox, Sanford L. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   September 27, 1974

    Sanford Fox took a permanent position in the White House in 1959 as the Assistant Chief of the Social and Entertainment Office, after completing his service in the Navy. He eventually became the head of the office when his predecessor, Adrian B. Tolley, retired. In this capacity, Fox oversaw the planning of social events for the Nixon family, including receptions, luncheons, dinners and weddings. He discusses the work involved in planning such events, including the preparation of invitations, seating charts, greeting cards and special commendations.

  • Gannon, Frank R. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   November 16, 1972

    Frank R. Gannon was selected to work as a White House Fellow and began his position August 1, 1971 with a shared assignment under the Counsellors Robert H. Finch and Donald H. Rumsfeld. After the Fellowship ended a year later, Finch retained his position and became Special Assistant to the Counsellor. In his interview, Gannon recounts the Fellowship application and selection process, and his duties as a Fellow, which included writing speeches and background briefing papers for Finch and Rumsfeld.

  • Henkel, William, Jr. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   October 1, 1974

    William Henkel, Jr. worked in the Advance Office beginning in August 1970. Henkel worked on both domestic and international advances, including the President's trips to China, Russia, and the Middle East. In this interview, he discusses the staff and organization of the Advance Office as well as his work there, which included Presidential event planning as well as contributing to the Presidential Advance Manual. Henkel also briefly outlines the contents and organization of the Advance Office's files.

  • Herschensohn, S. Bruce | Transcript
    Interview Date:   September 9, 1974

    S. Bruce Herschensohn was a Deputy Special Assistant to the President, joining the White House in September 1972. He was an expert on propaganda and film-making, serving initially as a consultant on political matters and as a speech writer. Mr. Herschensohn would later act as a liaison with the public on Support the President matters surrounding the Watergate controversy. He arranged for support petitions to be accepted by the White House, the Staff, and in some cases, by the President. He also wrote support articles for newspapers and magazines. In his interview, Mr. Hershensohn discussed his various White House responsibilities.

  • Klein, Herbert G. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   July 13, 1973

    Herb Klein was the Director of Communications for the Executive Branch. In this capacity, he coordinated the public relations activities of the White House and Federal agencies. In his interview, Mr. Klein described his work with Mr. Nixon and his campaigns from 1946 to 1969 before Mr. Klein became Director of Communications including his involvement with Vice President Nixon’s 1959 “Kitchen Debate” with Nikita Khrushchev. He also outlined his responsibilities as Director of Communications.

  • Krogh, Egil M. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   December 18, 1972

    Egil “Bud” Krogh was the Deputy Counsel to the President and later, Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs. His responsibilities included drugs, crime, law enforcement, liaison with the District of Columbia, and transportation. In addition to describing his duties, Mr. Krogh discussed in his interview the international drug trade and law enforcement efforts in the District of Columbia.

  • Patterson, Bradley H., Jr. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   September 10, 1974

    Bradley H. Patterson was an executive assistant to Leonard Garment, helping him with civil rights issues and cultural affairs. Under Mr. Garment, Mr. Patterson developed his own specialty in Indian affairs. In his interview, Mr. Patterson described his involvement with planning for the Bicentennial, school desegregation policies, legislation concerning Alaskan natives, and the Nixon administration’s response to Indian activists occupying Alcatraz, the Bureau of Indian Affairs building, and Wounded Knee.

  • Shepard, Geoffrey C. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   September 11, 1974

    Geoffrey L. Shepard was an Associate Director on the Domestic Council Staff, starting in September 1970. Mr. Shepard’s assignments primarily dealt with the Justice Department and law enforcement which he outlined in his interview. He also described with whom he worked in the White House and throughout the Executive Branch.

  • Stein, Benjamin J. | Transcript | Audio: FLAC | MP3
    Interview Date:   October 18, 1974

  • Strachan, Gordon | Transcript | Audio: FLAC: Part A | Part B | MP3: Part A | Part B
    Interview Date:   December 14, 1972

  • Stuart, Constance C. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   March 15, 1973

    Constance C. Stuart served simultaneously as staff director and press secretary for the First Lady starting in October 1969. Ms. Stuart described the operation of her staff whose duties included managing press relations, correspondence, scheduling, and social events for Mrs. Nixon, Tricia and David Eisenhower, and Julie and Edward Cox. She also talks briefly about her relations with the President's staff.

  • Walker, Ronald H. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   December 29, 1972

    Ronald H. Walker began as an advanceman during the 1968 presidential campaign. After working for Nixon during the first months of his Presidency, Walker was appointed special assistant to Secretary Walter J. Hickel, coordinating his schedule and travel. A short time later, in October 1969, Walker was named the chief advanceman for the Nixon Administration. In this capacity, Walker was responsible for selecting and training advancemen. To achieve this, he began holding advance seminars and created the first manual for Presidential advancemen. In his interview, he discusses the responsibilities of the Advance Office, how he selected those who worked for him, and specific advances he coordinated during Nixon's first term and during his campaign for re-election.

  • Warren, Gerald L. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   October 24, 1974

    Gerald L. Warren served as deputy press secretary beginning in January 1969. In his interview, Mr. Warren discussed with whom he worked and his responsibilities, including providing logistical support to the White House press corps.

  • Whitaker, John C. | Transcript
    Interview Date:   May 4, 1973

    John C. Whitaker was Cabinet Secretary in 1969 and a member of the Domestic Council staff from 1969 to 1973. As a member of the Domestic Council, Mr. Whitaker had responsibility for environmental and natural resources policies. In his interview, Mr. Whitaker discusses how the Domestic Council and Cabinet functioned.


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