SP (Speeches) (White House Central Files: Subject Files)

Date Start
Date End
Scope and Content Note

File materials placed in the category SP (Speeches) pertain to all speeches, addresses, and statements made by the President or read for him. This includes background materials, drafts or speeches and rewrites, press releases concerning speeches, clearances and speech suggestions, as well as letters and telegrams of congratulations, support, and criticism. This category also includes speeches and statements by members of the White House staff, officials of Federal, state, and local government agencies, and private individuals made on behalf of the President and his administration. Cross-referenced materials may also be found in the White House Special Files (WHSF), Subject Categories: Speeches, and in WHSF, President's Personal Files.

The types of records found in SP (Speeches) includes the Speeches, Messages and Addresses of the President; drafts and rewrites; original incoming letters and telegrams and staff memoranda; carbons and electrostatic copies of outgoing letters and staff memoranda; transmittal letters, route slips, and memoranda for correspondence; telegrams, cables, and teletype communications; printed material such as reports, brochures, and magazine reprints; preservation copies of newspaper and magazine clippings; cross references to other filed materials; handwritten notes; and withdrawal forms for materials transferred as either audiovisual or museum items.

Principal correspondents in the SP (Speeches) category include the President and other White House staff members and Executive Agency staff members whose functional or topical policy responsibilities involved them in Presidential speeches. The Principal correspondents involved in preparing Presidential speeches were the President; Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman (and Alexander Haig); John D. Ehrlichman of the Domestic Council; speechwriters Raymond K. Price, William Safire, and Patrick Buchanan; and their assistants Lee W. Huebner, James Keogh, John K. Andrews, and Rodney C. Campbell. Depending on the topic, others involved in Presidential speechwriting were: Henry A. Kissinger, Alexander Haig, and the National Security Council Staff; Daniel Patrick Moynihan; Elliott Richardson, Robert Finch, and other officials at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; George Shultz, Caspar Weinberger, Paul McCracken, Peter Flanigan, and other economic advisors; Assistant Attorney General William Rehnquist; and Counselors to the President Len Garment, Robert Finch, Donald Rumsfeld, and Bryce Harlow.

In responding to incoming letters and telegrams, news articles and editorials, the principal correspondents were: the President; John D. Ehrlichman; H. R. Haldeman; Henry A. Kissinger; Personal Secretary to the President Rose Mary Woods; Director of White House Communications Herb G. Klein; Deputy Director Ken W. Clawson; Assistant Deputy Director Margita E. White; Assistants to the Director DeVan L. Shumway and Wanda Phelan; Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler; Deputy Press Secretary Gerald Warren; Assistant to the Press Secretary Agnes Waldron; and Staff Assistants Roland Elliott, Noble Melencamp, Tod Hullin, David Parker, and Patrick O'Donnell. Principal correspondents with members of Congress were the President, William Timmons, Bryce Harlow, Clark MacGregor, and Tom Korologos.

The terms Executive and General which are stamped above the subject file code indicate the source of the materials. The terms were used by the White House Central Files to indicate the separation of documents according to their source. Executive items include communications among Federal, foreign, state and local governments and their agencies, members of Congress, and other selected prominent correspondents. It also includes official documents which were acted upon by the President or one of his assistants. Items designated as General are communications between government officials and private citizens, institutions, and private interest groups. This material primarily contains correspondence relating to public reaction to Presidential speeches. In addition, the General material includes requests and invitations from private individuals and groups to Nixon Administration officials for speaking engagements and public appearances.

While the subject category includes speeches and messages given between 1969 through 1974, the case file numbers do not run consecutively throughout the period. The White House Central Files unit separated the case files into two series by imposing a file break after 1969-1970. The first series scheme included four sub-series (SP through SP 3), while the second series was widened to include eight sub-series (SP through SP 7). As a result, SP through SP 3 included material from 1969 through 1974 while SP 4 through SP 7 only included material from 1971 through 1974. In SP 2 and SP 3, this file break resulted in double use of some of the numbers, with the first series numbered consecutively from 1969 through 1970, and the second series beginning anew with consecutive numbering from 1971 through 1974. The user will notice double usage of case numbers in SP 2-3 (SP 2-3-1 through SP 2-3-55 for the first series in 1969-1970 and SP 2-3-1 through SP 2-3-97 for the second series in 1971-1974)), and SP 3 (SP 3-1 through SP 3-109 for the first series, and SP 3-1 through SP 3-216 for the second series). See Appendix A for a complete list of speeches and messages from 1969-1970 and Appendix B for a complete list of speeches and messages from 1971-1974. While the SP file generally runs chronologically, it is necessary to remember that there are two separate numbering schemes, with the break occurring at the end of 1970.

The files are arranged into eight series:


Contains printed material, handwritten notes, schedules, lists, correspondence, memos, press releases, route slips, photographs, and sound recordings. Boxes 1-6 contain memos, drafts, and correspondence of the White House staff suggesting topics and remarks for Presidential speaking engagements; and establishing a speechwriting and speech presentation policy. Topics included Vietnam, Revenue Sharing, inflation, energy policy, housing, and the space program. These files are arranged chronologically. Boxes 6-18 includes speeches given by officials other than the President in 1969-1970. (Note: speeches given by officials other than the President from 1971-1974 are located in series SP 4 (speeches by the White House staff), SP 5 (speeches by other governmental officials), and SP 6 (speeches by private individuals).) These files are arranged alphabetically by subject category (from AG - Agriculture to WE - Welfare), thereunder chronologically.


Contains drafts, schedules, memos, correspondence, telegrams, printed material, and photographs of the Inaugural Addresses of the President and related materials. Outgoing correspondence includes electrostatic copies and carbon copies from the President and the White House staff to prominent officials and individuals. The files is arranged chronologically.


Contains drafts, rewrites, memos, route slips, handwritten notes, press releases, carbons, reports, printed materials, photographs, correspondence, and lists relating to messages given by the President to the Congress. This series is subdivided into four sub-series. They are:


This file is arranged chronologically.


This file is arranged chronologically.


Major topics included foreign policy, crime, trade policy, the environment, health and safety issues, postal reform, education, revenue sharing, veto messages, and welfare reform. The files are arranged chronologically. Because the White House Central Files changed filing systems in 1971, this sub-series is organized into two distinct categories: in the first category, from 1969-1970, the speeches and messages are labeled SP 2-3-1 (the first message from 1969) through SP 2-3-55 (the last message of 1970). See Appendix A for a complete list of messages and the 1969-1970 White House filing scheme. In the second category, from 1971-1974, the speeches and messages are labeled SP 2-3-1 (the first message of 1971) through SP 2-3-97 (the last message in 1974). See Appendix B for the complete list of Messages and the 1971-1974 White House filing scheme.


The files are arranged chronologically.


Contains drafts, rewrites, memos, carbons, correspondence, handwritten notes, route slips, telegrams, printed materials, photographs, museum items, lists, schedules, press releases, and reports. This category includes speeches delivered by the President on foreign trips, at commencement exercises, at dedication ceremonies, to veterans groups, business leaders, and other special interest groups. Major topics included foreign policy, the Vietnam War, revenue sharing, campus unrest, welfare reform, the environment, health policy, wage and price freeze, law enforcement, economic policy, and "Watergate." To gather as much public support as possible, President Nixon preferred to make major policy speeches to the Nation or to large groups. For this reason, a large portion of this series includes public correspondence. This series is divided similarly to SP 2. From 1969 through 1970, the speeches are labeled SP 3-1 (the first speech from 1969) through SP 3-109 (the last speech of 1970). In the second filing scheme from 1971 through 1974, the speeches are labeled SP 3-1 (the first speech of 1971) through SP 3-216 (the last speech of 1974). The file is arranged chronologically.


Contains memos, drafts, correspondence, schedules, lists, carbons, printed material, telegrams, and handwritten notes. Major topics included foreign policy, economic issues, the Vietnam War, revenue sharing, wage and price freeze, health policy, the environment, and welfare reform. This series only incorporates material from 1971 through 1974. The file is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the speaker and thereunder chronologically.


Contains correspondence, carbons, memos, printed materials, handwritten notes, reports, press releases, schedules, lists, and telegrams. Major topics include foreign policy, the wage and price freeze, economic issues, health policy, the environment, energy policy, revenue sharing, domestic and local issues, and welfare reform. Because this series only encompasses the second filing scheme, documents contained in this series date from 1971 through 1974. Material dated before 1971 is located in the first series, SP. The file is subdivided into four categories:

FG (Federal Government Officials); arranged numerically, 1 through 339, by the FG that the speaker worked for. Thereunder, the file is arranged chronologically.

IT (International Organizations); this category includes speeches given by U.S. members to International Organizations. Speakers include Ambassador to the United Nations George Bush, and Ambassador-at-Large John Scali. The file is arranged alphabetically by the name of the International Organization, and thereunder chronologically.

LG (Local Government Officials) includes speeches by local government officials including Mayors Richard Lugar and Sam Yorty. The file is arranged alphabetically by town or city, and thereunder chronologically.

ST (State Government Officials) includes speeches by Governors Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, and Linwood Holton, and State Attorney General John Danforth as well as other state government officials. The file is arranged alphabetically by state, and thereunder chronologically.


Contains memos, correspondence, printed material, carbons, and handwritten notes pertaining to speeches and messages by prominent non-governmental officials. Speakers included primarily business leaders, special interest directors, college professors, and community leaders. Major topics include economic policy, health issues, monetary policy, foreign policy, "Watergate," welfare reform, and trade policy. Materials in this series are dated between 1971 and 1974 while materials dated in 1969-1970 are located in the first series, SP. The file is arranged chronologically.


Contains memos, printed materials, schedules, lists, correspondence, carbons, route slips, and handwritten notes. This series contains documents regarding the scheduling of Federal Officials for speaking engagements. The Executive Speakers Bureau under the direction of Patrick O'Donnell coordinated the schedules of cabinet secretaries, executive agency officials, members of the White House staff, Ambassadors, and Congressional leaders in attempting to provide Administration spokespersons for public speaking engagements. The material contained in this series dates from 1971 through 1974. Material from 1969-1970 is located in the first series, SP. The file is arranged chronologically.

Folder Title List