Terrence O'Donnell (White House Special Files: Staff Member and Office Files)

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The Presidential historical materials of Terrence O'Donnell, Deputy Special Assistant, Appearances and Scheduling, 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. Such items were identified and returned to O'Donnell.

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 A Document Control Record marks the original position of the withdrawn item.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 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:   .67
  • Approximate number of pages:   1,600
Biographical Note

1944 March 3 Born in New York City, New York

1966 B. S., U. S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado

1966-1971 U. S. Air Force, Office Special Investigations

1969 J. D., Georgetown University Law School, Washington, D.C.

1971 Office of Judge Advocate General (JAG), U.S. Air Force

1971 November Detailed by the U. S. Air Force to the Price Commission, Cost of Living Council, Office of General Counsel and Executive Director

1972 April 12 Detailed from the U. S. Air Force to the Office of Ron Walker, White House Staff

1972 August-November Advance man working for Dwight Chapin in the Advance Office

1972 November-May 1973 Staff Assistant, Office of H. R. Haldeman, Chief of Staff, working under Larry Higby

1973-1974 Deputy Special Assistant to the President, Office of Presidential Appearances and Scheduling under David Parker

1974 August-1977 Aide to the President, Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Ford administration, working for Warren S. Rustand, Director of the Scheduling Office

1977- Partner, law firm of Williams & Connolly, Washington, D.C.

Scope and Content Note

According to his exit interview, Terry O'Donnell joined the White House staff in May 1972 as one of Ron Walker's advance men for President Nixon and worked in this capacity through the Republican National Convention in August. After the Miami convention he was placed in the Advance Office under Dwight Chapin to do Presidential scheduling until the election. With Nixon's reelection, O'Donnell was promoted to Staff Assistant in the Office of H. R. Haldeman working under Larry Higby in preparing for the President's inauguration.

In Haldeman's office, O'Donnell functioned as a clearing point for incoming proposals, suggestions, plans, and requests for Presidential trips, visits, letters, speeches, statements, messages, and phone calls from White House staff members and high-level agency officials. He also served as a receiving agent for materials sent to Haldeman and the President from the Staff Secretary. When Haldeman resigned his White House position on April 30, 1973, and shortly thereafter Gen. Alexander Haig assumed Haldeman's job as White House Chief of Staff, O'Donnell was assigned to train General Haig's assistant, Maj. Gen. John C. Bennett. Afterward O'Donnell was reassigned to the office of Dave Parker with the title of Deputy Special Assistant to the President, Office of Presidential Appearances and Scheduling. He remained in this position until the end of the Nixon administration.

The materials are arranged into one series:

  1. Subject Files

This series, Subject Files, reflects O'Donnell's primary duty, developing the President's daily and weekly schedule. There are daily and weekly schedules for the period from May 20 through October 1973. Several folders contain suggestions and proposals from White House staff members, agency personnel, and members of Presidential councils and commissions requesting the President make speeches, phone calls, or visits. There are two briefing notebooks relating to the proposed 1974 budget that was designed to revamp drastically the structure of Federal programs. The one briefing notebook lists the objective submissions for 21 major Federal departments and agencies that were participating in the President's management initiative program. The other notebook primarily contains an overview, including the goals of the administration, of some of the major Federal programs, and of legislation that had been targeted for elimination or reduction in the 1974 budget.

Series Description

Boxes:   1-2
Series:   Subject Files
Spans:   1973 - 1974
Description:   Original and electrostatic copies of memoranda, schedule proposals, drafts of daily Presidential calendars, reports, briefing notebook, and lists of names to receive weekly schedules. The materials contain proposals, suggestions, and plans for Presidential trips, visits, letters, speeches, statements, messages, phone calls, and other activities. Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder in chronological order.

Folder Title List


Box 1

Terry O'Donnell: Agency Visits
Booklet: Fiscal Year 1974-Objective Submissions for 21 Major Agencies
Briefing Notebook, March 1973
Brezhnev Visit, [June 1973]
Domestic Council Recommendations
KMT-TOD Memos [Kathy Tindle - Terry O'Donnell] Memos (Office Administrative Memos)
Miscellaneous [Memos and Letters]
Presidential Schedule [1973]
President's Schedule:
May 20, 1973-May 26, 1973
May 27, 1973-June 2, 1973
June 3, 1973-June 9, 1973 [Schedule Proposals]
June 24, 1973-June 30, 1973
July 1, 1973-July 7, 1973

Box 2

July l5, 1973-July 21, 1973 [Schedule Proposals]
TO'D -August 1973 [Schedule Proposals]
September 1973
October 1973
Schedule Guidance
Telephone Plan
Trip Events