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First Chronological Conversation Tape Release

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These conversations, released on October 5, 1999, comprise the first of five chronological segments to be released.

Finding Aid

  • Download the Adobe Acrobat PDFcomplete finding aid, which includes a detailed description of the conversations, information on how the tapes were processed according to the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (PRMPA) (44 USC 2111 note) and its implementing regulations, and background information on the Nixon White House Tapes.


The conversations involve a wide variety of participants, including:

  • White House staff members H.R. Haldeman, Henry Kissinger, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson, Ronald Ziegler, and Rose Mary Woods.
  • They also include members of the Cabinet, other department and agency personnel, Members of Congress, foreign leaders, members of the press, and the general public.


  • Conversations include a wide variety of issues and document the daily routine of the President and his staff. They include discussions on public relations, appointments, ceremonial events, polling information, speeches, and the President's schedule.
  • Tape subject logs, which indicate the specific topics discussed in each conversation, can be searched on this web site by going to Advanced Search and selecting "Tape Subject Logs" in the drop-down box. You may also request a free Finding Aid CD-ROM, which contains a searchable index, by contacting the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. Please contact us at the preceding link if you need any assistance in using the tapes.

Domestic Policy Conversations

Topics also include domestic initiatives and issues, such as:

  • the environment, Supersonic Transport funding, the Alaska Pipeline, wage and price controls, revenue sharing, the Supreme Court's busing decision, drug and crime policies, the development of a national cancer policy, the ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, the anti-war movement and the May Day demonstrations, the Pentagon Papers, government reorganization, and welfare reform.

Foreign Policy Conversations

The conversations also document foreign policies and world events, including:

  • the Vietnam War, the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia in Operation Lam Son, the Paris Peace Talks, the initiatives with the People's Republic of China on establishing diplomatic relations, the Strategic Arms and Limitations Talks (SALT), foreign economic and trade policies, U.S.-Japan relations, foreign aid, and Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) in Europe.

Restriction History  [See Also:  Why Taped Conversations are Withdrawn]

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) indicated 483 withdrawals on the Tape Subject Logs out of the 553 hours in this segment.

  • The National Archives has designated:
  • For national security withdrawals, the tape subject log indicates the main subject or subjects that have been withdrawn.

About this Release

Although portions of some conversations have been transcribed in response to various court orders (involving the May Day demonstrations, auto safety, and the purchase of helium), most of the conversations do not have transcripts.

  • spans February 16, 1971 - July 30, 1971, and one tape (WHT 7) covers July 26 - August 16, 1971
  • totals approximately 445 hours
  • consists of approximately 3,646 conversations
  • conversations recorded in the Oval Office, the President's Old Executive Office Building (EOB) office, and in the Lincoln Sitting Room in the Residence of the White House
  • released on October 5, 1999
  • release includes 134 White House Tapes available on 684 reference cassettes
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