Scope and Content of Collection
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Title: Kenneth L. Khachigian Papers, White House Special Files, 1970-1973
Collection Number: 6850866
Khachigian, Kenneth L. (Kenneth Larry), 1944-
Extent: 12 linear feet, 3 linear inches; 28 boxes
Online items available
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Abstract: Ken Khachigian worked for Herbert G. Klein and then Charles W. Colson. His responsibilities mainly concerned public relations
and writing speeches or other documents. He spent much of his time working on the 1972 re-election campaign, and the files
Language of Material: English
Collection is open for research. Some materials may be unavailable based upon categories of materials exempt from public release
established in the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974.
Most government records are in the public domain; however, this series includes commercial materials, such as newspaper clippings,
that may be subject to copyright restrictions. Researchers should contact the copyright holder for information.
Kenneth L. Khachigian Papers, White House Special Files, 1970-1973. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
These materials 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.
Kenneth L. Khachigian joined the Nixon administration as Staff Assistant to Herbert Klein, Director of Communications, in
August 1970. He described his work, done primarily for Klein and Jeb Stuart Magruder, as "generating ideas as how best to
communicate President Nixon's goals and policies." He became involved in the 1970 congressional midterm elections, writing
speeches and preparing political analyses. In the early months of 1971, his assignment was to generate support for specific
administration proposals. Although in the spring of 1971 he was transferred with most of Klein's staff to Charles Colson,
his duties remained unchanged.
In May 1971, Patrick J. Buchanan asked Khachigian to help him work on the 1972 Presidential campaign. In a memorandum of May
27, 1971, Buchanan described to H. R. Haldeman the duties which he proposed to delegate to Khachigian: "... to keep tabs on
candidates, to keep the 'relevant' research on hand, to write materials needed to get into hands [sic] of various speakers,
to communicate with party leaders and the like in states where opposition candidates appear." These were Khachigian's main
responsibilities through election day. By late spring of 1972, he was regarded as the White House's major research source
on the McGovern campaign and as a minor expert on State Presidential primary laws. In the early stages of the campaign, he
coordinated his work with the Republican National Committee and the Committee for the Re-election of the President, but as
White House participation in the campaign intensified this coordination ended. All during this period Khachigian assumed the
duties of "an ad hoc unofficial writer." Besides his more official responsibilities, he wrote for anyone who needed a speech,
article, or position statement. "... What I was considered," he explained in his interview, "was a broad generalist on the
White House staff who could write...."
Sometime in early 1973, Khachigian transferred to the President's speechwriting staff, working under David Gergen and with
the title Deputy Special Assistant to the President. At first his subject areas of expertise were agriculture, natural resources
and the environment, and political and legal matters. Beginning in June 1973, however, Khachigian took on the tasks of researcher
and writer on issues and problems evolving from the Watergate break-in. Khachigian left the White House Staff in the fall
Scope and Content of Collection
The materials of Kenneth L. Khachigian date from 1970 to 1973, with only five folders of materials dating from 1973.
The materials are arranged into seven series:
Campaign Subject File,
Opposition Candidates File,
State File, and
This series contains the records of Kenneth L. Khachigian. The series is comprised of the Correspondence Files subseries;
the Chronological Files subseries; the Name Files subseries; the Campaign Subject Files subseries; the Opposition Candidates
Files subseries; the State Files subseries; and the Miscellany subseries. The Correspondence Files subseries and the Chronological
Files subseries contain memoranda, notes, drafts of speeches, newspaper clippings, and wire service stories. These materials
reflect Khachigian's duties as principal drafter of speeches and memoranda for Herbert Klein and Jeb Magruder and his duties
as a political and public relations strategist. The Name Files subseries contains memoranda, press releases, drafts of speeches
and statements, and clippings. Approximately half of the material is filed under Patrick J. Buchanan's name and related to
1972 Presidential campaign strategy. The Campaign Subject Files subseries contains memoranda, notes of meetings, drafts of
speeches and statements, political reports and analyses, schedules press releases, wire service stories, and clippings. These
materials relate to the 1972 Presidential campaign. The Opposition Candidates Files subseries contains newspaper and magazine
clippings, political research reports, memoranda, notes, schedules, wire service originals, transcripts of broadcast appearances,
and drafts of speeches. This material relates to a variety of individuals, such as Hubert Humphrey, Edward Kennedy, Edmund
Muskie, and George McGovern. The State Files subseries contains newspaper clippings and research reports regarding primary
elections. The Miscellany subseries contains memoranda, notes, appointment calendars, press releases, newspaper clippings,
and a briefing book. Subjects include the Senate Watergate hearings, Khachigian's meetings with the President, and appointment
calendars for 1971 and 1972. The series was created while Khachigian served as a Staff Assistant to the Director of Communications
and later as a Special Assistant to Patrick J. Buchanan and David R. Gergen while working for the Office of the Special Assistant
to the President for Media Analysis and Speech Writing. This series was last maintained by the Special Files Unit.
The two series, the Correspondence File and the Chronological File, are very closely related in the subject matter of materials
they contain. Both files have materials that reflect Khachigian's duties as principal drafter of speeches and memoranda for
Herbert Klein and Jeb Magruder and as political and public relations strategist. At the end of the Correspondence Files are
two folders of Khachigian's own memoranda and a folder containing White House Action Memorandum P653, concerning peace demonstrations.
Approximately half of the materials in the Name File series is filed under Patrick Buchanan's name and relates to the 1972
Presidential campaign. In the Campaign Subject File there is a folder of notes taken by Khachigian during meetings of a White
House staff group concerned with campaign strategy. Both the Opposition Candidates File and the State File contain political
reports, research materials, and numerous newspaper clippings. Appointment calendars for 1971 and 1972 and a folder of memoranda
describing Khachigian's meetings with the President are located in the Miscellany File.
In addition to these materials, the Nixon Library has 11 cubic feet of Khachigian's personal papers and printed materials,
relating primarily to the 1968 and 1972 Presidential campaigns. This material was deeded by Khachigian to the United States
in August 1980, and access to it is governed by the terms of the deed of gift.
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