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Gwendolyn B. King Papers, White House Central Files, 1969-1974
6212848  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gwendolyn B. King Papers, White House Central Files, 1969-1974
    Dates: 1969-1974
    Collection Number: 6212848
    Creator/Collector: King, Gwendolyn
    Extent: 8 linear feet, 9 linear inches; 20 boxes
    Repository: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
    Abstract: Gwendolyn B. King served as Director of Correspondence for the First Lady. Her responsibilities included answering all mail received by Mrs. Nixon, Julie and David Eisenhower, and Tricia and Edward Cox. Mail addressed to the President and Mrs. Nixon was also handled by this office. One staff member under King, Cynthia A. (Cindy) Vanden Heuvel, evolved into a sort of personal secretary to the Eisenhowers and the Coxes. Her records were segregated as the “Girl’s Office,” and her records are included in this file group.
    Language of Material: English

    Access

    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.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    Gwendolyn B. King Papers, White House Central Files, 1969-1974. Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

    Acquisition Information

    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.

    Biography/Administrative History

    October 27, 1915 - Born, Hartsville, South Carolina as Mabel Gwendolyn Bair; later changed name to Gwendolyn Mabel Bair. 1932-1936 - B.A., Coker College, Hartsville, South Carolina. 1936-1937 - Strayer Business College, Washington, D.C. 1937 - Catholic University, Washington, D.C. 1937 - Married to LaBruce W. King. 1937-1942 - Administrative Assistant to Librarian & Junior Librarian's Assistant, Library of Congress. 1942 - Farm Credit Administration, Kansas City, Missouri. 1942-1953 - Housewife. 1953- Clerk-Stenographer, Office of Examining Branch, Army Board of Correction of Military Records, Office of the Secretary of the Army, Washington, D.C. 1953-1969 - Assistant to the Appointments Secretary, White House; along with other short-term positions. 1969-1974 - Director of Correspondence for Mrs. Nixon. 1974-1976 - Volunteer on Mrs. Ford's staff. 1976- Public speaker and active in community activities, Santa Rosa, California.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Gwendolyn B. King file group documents the activities of the First Lady's correspondence office from 1969 to 1974. The office was responsible for answering all mail received by Mrs. Nixon, Julie and David Eisenhower, and Tricia and Edward Cox. Mail addressed to the President and Mrs. Nixon was also handled by this office. Letters went out over the signature of Mrs. Nixon or Gwen King, depending on the nature of the incoming correspondence and the type of response decided upon. Aside from those drafted by Mrs. King, herself, letters were drafted by other members of the office, including Belinda Baltzell, Mary Austermiller, Diane Carroll and Nancy Nathan. Carbons drafted by these women have been segregated in the Correspondence File series. The nature and volume of incoming mail often allowed the White House response to be in the form of an individually tailored form letter. Examples of these were kept for future reference, and are filed as Form Responses, alphabetically, by subject treated. In addition, the Correspondence office distributed photographs, recipes and engraved greeting cards when these items were requested. Much of the research that went into answering First Family mail was done by staff members, or was solicited from appropriate Federal Departments and agencies, as well as rom other White House offices. A large segment of outgoing correspondence, answers to invitations sent to First Family members, is located in the Appointments Office files of Susan A. Porter. One staff member under Mrs. King, Cynthia A. ("Cindy") Vanden Heuvel, evolved into a sort of personal secretary to the Eisenhowers and Coxes. Her records were segregated as the "Girl's Office". The nature of this sub-office was similar to that of the larger Correspondence Office. Letters were signed by members of the First Family and by Miss Vanden Heuvel. After the "CVH" Chronological File, the major subseries is the Wedding File, which provides background information on Julie's and Tricia's weddings. Most of the material dealing with the Nixon-Eisenhower marriage, however, has been withdrawn and returned to Mrs. Nixon since the event occurred before President Nixon assumed office. There are also binders of Form Responses, General Information, and Gift Logs for the Eisenhowers and Coxes present in this subseries. Related Staff Member and Office Files collections that should be consulted include the files of Susan A. Porter, Helen M. Smith, Lucy A. Winchester and the White House Social Files. Taped exit interviews with Constance C. Stuart, Penelope A. Adams, William R. Codus and notes from an interview with Coral F. Schmid will also prove informative. In addition, an oral history program is in progress which includes former members of the First Lady's staff. The extensive photographic, film and video collection contained in the Nixon presidential materials has much material documenting the activities of the First Lady. Also available are audio recordings of Mrs. Nixon and Constance Stuart, taped by the White House Communications Agency.