Scope and Content of Collection
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Title: Alexander M. Haig, Jr. Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1974
Collection Number: 6854424
Haig, Alexander Meigs, 1924-2010.
Extent: 21 linear feet, 5 linear inches; 49 boxes
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Abstract: The records were created to document Haig's activities as he served as a Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security
Affairs and later, as White House Chief of Staff.
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.
Alexander M. Haig, Jr. Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1974. 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
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr. was born on December 2, 1924 in the Philadelphia suburb Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. He was the son
of Alexander Meigs Haig, an assistant city solicitor of Philadelphia, and Regina Anne (née Murphy). Haig attended the University
of Notre Dame for two years before transferring to the U.S. Military Academy in 1944. Upon graduation in 1947, Second Lieutenant
Haig served in Japan with the First Calvary Division, then as an aide to Lt. General Edward “Ned” Almond in Europe. He also
served on General Douglas Macarthur’s staff in Japan before and during the Korean War. While in Japan, Haig was assigned as
an aide to General Alonzo P. Fox, MacArthur’s deputy chief of staff. In 1950, Haig married Maj. Gen. Fox’s daughter, Patricia
After the Korean War, Haig left the military for two years to study business administration at Columbia University. Soon thereafter,
Haig returned to the military and he was a student at the Naval War College from 1959 to 1960. He then studied at Georgetown
University for a master’s degree in International Relations, which he received in 1962.
In 1962, General Haig was selected as a staff officer to the deputy chief of staff for military operations in the Pentagon.
Soon Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance named Haig his military assistant. In 1964, he was appointed deputy special assistant
to Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara. In 1965, he left the Pentagon to attend the Army War College for a year. After graduating,
Haig was deployed to Vietnam. When his tour of duty ended in 1967, Haig was appointed regimental commander of cadets at his
alma mater, the U.S. Military Academy.
In January 1969, Haig became the senior military adviser to Henry Kissinger, the assistant to the President for national security
affairs. General Haig became deputy assistant to President Richard Nixon for national security affairs in 1970. Haig was promoted
to full general in 1972 and, a year later, left the White House to become the vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army. In May
1973, Haig was brought back to the White House to replace White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, who had resigned on April
30, 1973. After President Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974, Haig served temporarily as chief of staff under President
President Ford appointed Haig to the post of Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) in late 1974. Haig left the military in 1979 to become the president of United Technologies Corporation, a defense
contractor. On January 22, 1981, Haig was sworn in as President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State. He left the position after
serving for 18 months.
In 1984, Haig founded Worldwide Associates Inc., a global consulting firm. That same year, he wrote about his time with the
Reagan administration in Caveat: Realism, Reagan, and Foreign Policy. In 1988, Haig was a candidate for the Republican Presidential
nomination. He pulled out of the race after the Iowa caucuses. In 1992, his memoir Inner Circles: How America Changed the
World was published.
Haig appeared on television programs such as World Business Review, on which he replaced Caspar Weinberger as the program’s
moderator, and 21st Century Business. In addition, he was an advisor to Newsmax Media, a member of the Washington Institute
for Near East Policy, and a founding board member of American Online. General Haig died of complications from an infection
on February 20, 2010 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. On March 2, 2010, he was buried at Arlington National
Cemetery with full military honors.
Scope and Content of Collection
The papers of Gen. Alexander M. Haig, Jr. reflect his varied responsibilities during the sixty-three months he served in the
Nixon administration. His first association with the administration was in January 1969, when he was detailed by the Army
to the National Security Council (NSC) Staff as senior Military Advisor for National Security Affairs. Working closely with
Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger, he soon became Kissinger's deputy. As Deputy
Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, he, together with Kissinger, advised President Nixon on matters
relating to national security during the first Nixon administration. General Haig remained on the Kissinger staff until early
January 1973, when he left to become Vice Chief of Staff of the Army at the Pentagon.
His departure from the Nixon administration proved to be short-lived. Four months later, on May 4, 1973, he returned to the
White House as Chief of Staff at the request of the President to fill the vacuum created by H.R. Haldeman's resignation on
As White House Chief of Staff, General Haig directed the daily operations of the White House Staff. He approved projects
undertaken by individual members of the White House Staff and acted as the final authority on personnel matters. The office
staff which assisted him in carrying out his responsibilities of coordination and administration included: Maj. Gen. John
C. Bennett, Deputy Assistant to the President; Charles B. Wardell, III, Deputy Special Assistant to the President; Muriel
Hartley, Confidential Assistant; and Lt. Col. George A. Joulwan, Special Assistant to the President.
The Haig materials consist of three series: Interstaff Communications, Office Files, and Speech Files. The materials in
the Speech Files refer to his tenure on the NSC Staff between 1969-1973, while most of the materials in the other two series
relate to his duties as White House Chief of Staff during the 1973-74 period.
The Interstaff Communications series pertains to the years 1973-74. It consists of memoranda, reports, and other correspondence
directed to General Haig from members of the White House Staff, other administration officials, members of Congress, Watergate
Special Prosecution Force, Republican and Democratic Party leaders, the news media, and private citizens. Topics include
foreign policy issues, national defense measures, Watergate-related issues, the selection of personnel for Presidential appointments,
and the distribution of perquisites among the White House Staff. Principal correspondents in this series are Kenneth W. Clawson,
David R. Gergen, Jerry H. Jones, Lt. Col. George A. Joulwan, and David J. Wimer.
The Office Files series reflect General Haig's responsibilities as White House Chief of Staff. The files for 1973 indicate
his efforts to establish administrative control over the White House Office and to coordinate its activities with the Vice
President, various Cabinet members, and top-level
government managers. Included in these files are memoranda from the White House Staff describing progress reports and recommendations
on administration activities and policies. The 1974 files, however, consist of analyses of congressional, media, and public
reactions to the President's speeches and other White House statements. News clippings, legal briefs, and congressional publications
concerning the Watergate investigation constitute a significant portion of the material in the series.
General Haig's Speech Files series documents one of his functions as a NSC staff member, which was to state the administration's
position on certain national defense issues or the NSC role in formulating American foreign and national security policies.
In addition to the texts of his speeches and summaries of the briefing he gave to selected special groups, the files contain
drafts of President Nixon's speeches and statements by various administration spokesmen, which were selected for informational
and reference purposes. His "surrogate speech file" refers to drafts, transcripts, and revised versions of a speech he gave
on June 23, 1972, to explain the President's position on foreign policy matters to administration spokesmen during the 1972
reelection campaign. Supplemental material in the surrogate speech files indicate that he gave the same or a similar speech
to the Republican National Committee on September 23, 1972, and to other groups.
The White House Central Files, Staff Member and Office Files, contain an additional five cubic feet of General Haig's materials.
Other materials related to the Haig Special Files may also be found throughout the NSC files and the Henry A. Kissinger Office
Files. In the NSC files, there are 15 cubic feet of General Haig's chronological files and 7.6 cubic feet of his special
Charles B. Wardell, III is the only member of General Haig's White House office staff whose materials are separate and identifiable
among the Nixon Presidential materials. In the White House Central Files, Staff Member and Office Files, there is one cubic
foot of material attributed to Wardell.
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