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Alexander M. Haig, Jr. Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1974
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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
  • Additional collection guides

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Alexander M. Haig, Jr. Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1974
    Dates: 1969-1974
    Collection Number: 6854424
    Creator/Collector: Haig, Alexander Meigs, 1924-2010.
    Extent: 21 linear feet, 5 linear inches; 49 boxes
    Repository: 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.

    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

    Alexander M. Haig, Jr. Papers, White House Special 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

    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 Antoinette Fox. 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 Gerald Ford. 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 April 30. 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 chronological files. 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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