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Patrick J. Buchanan Papers, White House Special Files, 01/21/1969 - 12/31/1972
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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: Patrick J. Buchanan Papers, White House Special Files, 01/21/1969 - 12/31/1972
    Dates: 1969-1972
    Collection Number: 3129179
    Creator/Collector: Buchanan, Patrick J. (Patrick Joseph), 1938-
    Extent: 12 linear feet, 8 linear inches; 29 boxes
    Online items available
    Repository: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
    Abstract: This series was created to document the activities of Patrick J. Buchanan as he carried out his duties as Special Assistant for Media Analysis and Speech Writing. As Special Assistant to the President, Pat Buchanan's assigned duties were related to written communication. For the most part, this was in the form of daily news briefings, background information for press conferences, and political campaign data gathered for partisan purposes in the 1972 election.
    Language of Material: English


    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

    Patrick J. Buchanan Papers, White House Special Files, 01/21/1969 - 12/31/1972. 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. In accordance with the Act and regulations, archivists have reviewed the materials to identify personal and private materials and non-historical items, which have been returned or offered for return to the owners [creator].

    Biography/Administrative History

    Patrick Joseph “Pat” Buchanan was born in Washington, D.C. on November 2, 1938. He attended Gonzaga High School and Georgetown University. In 1962, he earned a M.S. degree in Journalism at Columbia University. He began writing for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat in 1962 and became Assistant Editorial Page Editor in 1964. In 1965, Buchanan worked as an Administrative Assistant at the Nixon, Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, Alexander and Mitchell legal firm in New York City. The following year, he began working on Richard Nixon’s political campaigns in various capacities over the period of 1966 to 1969. His positions included speech writer, research director, press assistant, political aide, and executive assistant to Richard Nixon. During that time, Nixon was a Republican campaigner and later the 1968 Republican presidential candidate. Following the January 1969 Presidential Inauguration of Richard Nixon, Buchanan became Special Assistant to the President for Media Analysis and Speech Writing. It was during his time as a White House staffer that he married Miss Shelley A. Scarney, a White House receptionist, in 1971. He continued to serve as Special Consultant to the President for Media Analysis and Speech Writing under President Gerald Ford after Nixon’s August 9, 1974 resignation. Buchanan resigned from the White House staff in October 1974. Buchanan worked extensively as a journalist, columnist and political commentator during the period of 1975 to 2012. His syndicated column for Special Features, Inc. first appeared on March 1, 1975 in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News. He has appeared on the NBC Radio Network and television programs including The McLaughlin Group, Crossfire and The Capital Gang. Between 1985 and 1987, Buchanan served Ronald Reagan as Assistant to the President and White House Communications Director. He returned to his syndicated column and commentary work after leaving the Reagan administration. He founded The American Cause conservative educational foundation in 1993. In both 1992 and 1996, he unsuccessfully sought the Republican Party nomination for President. He left the Republican Party in October 1999 and sought the Reform Party nomination. Buchanan’s desire to be the Reform Party candidate led to enormous division with the Reform Party, which led to two separate party conventions being held at the same time but in different locations within the convention center complex in Long Beach, California. Buchanan eventually won the nomination after a September 2000 ruling by the Federal Election Commission. He came in fourth in the election and subsequently returned to the Republican Party in 2004. In 2002, Buchanan founded The American Conservative magazine with Scott McConnell and Taki Theodoracopulos. He also began appearing on a new MNSBC channel program, Buchanan and Press, in July of the same year. The program ran until November 2003. Subsequently, he appeared on numerous politically-oriented television programs over the next eight years, including Scarborough Country, Morning Joe, Hardball and The Rachel Maddow Show. Patrick Buchanan is the author of eight books. The titles of these are: Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? (2012); Churchill, Hitler, and “The Unnecessary War”: How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World (2009); The Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization (2002); State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America (2007); Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart (2009); The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice are Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy (1998); Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency (2005); Right from the Beginning (1988).

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Patrick J. Buchanan files series is comprised of the Chronological Files, Desk Calendars, Subject-Name File, 1972 Election File, and Briefing Book Back-Up subseries. The Chronological Files subseries contains electrostatic and carbon copies of memorandums, letters, and reports drafted, coordinated, or signed by Buchanan, which relate to many subjects when Buchanan's duties included analysis of the news media for input to the President's daily "News Summary," preparing background briefing materials for Presidential press conferences and meetings with groups or people, and assisting in writing speeches. The Desk Calendars subseries contains one calendar from 1971 and one calendar 1972 that include business and social appointment entries and reminders. The Subject-Name File subseries relates to Buchanan's work in analyzing the news media and concern numerous subject matters. Materials include originals, drafts, tissue, and electrostatic copies of incoming and outgoing letters, memorandums, reports, and studies received from, or addressed to, other White House staff members. The 1972 Election file subseries contains originals, tissue, and electrostatic copies of memorandums, teletype printings, press releases and statements, newspaper and periodical editorials and articles, drafts of critiques and analyses of campaign statements concerning personalities and subject matter position papers related to, issued by, or attributed to George S. McGovern, to other Democratic Party leaders, or which concerned nationally recognized supporters and opponents of the Democratic Party. Buchanan assisted in gathering this material for the purpose of providing critical printed statements to be used by Republicans in the 1972 political campaign. The Briefing Book Back-Up subseries contains originals, carbons, and electrostatic copies of probable questions which the White House staff felt news reporters could be expected to address to the President at press conferences. Accompanying the questions are recommended answers relating to important events and Administration policy suggested by the White House staff members and the heads of major departments of the government based upon their analysis of subject matter. These questions ranged from the most important topics of national and international policy down to minor issues and events.

    Indexing Terms

    Pat Buchanan
    Patrick Joseph Buchanan

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