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Kenneth L. Khachigian Papers, White House Special Files, 1970-1973
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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: Kenneth L. Khachigian Papers, White House Special Files, 1970-1973
    Dates: 1970-1973
    Collection Number: 6850866
    Creator/Collector: Khachigian, Kenneth L. (Kenneth Larry), 1944-
    Extent: 12 linear feet, 3 linear inches; 28 boxes
    Online items available
    Repository: 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 reflect this.
    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

    Kenneth L. Khachigian Papers, White House Special Files, 1970-1973. 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

    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 of 1974.

    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: Correspondence File, Chronological File, Name File, Campaign Subject File, Opposition Candidates File, State File, and Miscellany. 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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