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Dwight L. Chapin Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973
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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: Dwight L. Chapin Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973
    Dates: 1969-1973
    Collection Number: 6217697
    Creator/Collector: Chapin, Dwight L. (Dwight Lee), 1940-
    Extent: 17 linear feet, 6 linear inches; 40 boxes
    Repository: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
    Abstract: Dwight Chapin was the President's Appointments Secretary. In addition to scheduling, Chapin was responsible for supervising Presidential advance men and acting as liaison between the White House and media consultants. The Chapin files reflect all aspects of Chapin's job.
    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

    Dwight L. Chapin Papers, White House Special Files, 1969-1973. 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

    Dwight Lee Chapin was born in Wichita, Kansas on December 2, 1940. He was a field worker on Richard Nixon’s 1962 gubernatorial campaign while he was still in college. In 1963, Chapin graduated from the University of Southern California. He was then hired as an Advertising Assistant at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in Los Angeles, which also employed future Nixon White House Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman. In 1967-68, Chapin worked as a Personal Aide to Richard Nixon during his presidential campaign. After Nixon’s election victory, Chapin became Special Assistant to the President in charge of appointments and travel. He held that position from 1968 until he became Deputy Assistant to the President, serving as appointments secretary, in 1971. Chapin was named one of the year’s ten Outstanding Young Men by the United States Junior Chamber or Jaycees organization for his contribution to President Nixon’s visit to China. Chapin remained in his role as Deputy Assistant until he left the White House Staff in March 1973. He then worked as Director of market planning at United Air Lines but was convicted in 1974 of two counts of making “false material declarations” before the grand jury that investigated Richard Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign and given a federal prison sentence. Chapin served his time at Lompoc Federal Corrections Institute from August 10, 1975 to April 2, 1976. From the time of his 1974 conviction, Chapin was in the employ of W. Clement Stone Enterprises of Chicago, Illinois. After his 1976 release from prison, Chapin became Vice President of the same company but left in 1977 to become publisher and President of Success Unlimited Magazine. He ran the magazine for two years before going to work for the international public relations firm Hill & Knowlton in 1979. In 1986, he created a new business endeavor named Chapin Enterprises. He also remained active in politics and worked on George H. W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign. Chapin later went on to work in East Hampton, New York as a business consultant, mentor and public speaker.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Dwight L. Chapin served as appointments secretary to President Richard M. Nixon from 1969 to 1973. The responsibilities of this position included scheduling the daily appointments of the President, maintaining the long-range planning calendar, supervising Presidential advance men for both foreign and domestic travel, preparing the daily schedule for foreign trips, and acting as liaison between the White House and media consultants. The materials in this file group reflect all aspects of Chapin's job and are arranged in six series: Notes, Chronological File, Memoranda, Subject Files, China Trip Files, and Telephone Logs. During the years 1969-73, H. R. Haldeman, President Nixon's chief of staff, conducted daily early morning staff meetings, which Chapin regularly attended. The handwritten notes, which he took at these meetings, comprise the Notes series. These notes pertain to the full range of topics discussed at the meetings. Major topics include Viet Nam, Honor America Day, and reactions to protesters, as well as scheduling considerations. In addition, there are occasional references to Donald Segretti, Herbert Kalmbach, and to the Watergate scandals. Many of the subjects covered in the Notes are developed more fully in memoranda and letters in the chronological files. The Chronological File parallels the Notes series and is composed primarily of memoranda from Chapin to other White House staff members. Principal recipients include H. R. Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman, John W. Dean, III, Ronald H. Walker, Ronald Ziegler, and Lawrence M. Higby. Although the memoranda deal primarily with scheduling problems, they also pertain to such subjects as political strategy, use of television and the press in political campaigning, public opinion polls, details of advance trips, and White House staffing patterns and procedures. The Memoranda series includes memoranda originated by H. R. Haldeman and sent to Chapin during the period 1969-71. These memoranda concern primarily scheduling problems. Many contain annotations indicating decisions reached or suggestions for further study. The Subject Files, like the chronological files, reflect the major areas of Chapin's responsibilities. Within the series are file folders pertaining to members of Chapin's staff and topics of recurring interest, such as advance man resumes and schedule planning. The material includes background information compiled to help Chapin prepare outgoing memoranda, or related to incoming memoranda. There is extensive material relating to the 1972 Republican National Convention and public opinion polls. During 1971 and 1972, in addition to his scheduling duties, Chapin served as chief advance man for President Nixon's trip to the People's Republic of China. The materials found in the China Trip Files detail the arrangements for this trip. Included are memoranda on the gifts presented to Chinese officials by the President, the establishment of a ground satellite communications system between China and the United States, itineraries for President and Mrs. Nixon, descriptions of cultural events and historical sites which the official party visited, arrangements of support personnel and the press corps, and plans for the reciprocal banquet hosted by President Nixon. The Telephone Logs provide a record of all calls to or from Chapin's office that were made through the White House switchboard. Occasionally there is a typed or handwritten note in the log indicating the subject or purpose of a particular telephone call. Chapin's telephone logs for the period October 1971 through October 1972 are located among the files of John W. Dean III. Two photographs of gifts which President Nixon presented to Chinese officials on his State visit to China, and a composite photograph of 55 Presidential advance men have been removed to the audiovisual collection and replaced with electrostatic copies. Three copies of blue prints for Duplex Villa at the Key Biscayne Hotel in Florida have been transferred to an oversize container at the end of the file group. The Staff Member and Office Files of the White House Central Files contain an additional 22 cubic feet of Chapin material.

    Indexing Terms

    Dwight Chapin

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