Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Alexander P. Butterfield Subject Files, White House Central Files, 1969-1973
6124468  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (57.16 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
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

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Alexander P. Butterfield Subject Files, White House Central Files, 1969-1973
    Dates: 1969-1973
    Collection Number: 6124468
    Creator/Collector: Butterfield, Alexander Porter, 1926-
    Extent: 1 linear foot, 4 linear inches; 3 boxes
    Online items available
    Repository: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
    Abstract: During his years in the White House, Alexander Butterfield served on the staff of H. R. Haldeman and had the title of Deputy Assistant to the President. Butterfield served as a chief administrative officer, having responsibility for final review of all memoranda, briefing papers, and correspondence going to the President as well as the conduct of the President’s daily, non-public activities. As cabinet coordinator, Butterfield informally assumed the role of Secretary to the Cabinet. He supervised the operation of the Staff Secretary’s Office, the Security Office, the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, the Office of Special Files, and the work of Presidential Receptionists. He served as liaison for the First Lady’s Staff, the White House Social Secretary, the Office of White House Visitors, and the Military Assistant to the President. Butterfield also had oversight of internal security, acting as liaison with the United States Secret Service’s Presidential Protective Division, Technical Security Division, and the Executive Protective Service. The files in this series contain memoranda, letters, and reports received by Butterfield principally in connection with his responsibilities for planning events in cooperation with the First Lady’s staff, as a contact for those seeking the attention of the President, and as liaison with the Secret Service dealing with personnel and document security. The files describe here were retired to the White House Central Files unit as Confidential Files Oversize Attachment 693.
    Language of Material: English

    Access

    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 P. Butterfield Subject Files, White House Central 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

    Alexander Porter Butterfield was born in Pensacola, Florida on April 6, 1926. After attending the University of California, Los Angeles for two years, Butterfield left college to join the United States Navy as a seaman recruit. He eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1956 at the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree in 1967 at George Washington University. He married Charlotte Mary Maguire in 1949. Butterfield joined the Air Force in 1948 and went on to serve as an instructor at a U. S. Air Force base near Las Vegas, Nevada during the early part of the Korean War. Later, he served in Germany. He was Military Assistant to the Special Assistant of the Secretary of Defense in 1965 and 1966. In 1967-1969, Butterfield was the Senior Military Representative of the United States; Representative for Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Forces, Australia. During his time as a student at UCLA, Butterfield had become acquainted with H. R. Haldeman. He contacted Haldeman about job opportunities in the Nixon administration and eventually joined the White House staff as a Deputy Assistant to the President. He served the administration from 1969 until he left to work as an administrator at the Federal Aviation Administration in early 1973. On July 13, 1973, under direct questioning, Butterfield confirmed the existence of a voice-activated recording system in the Oval Office to Senate investigators and testified before the Senate investigation committee three days later. He resigned from the FAA on March 31, 1975. He then worked in the private business sector.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The materials of Alexander P. Butterfield cover the years 1969-1973. During those years he served as H. R. Haldeman's deputy on the President's personal staff as Deputy Assistant to the President. Butterfield served as a chief administrative officer, having responsibility for final review of all memoranda, briefing papers, and correspondence going to the President as well as the conduct of the President's daily, non-public activities. After November 1969, the Nixon Administration had no formal Secretary to the Cabinet, and Butterfield assumed those duties informally as Cabinet coordinator. He supervised the operation of the Staff Secretary's Office, the Security Office, the Office of Presidential Papers and Archives, the Office of Special Files, and the work of Presidential Receptionists. He served as liaison for the First Lady's Staff, the White House Social Secretary, the Office of White House Visitors, and the Military Assistant to the President. He also had oversight of internal security, acting as liaison with the United States Secret Service's Presidential Protective Division, Technical Security Division, and the Executive Protection Service. In a 1988 interview published in The Journal of American History, Butterfield described himself as "... responsible for the smooth running of the president's official day, and for all White House administration."[1] Most of the materials relating to internal security and protection of the President and his family are closed. Although Butterfield had oversight of the installation and operation of the White House tapes, he did not document these activities. The files consist of incoming correspondence, including memoranda from other White House staff members, letters from contacts and supporters of the administration outside the government, and reports and routine administrative correspondence dealing with the President's schedule, security issues, social and ceremonial arrangements, and attempts to anticipate news coverage. Other subjects reflected in the files range from the use of celebrities in the 1972 campaign to the purchase of wines for the White House to construction plans for the White House grounds. The files contain memoranda, letters, and reports received by Butterfield principally in connection with his responsibilities for planning events in cooperation with the First Lady's staff, as a contact for those seeking the attention of the President, and as liaison with the Secret Service dealing with personnel and document security. The files described here were retired to the White House Central Files unit as Confidential Files Oversize Attachment 693. This note does not describe all of the materials of Alexander P. Butterfield. The White House Special Files unit maintained files considered sensitive for reasons of either political content or security classification. An additional 4.2 cubic feet (approximately 10,000 pages) of files created, received, and maintained by Butterfield are contained, under Butterfield's name, in the White House Special Files. Those materials are described separately.