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NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER, VICE PRESIDENTIAL

Contents: President Gerald R. Ford nominated Rockefeller to fill the vacant vice presidency following the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon in August 1974. Rockefeller served as vice president from December 19, 1974, to January 20, 1977.

Arrangement: At this time, the following nine series are available for research in Record Group 26:

Series 2.  Richard Allison, 1974-1977.  25 cubic feet
This series documents a portion of Nelson A. Rockefeller's public life from 1974 to 1977.  Richard Allison was an assistant to Nelson A. Rockefeller while Rockefeller was the Vice President of the United States.  The Richard Allison papers are not his personal papers but are most likely background documentation to Record Group 26, Series 18 - Working Papers of the Vice President. 

The Richard Allison series is arranged in twelve subseries.  Subseries 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12 are arranged chronologically.

Subseries 1: Campaign 1976, 1975-1976, 2 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of correspondence, memos, and newspaper clippings pertaining to the 1976 Presidential election. The bulk of the material deals with the campaign strategy for the election of President Gerald Ford. Notable figures in this subseries are Bob Dole, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Walter Mondale.

Subseries 2: Presidential Panel on Federal Compensation, 1975-1975, 1 cu. ft.
This subseries contains memos, meetings, and reports of the Presidential Panel on Federal Compensation, which was established by Presidential memorandum to recommend appropriate levels of compensation for federal employees in accordance with the principle of comparability with non-federal employee compensation.  The panel was headed by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller from June 1975 to December 1975, and it was terminated upon submission of its final report on December 2, 1975. 

Subseries 3: Domestic Council, 1970-1976, 3.2 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of memos, background papers, activity reports, and policy reviews of the Domestic Council.  The Domestic Council was formed in 1970 on the recommendation of the President's Advisory Council on Executive Organization.  Developed as the domestic counterpart of the National Security Council, its major purpose was to create for the President a centralized,  comprehensive policy-formulating group which would work closely with the relevant Cabinet Departments in analyzing and developing policy initiatives on issues such as education, health care, welfare, drug abuse programs, veteran programs, civil rights, and natural resources.  The materials in this subseries are background materials for Record Group 26, Series 18 - Working Papers of the Vice President.

Subseries 4: Energy Independence Authority (EIA), 1974-1976, 2.5 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of correspondence, memos, and meetings of the Energy Independence Authority, which was established on October 10, 1975 by an act of Congress.  The proposal from President Ford was to establish an independent government-owned corporation, managed by a five-member board of directors, with authority to invest a total of $100 billion over a seven-year period in energy projects which would help the United States achieve energy independence. The EIA supported projects in nuclear energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, and synthetic fuel technology.

Subseries 5: Establishment of Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), 1975-1976. 1.5 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of correspondence, memos, and meetings of the Office of Science and Technology  Policy, which Congress established in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the executive office on the impact of science and technology on domestic and international affairs.
                                                                                                                             
Subseries 6: Science Advisory Groups for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), 1975-1976,  2 cu. ft.
This subseries contains general memos and meetings of the science advisory groups.  Two science advisory groups were appointed by President Ford in November 1975.  The first group, chaired by Dr. Simon Ramo, was to provide advice on the contributions of technology to economic strength.  The other group, chaired by Dr. William Baker, was to provide advice on anticipated advances in science and technology.  The groups' priorities were to set up a list of urgent scientific issues. The list included issues in energy, food and nutrition, space, industrial productivity, health and safety regulations, and basic research.

Subseries 7: Administrative and Miscellaneous Files, 1975-1977, 3.6 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of miscellaneous files, including Vice Presidential notes and clippings.  It is likely that some of these documents are duplicated in other portions of the Nelson Rockefeller Vice Presidential collection.  This subseries is arranged in the original folder order.

Subseries 8: Vice Presidential Miscellaneous Files, 1974-1977, 1.2 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of correspondence and memos generated in the office of Vice President.

Subseries 9: STATUS: Monthly Chartbook of Social and Economic Trends, Weekly Meeting with the President, 1975-1976, 0.1 cu. ft.
The Council of Social Advisors existed to assist the President in preparing social reports, gathering data on social conditions, appraising the effectiveness of existing programs in meeting social needs, and developing social indicators to measure changes in key areas of social importance.  Its publication STATUS was issued monthly and was available to the general public.  This subseries contains general supplemental material on the advisory council on STATUS.  Additional material on STATUS can be found in Record Group 26, Series 18 - Working Papers of the Vice President.
                                                                                                                             
Subseries 10: Chronological Files, 1975-1977,  2.8 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of memos from Richard Allison to either Nelson Rockefeller or Central Files on various issues.

Subseries 11: Miscellaneous Clippings, 1975-1977, 0.5 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of magazine and newspaper articles on the Vice Presidency of Nelson Rockefeller.

Subseries 12: Productivity Commission, 1974-1977, 1.2 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of memos and reports of the Productivity Commission, which was established on June 8, 1974 by an act of Congress.  Its primary objective was to help increase the productivity of the American economy and to help improve the morale and quality of work of the American worker.  The Commission provided technical and consulting assistance to the President and Congress with respect to Government policy affecting productivity and the quality of work.


Series 3. Central Files, 1974-1977, 200 cu. ft.
The series contains the general correspondence of the Office of the Vice President during Rockefeller's tenure. It offers partial documentation of his role in the development of national policy; his duties as President of the U.S. Senate; his information-gathering activities on behalf of the White House and executive agencies; and his support of the president's policies. There are also reports and position papers on national issues submitted to the Vice President by individuals both in and outside government. Also documented are Rockefeller's campaign activities on behalf of President Ford and Senator Robert Dole in the 1976 presidential campaign. The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters from U.S. citizens expressing their opinions on issues, inviting the Vice President to speak at events, or asking for assistance with personal problems. The responses to such correspondence were written by the Vice President's staff.

Series 9. National Commission on Water Quality, 1972-1976, 59 cu. ft.
President Richard M. Nixon appointed Rockefeller chairman of this commission, charged with determining the technological, economic, social and environmental aspects of restoring and maintaining the purity of the nation's water supply. The series includes regional and industry studies of water use and water pollution issues, and models and recommendations for improvements. Topics include conservation, ecological issues and public policy implementation. About half of the volume of this series consists of background material collected by the commission staff; the other half consists of staff correspondence and reports.

Series 10. New York Office-Vice Presidential Series, 1974-1977, 15 cu. ft.
These papers include material prepared for Rockefeller's vice presidential confirmation hearings before the U.S. Congress and a small amount of material from Rockefeller's term as vice president. This series also contains audio material, including cassettes of the proceedings before the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, as well as reel-to-reel tape recordings of remarks Rockefeller made as vice president. Some material is restricted.

When President Gerald R. Ford selected Nelson A. Rockefeller to fill the vacant vice presidency on August 20, 1974, Rockefeller's staff began preparing material for the confirmation hearings. Much of the material in this series was gathered from the Rockefeller family archives, then located in Rockefeller Center.

Rockefeller's staff spent most of late August and early September 1974 preparing background data, drafting testimony, and fulfilling requests for information from Congressional committee members. The files that begin this series are the products of those efforts.

Once confirmed and sworn in as Vice President, Rockefeller and his staff began to accumulate files anew. A new set of subject files was created, as well as files concerned with the daily activities of the Vice President. These files were periodically shipped to the family archives in New York for storage.

The New York Office of the Vice President is divided into three subseries:

    Subseries 1: Vice Presidential Confirmation Hearings, 1974.
    These alphabetically arranged files were gathered from the Rockefeller family archives in New York to help prepare testimony and position papers on various issues for the hearings. At the end of each day of testimony, the archives staff gathered information that had been requested that day by the committees and sent it Washington.

    Subseries 2: Office of the Vice President, 1975-1977.
    These alphabetically arranged files were created in Washington and eventually shipped to the family archives in New York. Many of the files contain explanatory memoranda to Dr. Joseph Ernst, the family archivist.

    Subseries 3: Sound Recordings, 1974-1977.
    The third subseries is a collection of reel-to-reel audiotapes and audiocassettes. There are two distinct sets of audiocassettes. The first set consists of recordings of the proceedings of the confirmation hearings and the others are cassette recordings of remarks and speeches made by the Vice President. The reel-to-reel audiotapes are recordings of remarks by the Vice President and other dignitaries. Each collection of tapes is arranged chronologically.
Series 12. Joseph E. Persico Files, 1959-1974, 12 cu. ft.
This series focuses on Joseph E. Persico's service as the chief speech writer for Nelson A. Rockefeller during his two last terms as governor of New York (1967-1973) and as Vice President of the United States. (1974-1977). This collection contains the speeches and press releases that Persico wrote during his official duties; his personal papers and writings are at the New York State Archives in Albany.

A native of Gloversville, New York, Persico graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 1952 with a B.A. in both English and political science. After three years in the U.S. Navy, Persico did graduate work at Columbia University in 1956 and began writing for New York Governor Averill Harriman. In 1959, he became a Foreign Service Officer for the United States Information Agency (USIA) in Brazil, Argentina, and Washington, DC. Between 1963 and 1966, he served as Executive Assistant to New York State Health Commissioner Hollis Ingraham. He joined Rockefeller's staff in 1966 and was his chief speech writer for the remainder of his tenure as governor and throughout his vice presidency.

Most of this series is made up of speech files. They contain one or more versions of each speech such as drafts, reading copies, transcripts, or press releases. Drafts and reading copies are likely to include Governor Rockefeller's handwritten changes and notations. Some files contain memos, schedules, or background information concerning the event at which the speech was given.

    Subseries 1, New York State Committee to Reelect the President Research Files, 1972 , (2 cu. ft).
    Alphabetically arranged files containing statistical data and factual information for each state. This information was used by the Committee to Reelect the President research staff based in New York.

    Subseries 2, Miscellaneous Writings, 1971-1974 (0.5 cubic feet).
    Contains miscellaneous speeches and transcribed taped messages that Governor Rockefeller gave at various functions and locations. The speeches also appear in other parts of this collection.

    Subseries 3, Pre-Vice Presidential Speeches, 1966-1974 (6.4 cubic feet).
    This subseries is composed of chronologically arranged speeches written by Joseph Persico for Governor Rockefeller during his third and fourth gubernatorial terms. It also includes speeches written during Rockefeller's first congressional confirmation hearing for U.S. Vice President.

    Subseries 4, Press Releases. 1970-1974 (1.2 cubic feet).
    Chronologically arranged, these files of press releases also include transcripts of interviews, press conferences, and speeches.

    Subseries 5, Miscellaneous Files, 1968-1974 (1.2 cubic feet).
    Includes an article for the American Academy of Political and Social Science, program papers on major topics such as aging and the economy, Rockefeller's quotations on major issues, and subject indexes for speeches.


Series 13. Press Releases, 1974-1977, 27 cu. ft.
A file of press releases, notes and background information concerning the statements and activities of Vice President Rockefeller. Also included are trip itineraries and correspondence regarding the logistics of vice presidential travel.

Series 15. Speeches, 1974-1977, 23 cu. ft.
Broad topics covered include national politics, government, public policy issues and U.S. foreign relations. Many files include drafts of speeches.

Series 18. Working Papers of the Vice President, 1974-1977, 16 linear feet (63 volumes).
The majority of Rockefeller's actions as Vice President of the United States are documented in this series, which includes schedules, agendas and minutes of meetings, position papers, and memoranda and correspondence generated as part of the Vice President's daily activities. Volumes 50 through 60 of the series contain a collection of press materials issued by Vice President Rockefeller's office. Included are transcripts of Rockefeller's speeches, television appearances, and press conferences, and statements and press releases issued by the Office of the Vice President. Also noteworthy in the series is Volume 32, which documents the fiscal crisis that affected both New York City and the state.

Series 19.  Foreign Affairs and National Security, 1953-1977, 18.5 cubic feet.
The bulk of this series of papers consists of files kept by Captain Jonathan T. Howe, Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs, who served Nelson A. Rockefeller during his entire vice presidency (December 19, 1974, to January 20, 1977) in the Gerald R. Ford Administration. The contents reflect international relations and national security topics that Capt. Howe monitored closely for the Vice President. He also oversaw Mr. Rockefeller's appointment schedule on these matters and coordinated with Peter Wallison, Counsel to the Vice President, on suggested responses to inquiries involving foreign officials or national security issues.

The topics covered include International Travel, National Security, Meetings with Foreign Dignitaries, Meetings with U.S. Officials, the Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy (Murphy Commission), Intelligence, Countries/Regions, and the Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States (alternately Rockefeller or CIA Commission). Additionally, there are several folders of background information on the Operations Coordinating Board, which originate from Mr. Rockefeller's tenure as Special Assistant to President Eisenhower during the mid-1950s. Also significant in this series are monthly folders of Captain Howe's chron file.

Noticeably absent is documentation of direct communication between the Vice President and President Ford on any of these matters. However, there are numerous memos throughout the series from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger—particularly under International Travel—and National Security Affairs Assistant Brent Scowcroft—particularly under National Security Council Meetings.

The arrangement of the series is mainly by broad topic; it can be inconsistent on occasion.


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