RECORD GROUP 15, NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER GUBERNATORIAL RECORDS
Contents: Nelson A. Rockefeller served as governor of New York State from January 1, 1959 to December 18, 1973. He was the first person to be elected to four consecutive four-year terms as a state governor. The material in this record group documents his activities as governor as well as aspects of his campaigns for higher office.
Arrangement: At this time the following twenty five series are available for research. Descriptions of the open series follow the list.
This series contains the office files of several members of Nelson A. Rockefeller's staff, primarily the Appointments Office, whose function was to sift through the letters of application received for positions in the Rockefeller administration. The series consists of correspondence with individuals applying for positions, as well as internal memoranda to and from other staff of the Appointments Office or to staff of the various state-level departments to which an applicant was referred. This is an incomplete portion of the Appointments Office correspondence, containing only three boxes of alphabetical correspondence, from C through L. The final box of the series contains miscellaneous subject files, 1967-1970. Alphabetically arranged by topic, this portion of the series is also incomplete. The material contained within these files may be duplicated within the official gubernatorial record, maintained on microfilm at both the New York State Archives and the Rockefeller Archive Center.
Series 3. Assembly and Senate Memos, 1959-1973, 18.4 cu. ft.
This series contains a comprehensive collection of the bills submitted to Rockefeller for approval during his tenure as governor of New York State. Each bill that was submitted to Rockefeller was accompanied by a memorandum from the counsel to the governor that denoted the subject and purpose of the bill; offered brief comments on the background of the legislation; and recommended that the bill be either approved or disapproved.
This series contains a portion of the files of Joseph H. Boyd from his tenure as Congressional liaison officer for Governor Rockefeller. During 1967, Boyd maintained an office in Washington, DC, and held regular meetings with members of the New York State Congressional delegation. Almost all of the files pertain to that year. Boyd also served as Rockefeller's liaison to the New York State Legislature during this time. The other files in this series reflect his prior service as a Special Assistant to the Governor. Of note are memoranda and correspondence from Henry Kissinger and Edward Teller on such topics as foreign policy, defense spending, and the nuclear test ban treaty before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1963.
Series 7. James Cannon Files, 1968-1971, 6.8 cu. ft.
This series contains a portion of the files of James Cannon that were created primarily during his tenure as an executive assistant to Governor Rockefeller. Cannon worked in the New York State Washington Office in the early 1970s and reported on fiscal and revenue sharing matters in the U.S. Congress. In 1969, Cannon was part of the governor's staff on the Presidential Mission to Latin America.
Subseries 1, Revenue Sharing, 1971-1972, 1.6 cu. ft.
This subseries primarily concerns Cannon's tenure in Washington, DC, where he attended to fiscal matters before the U.S. Congress on behalf of Governor Rockefeller, representing the interests of the Rockefeller administration to the members of the state's Congressional Delegation. Among the issues documented is the State and Local Fiscal Assistance Act of 1972. Of note is one folder of material that concerns the General Grant Revenue Act of 1971, proposed by New York Congressmen Hugh Carey and Ed Koch.
Subseries 2, Latin American Mission, 1968-1972, 5.2 cu. ft.
In 1969 President Richard M. Nixon appointed Rockefeller to undertake a Presidential Mission to Latin America to consult with leaders and determine the needs and conditions there. Rockefeller toured 20 Latin American countries during the visit. This subseries contains a small sample of the documentation of the mission. Notable is correspondence with members of President Nixon's staff, specifically National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, who monitored the mission from Washington. Additional extensive materials on the Latin American Mission may be found in the Washington, DC series in Record Group 4 of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Papers (Boxes 98-201).
This small series contains a portion of the files of N. Lee Cook, who served as a program assistant for Governor Rockefeller. These files are specifically related to Affirmative Action Programs. The majority of the files contain significant documentation of the Affirmative Action Program of Greater Buffalo (BAAP) and the work undertaken by that organization in 1970 and 1971. Primarily, these files deal with construction issues and equal employment opportunities, as well as affirmative action concerns on construction sites around New York State.
Series 10. Counsel's Office, 3.2 cu ft.
The primary responsibility of counsel to the governor was to translate the governor's programs into law. He and his staff ensured that bills were correctly drafted and helped to prevent enactment of bills that were antithetical to the governor's programs. Along with the budget director and the secretary to the governor, the counsel was one of the people on whom Governor Rockefeller relied most heavily for administration and program development.
This subseries contains a small portion of the files of Robert MacCrate, who served as associate counsel (Feb. 2, 1959-June 1, 1959) and then counsel (June 1, 1959-June 30, 1962) to Governor Rockefeller.
Subseries 2. S. Neil Corbin, 1958-1965, 1.8 cu. ft.
This subseries contains a small portion of the files of Sol Neil Corbin who served as assistant counsel (Jan. 14, 1959 - June 1, 1961) and then counsel (July 1, 1962 - Sept. 1, 1965) to Governor Rockefeller. The principal topics are housing and urban renewal. Major issues include the creation of the New York State Housing Finance Agency and the consolidation, clarification and simplification of urban renewal and housing laws.
Subseries 3. Robert R. Douglass, 1959-1972, 26 cu. ft.
This subseries contains a portion of the files of Robert R. Douglass (RRD) from his years as Counsel to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller (September 1965-December 1970) and then as Secretary to the Governor (January 1971-August 1972).
The Counsel to the Governor's primary responsibility was to translate the governor's program into law. The Counsel and his staff ensured that bills were correctly drafted. Thus, bills in the governor's annual legislative program were drafted in the Counsel's Office to ensure that they reflected Rockefeller's views.
The files in this subseries are arranged alphabetically by subject matter and then arbitrarily within each subject. The final subject, General Government, is a broad heading for several topics, including politics, presidential campaigns, and welfare. Reflecting his time as Counsel to the Governor, Douglass's files are replete with information on most of the programs and policies from the Rockefeller years and include extensive materials dealing with the New York Constitutional Convention of 1967. The proposed new constitution was narrowly adopted at the contentious convention and was overwhelmingly defeated by the voters in the November 1967 election. Also of note are Douglass's files dealing with the creation of the Narcotics Addiction Control Commission and the Taylor Law, which prohibits strikes by public employees. The series also documents Douglass's role as chairman of Rockefeller's 1968 presidential campaign.
These fragmentary materials document aspects of the 1972 presidential election. Included are receipts for contributions made to the New York State Committee to Reelect the President and cancelled administrative checks indicating the costs associated with running a presidential campaign.
Series 13. Jerry A. Danzig Files, 1964-1973, 2 cu. ft.
This series covers the majority of Jerry Danzig's service as Nelson A. Rockefeller's Special Assistant to the Governor for Radio and Television, from 1964 to 1973. The files consist of Danzig's internal memoranda and correspondence regarding Governor Rockefeller's radio and television appearances; bills and invoices for the production, distribution, and broadcast of television promotions; and budgets and expense accounts for programs. There are also scripts and transcripts of short promotional films on Rockefeller. Additional Danzig material is also located in the New York Office series of the Nelson Rockefeller Gubernatorial Papers(Record Group 15), which deals primarily with the 1964 presidential campaign.
Subseries 1, Executive Chamber, 1964-1965. 1 cu. ft.
This subseries covers the eight Executive Chamber television programs produced and shown throughout New York State on a variety of issues. For additional Executive Chamber material, see the Gene Wyckoff series (Series 36).
Subseries 2, Subject Files, 1964-1971. 0.5 cu. ft.
This alphabetically arranged subseries covers a broad range of general topics from nearly the entire tenure of Danzig's service as Special Assistant. Two folders are of particular note. Folder 48 contains information on the creation of the New York State Lottery System and reflects Danzig's role in determining how to promote the lottery on television. Folder 41 contains a transcript of "The Extremists," a political program produced for the 1964 California Republican presidential primary but never aired, at Governor Rockefeller's request. This folder also has a copy of an article from a San Francisco newspaper on the program and the effect it might have had on the outcome of the primary, won by Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, who went on to win the Republican nomination for president in 1964.
Subseries 3, Miscellaneous, 1964-1973. 0.5 cu. ft.
Most prominent are three folders of correspondence on the logistics of Governor Rockefeller's "town meetings," a series of open meetings across the state with community leaders and the public that were often filmed for local broadcast. Also included here are materials on "The Nelson Rockefeller Story," filmed for the 1964 presidential campaign.
Series 14. Executive Chamber, 1958-1972, 2 cu. ft.
This series consists primarily of correspondence from New York State residents to members of Governor Rockefeller's staff, specifically those working on the Gubernatorial Executive Branch staff. The correspondence is congenial, thanking the staff members for meeting with them or thanking the staff member for appearing at an event on the Governor's behalf. Many members of the executive staff are represented here, although the series is dominated by correspondence with Alexander Aldrich, who began his career with New York State as director of the Division for Youth in 1960; Richard Amper, Governor Rockefeller's first press secretary; and his successor, Robert McManus. who served as press secretary until 1966, when he was appointed to be an executive assistant to the governor.
Series 16. 55th Street, 1968-1974, 16 cu. ft.
Rockefeller was the first governor to maintain a permanent gubernatorial office in New York City, and this series of records came from that office in midtown Manhattan. This series is comprised primarily of correspondence with citizens as well as those in public service. One section of the correspondence deals with Rockefeller's selection to serve as President Ford's vice president. Other files deal with the many projects that Rockefeller undertook in the period between the governorship and the vice presidency, including the Critical Choices Commission and the National Commission on Water Quality.
Series 17. Issue Books, 1959-1964, 14.6 cu. ft.
This series consists of more than eighty volumes of Issue Books, which contain statements and press releases issued by the Gubernatorial Press Office in response to important political and policy issues. Governor Rockefeller also had many experts write background papers on various subjects. In most cases, these papers are coupled with summary papers or supporting memoranda to assist the governor in formulating a position.
There are two subseries in this series.
The volumes in this subseries contain memoranda from Governor Rockefeller's staff and advisors. Much of the material was prepared under the supervision of Roswell B. Perkins, one of Rockefeller's chief advisors. Found throughout the volumes are draft "Platform Planks" submitted for consideration in the 1964 Republican Platform, and selections from the "Current Positions Notebook," which outlined Governor Rockefeller's stands on a variety of issues. The subseries also includes many background papers written by consultants engaged by Governor Rockefeller. Since material in this subseries was gathered primarily for the 1964 presidential election, a majority of the material contains analyses of Kennedy and Johnson administration proposals and stands on issues, as well as evaluations of positions held by Senator Barry M. Goldwater. Also included are campaign-related materials, such as pamphlets and position cards.
Subseries 2, Issue Books for the First Gubernatorial Term, 1958-1962, 5.4 cu. ft.
The volumes in this subseries contain memoranda from Governor Rockefeller's staff and advisors that focus on New York State issues. The subseries primarily consists of statements and speeches made by Governor Rockefeller on issues affecting New York. Of note are press releases issued by the governor's office of "Veto Memorandum" explaining why the governor chose not to sign a bill into law. Also included are copies of enacted legislation, a number of campaign statements issued by the Rockefeller campaign prior in 1958, and year-end summaries that note the administration's accomplishments on various issues.
This series contains a small portion of the office files of Arthur Massolo, who served in the Appointments Office during Governor Rockefeller's third term. This incomplete selection of papers is composed entirely of correspondence with individuals seeking employment in the Rockefeller administration. As Assistant Appointments Officer, Massolo forwarded the correspondence to the appropriate department and often included cover memoranda with recommendations to the department heads.
Series 21.2. Hugh Morrow Papers, 1958-1977, 42.8 cu. ft.
This series contains the papers of Hugh Morrow, a member of the executive staff of Nelson A. Rockefeller during Rockefeller's service as governor of New York State and vice president of the United States.
Hugh Morrow (1915-1991) was a newspaper reporter in his native Pennsylvania and in Washington, D.C., before becoming an associate editor of the Saturday Evening Post for ten years. He joined the staff of Governor Rockefeller in November 1959 as a speechwriter and a special assistant. Morrow was appointed Director of Communications in February 1969, and in 1974 became Vice President Rockefeller's Press Secretary.
This collection of Morrow's papers includes miscellaneous files on state and national issues; speeches, articles, and campaign materials used during Rockefeller's bids for the presidency in 1964 and 1968 and his gubernatorial reelection campaign in 1970; speech transcripts from Rockefeller's last term as governor (1971-1974); transcripts of interviews, press conferences and speeches during Rockefeller's term as vice presidential (1975-1976); and Morrow's subject files, 1955-1974.
This material is open for research subject to the restrictions on access to documents about living members of the Rockefeller family, which are closed to research.
Series 22. New York Office, 1959-1965, 22.8 cu. ft.
This series came from Rockefeller's midtown Manhattan gubernatorial office, and includes documentation regarding his attempts to gain the Republican presidential nomination in 1960 and 1964.
Series 23. Civil Service Resolutions (Charles H. Palmer), 1959-1973, 4 cu. ft.
This series contains a collection of resolutions forwarded to Charles H. Palmer, Assistant Secretary to the Governor for Reports, from the New York Department of Civil Service. Each year of Governor Rockefeller's gubernatorial tenure is represented by resolutions that were approved by him on Palmer's recommendation and those resolutions that were "Withdrawn or Withheld" at the request of the head of the Civil Service Department. Civil Service Resolutions were adopted by New York State to increase or decrease the number of positions in the state government. Resolutions were not specific to an individual, but rather to a position or title.
Series 24. Political Files, 1959-1973, 96.4 cu. ft.
This series is composed of constituent correspondence during Nelson A. Rockefeller's four terms as governor of New York, and particularly the elections in 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970. The series also reflects Rockefeller's presidential campaign efforts in 1964 and 1968. The bulk of the material is correspondence between the Governor's office and state constituents, as well as citizens from across the country and around the world.
The series includes press releases documenting Rockefeller's governmental and political activities. Also included are transcripts of Rockefeller's speeches; travel itineraries and schedules; and some background material. Topics include his "Town Meetings" (1967, 1969, 1972); his Presidential Mission to Latin America (1969); and his campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination. The series continues to October 16, 1974 and includes his Critical Choices Commission, Watergate, and his appointment as vice president. The series also contains 371 reports issued by New York State agencies and commissions; position papers for Rockefeller and other candidates in the 1964 and 1968 presidential campaigns; analysis of public opinion surveys on various issues; and background information on local issues in each county of New York (1962).
Series 27. Public Relations, 1958-1972, 4 cu. ft.
This series contains a small portion of the files of Hugh Morrow, who served as a speech writer and special assistant to Governor Rockefeller from November 1959 and was appointed Director of Communications on February 4, 1969. The material is divided into three sections:
Series 28. Departmental Reports, 1960-1973, 4.5 cu. ft.
This series consists of periodic reports prepared by New York State departments and agencies for the governor. The reports are of four different types (program meeting reports, quarterly reports, agency appraisal reports, and monthly reports) from four different periods, representing each of Rockefeller's four administrations. In general the reports offer an assessment of each department's responsibilities, goals, performance, problems, and needs. The reports are arranged alphabetically by department, chronologically there under. Each of the four different report types is found for most, but not all, of the departments.
Series 29. William J. Ronan Files, (1945-(1958-1971), 25 cu ft.
William J. Ronan served as secretary to the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller from 1959 to 1966 and as head of the Metropolitan Transit Authority in 1965-1966. The bulk of this series is composed of reports prepared for Governor Rockefeller by various state departments and agencies. Some of these reports duplicate those found in Record Group 15, Series 28, Departmental Reports.
The series is arranged in six subseries:
This series consists primarily of clippings, memoranda, and correspondence on various human rights issues that arose in New York State. It covers all aspects of human and civil rights, from discrimination in housing and employment to education and religion. An entire agency of New York State was devoted to the issue of human rights, the State Commission Against Discrimination and its successor, the State Commission for Human Rights.
Subseries 2, Reference Files, 1945-(1959-1962)-1971, 17.4 cu. ft.
Arranged by department or agency, this subseries consists primarily of annual reports of individual departments and agencies, some from years prior to the beginning of the Rockefeller administration.
Subseries 3, Arthur Levitt Clippings, 1959-1966, 1 cu. ft.
Prior to 1966, Rockefeller's staff maintained a clipping file about Arthur Levitt, a Democrat who was New York State Comptroller from 1955 to 1979. More than 1,300 clippings were sorted, numbered, and organized according to eight categories: Politics (including Levitt's proposals and views), Local Government, Taxation, Financing, Legislature (mostly Levitt's criticism of and comments on the New York State Legislature), Audit and Control, Education, and Miscellaneous. Clippings are further subdivided by year. Some of the clippings were also categorized as "significant," indicating the articles contained something damaging to Levitt, particularly a reversal or modification of a position.
Subseries 4, Legislation, 1964, 2 cu. ft.
This subseries contains a partial selection of legislative proposals submitted to Governor Rockefeller. Included are legislative proposals for specific New York State departments or agencies for 1964, and copies of memoranda that explain Rockefeller's reasons for vetoing or approving a particular piece of legislation.
Subseries 5, Speeches and Statements, 1963, 0.4 cu. ft.
Arranged chronologically, this small subseries contains a portion of the Governor Rockefeller's public statements.
Subseries 6, General Correspondence, 1959-1966, 2.2 cu. ft.
This subseries contains general correspondence to and from William Ronan in his capacity as secretary to the governor. Arranged alphabetically by correspondent, this material consists largely of invitations to various events and information on pertinent issues
This series contains Rockefeller's reading copy of speeches and transcripts of his remarks at press conferences. Some files contain drafts of speeches. Broad topics include both New York State and national government, politics, and public policy issues. Also included are speeches he made during his campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination in 1960, 1964 and 1968.
Series 34. Diane Van Wie Papers, 1953-1973, 64 cu. ft.
Diane Van Wie was a member of Nelson A. Rockefeller's executive staff prior to and during his service as Governor of New York, and these records document portions of his public activities from 1953 to 1973. Van Wie was one of two assistants to Ann Whitman, executive assistant to the governor, in the Albany office.
Subseries 1, Campaign Correspondence, 1964-1968, 6.4 cu. ft.
Arranged alphabetically by state, this subseries contains carbon copies of letters of thanks from Nelson A. Rockefeller to campaign workers, supporters, and well wishers regarding his presidential campaigns in 1964 and 1968.
Subseries 2, Subject Files, 1953-1973, 3.2 cu. ft.
This subseries is arranged alphabetically by topic and contains memos, reports, and correspondence covering such issues as air pollution, Battery Park, budgets, higher education, and transportation.
Subseries 3, Acknowledgments of Support Gubernatorial/National, 1968-1970, 4 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of copies of outgoing correspondence.
Subseries 4, Executive Chamber Staff Memos, 1962-1973, 4.4 cu. ft.
Arranged alphabetically by name, this subseries consists of memos and correspondence dealing with New York State policy issues.
Subseries 5, Latin American Trip, 1969-1970, 0.4 cu. ft.
This small subseries contains material on Nelson Rockefeller's trip to Latin America in 1969 at the request of President Richard M. Nixon. For related material see Record Group 4: Nelson Rockefeller-Personal, Series O: Washington, DC Files, Boxes 98-201.
Subseries 6, Meetings, Luncheons, and Dinners, 1958-1973, 8 cu. ft.
These chronological files of meetings, luncheons, and dinners that Nelson Rockefeller attended or planned to attend include invitation lists, menus, agenda for events, correspondence, and background memos.
Subseries 7, Nelson Rockefeller Schedule, 1958-1970, 4.8 cu. ft.
This subseries, arranged chronologically by month and year, consists of Nelson Rockefeller's daily itineraries, as maintained by Diane Van Wie.
Subseries 8, Position Papers and Policy Proposals, 1959-1964, 6 cu. ft.
This subseries contains background papers on international and national issues and significant policy matters such as arms control, civil defense, foreign aid, and Latin America.
Subseries 9, Social Files, 1959-1963, 2 cu. ft.
This subseries, arranged chronologically, consists of files containing information on breakfasts, luncheons, and receptions with governmental groups and industry leaders that Nelson Rockefeller attended.
Subseries 10, Political Files, 1958-1972, 5.6 cu. ft.
These miscellaneous political files contain information on the Republican Party and Political Data and Program Data Books, which are county books that give detailed political data and statistics for each New York county for the year 1970.
Subseries 11, Miscellaneous Files, 1958-1973, 12 cu. ft.
This subseries consists of miscellaneous subject files containing newspaper clippings, press releases, notes and drafts, statements, and annual messages.
Subseries 12, Executive Chamber Correspondence, 1970-1973, 4.8 cu. ft. This subseries consists of miscellaneous outgoing personal letters, such as letters of support and sympathy. The letters are unsigned carbon copies arranged alphabetically by addressee.
Series 35. Ann C. Whitman, 1966-1973, 9.2 cu. ft.
In her role as Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller's executive assistant, Ann Whitman maintained a large number of his office files. This series covers primarily the period surrounding the 1968 presidential election, when Rockefeller sought the Republican party's presidential nomination. The series is organized into four subseries:
Series 36. Gene Wyckoff Papers, 1961-1965, 2 cu. ft.
This series is a nearly complete representation of Executive Chamber, a television program written and produced by Gene Wyckoff in late 1964 and 1965. Topics were developed in conjunction with Governor Nelson Rockefeller and his staff. The programs were designed to make clear the governor's position on issues of importance to New York State voters.
Subseries 1, Executive Chamber Program Files, 1961-1965, 1 cu. ft.
This subseries covers a variety of issues concerning New York State. It deals with topics that were covered by the broadcasts as well as those considered for future shows. Additional Executive Chamber material may be found in the Jerry Danzig series of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Papers in Record Group 15.
Subseries 2, Executive Chamber Scripts and Related Materials, 1964-1965, 0.6 cu. ft.
This chronologically arranged subseries contains scripts, production notes, and selected correspondence on the majority of the programs that were broadcast.
Series 37. Office Records, 1959-1973, 1,125 cu. ft.; available for research on microfilm (861 reels).
This series consists of the general correspondence files of the Office of the Governor. The documents include government reports, internal memoranda, and letters from New York State citizens. Subjects include all aspects of New York State's administration.
Series 38. New York State Republican Fund Raising Reports, 1967-1973, 1 cu. ft.
This series consists of copies of financial reports that the New York Republican fund raising committees filed with the New York Secretary of State. There are ten reports from the New York Republican State Dinner Committee and nineteen reports from the Governor's Club.
Albany Scrapbooks, 1958-1973, 13 reels of microfilm.
A collection of newspaper clippings of the Rockefeller governorship and related New York State governmental and political issues.
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