The Rockefeller Archive Center
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—John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
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SERIES 16. 55TH STREET, 1968-1975

Scope and Content Note

This series documents portions of Nelson A. Rockefeller's public and private activities between 1968 and 1974. These records were created and maintained by members of Rockefeller's staff at his office at 22 West 55th Street, New York, also called the New York Office. Rockefeller was one of the first New York governors to maintain a permanent office in New York City. In general, Rockefeller was in Albany only while the Legislature was in session or for special occasions. The management of his public duties was undertaken largely at 55th Street. The office was paid for privately by Rockefeller, but many of the staff were public employees. When he resigned as governor, on December 20, 1973, some of the staff became Rockefeller's personal employees and some of them joined the staff of the Commission on Critical Choices for Americans. Some of them went on the federal payroll and moved to Washington, D.C. when Rockefeller became Vice President of the United States on December 19, 1974.

The 55th Street Series is divided into six subseries:
  • Subseries 1: Trips, 1973-1974. This subseries documents Rockefeller's trips around the country after leaving the governorship and before becoming Vice President. There is a separate file for each trip. The documentation includes correspondence, interoffice memoranda, and itineraries regarding the trip and the event which he was attending. Rockefeller was invited to speak at most of the events, some files include transcripts of his speech or remarks. The subseries is arranged chronologically.
  • Subseries 2: Schedules, 1969-1975. This subseries consists of Rockefeller's daily itineraries, as maintained by Nancy Towell. Some files contain correspondence and interoffice memoranda regarding specific events. Copies of the schedules, printed on pink paper, were distributed to Rockefeller's "advance staff" and other staff members responsible for arranging and overseeing the logistics of his travels. The subseries is arranged chronologically.
  • Subseries 3: Correspondence Files, 1968-1974. These files were maintained by Ann Whitman, Rockefeller's personal secretary. It consists mostly of outgoing correspondence, although there are some incoming letters. The correspondence is with heads of state, American political figures, and private citizens. The correspondence covers a broad range of issues and reflects Rockefeller's policy of giving each letter writer a proper response. There is a separate file for each year, the correspondence is arranged alphabetically thereunder. At the end of the subseries are two folders of letters to John Mitchell, Attorney General of the United States, and John Ehrlichman, Counsel to President Richard M. Nixon. There is no indication as to why this correspondence was segregated.
  • Subseries 4: Letters of Support Regarding the Vice Presidential Nomination, 1974. On August 20, 1974, President Gerald R. Ford selected Rockefeller to fill the vacant vice presidency following President Richard M. Nixon's resignation on August 9. Many private citizens and public officials sent Rockefeller letters of congratulation and support after the announcement of the selection, during the lengthy confirmation hearings, and upon his inauguration on December 19, 1974. Some of the letters are here, however, the subseries consists primarily of carbon copies of Rockefeller's acknowledgments. They are arranged alphabetically.
  • Subseries 5: Subject Files of Kathy Huldrum and Nancy Towell, 1970-1974. Kathy Huldrum and Nancy Towell were assistants to Ann Whitman, Rockefeller's personal secretary. Subjects include Rockefeller's 1970 gubernatorial reelection campaign; the 1973 Republican Governor's Conference, hosted by Rockefeller; the National Commission on Water Quality, chaired by Rockefeller; and preparations for the vice presidential confirmation hearings. There is also a large amount of material regarding the Commission on Critical Choices for Americans, a private study project on national public policy initiated and chaired by Rockefeller, and "The Modern State in a Changing World," a New York State funded study project which preceded and inspired the Critical Choices Commission.
  • Subseries 6: Invitations, 1972-1974. This subseries is Nancy Towell's invitation file. It is divided into two parts: Invitations Received, which includes invitations to Rockefeller to attend various events, fund raisers, dinners, receptions, openings, etc.; and Letters Out, which consists of carbon copies of Rockefeller's letters of regret. Letters Out also contains some staff memos to Rockefeller asking him whether to accept or "regret" an invitation, and interoffice memoranda regarding Rockefeller's schedule.

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