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Microfilm Research Collections: Eisenhower Presidential Documents Series

Eisenhower Presidential Documents Series

Location: Minutes and Documents of the Cabinet Meetings of President Eisenhower, 1953-1961 are located in Cabinet 26-H (10 reels). Minutes of Telephone Conversations of John Foster Dulles and of Christian Herter 1953-1961 (11 reels) are located in Cabinet Z-39.

Scope: The Cabinet Meeting records of President Eisenhower are in chronological order. The documents of a typical Cabinet meeting are generally filmed in the following order: 1) agenda, 2) minutes, and 3) cabinet reports, records of action, and memoranda to the president. Eisenhower relied on his Cabinet as a vital component of his policy making machinery. To insure the smooth operation of this policy council, Eisenhower instituted a Cabinet secretariat with a wide range of responsibilities: arranging agenda items, working with the executive departments to prepare background papers, and keeping the record of Cabinet business. The cabinet addressed such issues as education, agriculture, social security, health and welfare matters, Congressional relations, civil rights, government organization and administrative procedures, foreign relations and foreign economic policy, emergency defense planning, the budget and the economy, civil rights, immigration, and labor relations. This collection includes minutes of Cabinet meetings, official correspondence and memoranda, copies of discussion papers, department reports, summaries of decisions Eisenhower approved at each meeting, analyses of the implementation of Cabinet decisions, and related papers of the president's staff. Some specific issues reflected in the records are the Rosenberg decision, Korean truce negotiations, Congressional investigations of executive departments, communism in American labor unions, the McCarthy hunt for communists in government, the Geneva Conference on Indochina, steps to strengthen the national economy, federal budget reduction policies, school desegregation, the prospects for disarmament, the Cold War, federal programs in housing, education, public works, the national debt, the Chinese 'Great Leap Forward Program', the Castro Revolution in Cuba, ways to cooperate with the commission on civil rights, and air pollution.

MINUTES OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS OF JOHN FOSTER DULLES AND OF CHRISTIAN HERTER (1953-1961). John Foster Dulles and Christian Herter were successive secretaries of state under the Eisenhower Administration. This collection contains the minutes of nearly all their telephone conversations as secretaries of state including extensive minutes of communications with the president. The telephone calls of Dulles and Herter were routinely monitored by their personal assistants who prepared minutes or memoranda of the conversations. Minutes of telephone conversations with the president were prepared by Dulles and Herter themselves. The telephone conversations of Herter and Dulles form a useful source for the study of foreign policy and international relations during the Cold War. They cover a history of foreign relations in the Eisenhower era from the Korean armistice to Kennedy's inauguration. The McCarthy crisis and congressional relations are discussed at length. Minutes for the following conversations are included in the collection: J. Edgar Hoover on the Bohlen case (1953), Richard Nixon on the 'Eisenhower-Dulles Policy in Asia' (1954), Allen Dulles on the communist threat and Monroe Doctrine (1954), Defense Secretary Wilson on military aid to Vietnam (1954), Henry Cabot Lodge on admission of communist China to the United Nations (1954), Eisenhower on the Quemoy-Matsu crisis (1955), Sherman Adams on stability of the NATO alliance (1955), Eisenhower on the Suez situation (1956), Allen Dulles on Soviet atomic testing (1957), Eisenhower on civil unrest in Jordan (1957), Eisenhower on military intervention in Lebanon (1958), Eisenhower on United States support for Cuba (1959), Lyndon Johnson on defense appropriations (1960) and Allen Dulles on United States relations with Cuba (1960).

How to Search the Collection: A cream colored paperbound guide to these two collections can be found on the Multimedia Index Table. The 10 reels which cover the Minutes and Documents of the Cabinet Meetings of President Eisenhower are in date order giving the frame number the meeting starts on and the number of pages of meeting minutes.

The records in the second collection of this series-- Minutes of Telephone Conversations of John Foster Dulles and of Christian Herter-- are divided into fifty-five files, each of which has been filmed in reverse chronological order. The same cream colored reel guide mentioned above includes a reel index which indicates the date of each conversation and the identity of the other party. A name index is also provided at the end of the guide.

The John Foster Dulles telephone memoranda cover the period December 30, 1952 to May 8, 1959. They are contained on reels 1 through 8 of the collection. The John Foster Dulles telephone conversations with the White House are on the remainder of reel 8 and continue through half of reel 10 and cover the period of January 21, 1953 to April 15, 1959. The remainder of reel 10 and reel 11 contain the Christian Herter telephone memoranda for the period of January 3, 1959 to January 16, 1961.

NOTE: Eisenhower scholars may also be interested in the Columbia University Oral History Project reels on Eisenhower in the same cabinet and drawer as the Cabinet Meetings (26-H). A file folder in the drawer lists the people giving the oral history accounts.

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