Counsellor to the President


Fragmentary office files of speeches and memoranda of Armstrong and her administrative assistant Beth Gordon, August-December 1974; and routine personal correspondence, 1973-74.

0.8 linear feet (ca. 1600 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession number 77-107)


Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections. The copyrights to materials written by other individuals or organizations are presumed to remain with them. Works prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain.

Prepared by William McNitt, Nancy Evaldson, June 1988
[s:\bin\findaid\armstrong, anne - files.doc]


Anne Legendre Armstrong

Dec. 27, 1927 - Born, New Orleans, LA

1949 - Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College

1966-68 - Vice Chairman, Texas Republican Party

1968-73 - Republican National Committeewoman from Texas

1968-74 - Trustee, Kennedy County (Texas) School Board

1971-73 - Co-Chairman, Republican National Committee

1972 - Secretary and keynote speaker, Republican National Convention

1973-74 - Counsellor to the President; founder, Office for Women's Programs; Chairman, Federal Property Council; Chairman, Domestic Council Committee on Bicentennial and the Federal Agency Bicentennial Task Force; member, Council on Wage and Price Stability

1975-76 - Member, Advisory Council to the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration; member, Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year

1976-1977 - U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James (United Kingdom)

1977-1983 - Member, board of directors of several major corporations, institutes and universities

1980 - Co-Chairman, Reagan-Bush campaign

1981 - Chairman, President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board


Anne Armstrong was named Counsellor to the President with Cabinet rank by Richard Nixon in 1973, becoming the first woman to hold that position. She remained as Counsellor when Ford took office, providing assistance in established areas of responsibility as well as assuming new roles in the Ford White House. She resigned in December, 1974 because of family health problems which entailed a return to Texas, but she continued to serve in several posts during the following year. In 1976, Ford appointed her Ambassador to Great Britain and considered her a possible vice-presidential running mate.

Counsellor Armstrong established the first White House Office of Women's Programs in 1973 to provide a liaison between President Nixon and women and women's groups. It sought to recruit women appointees to high level government positions and to assist in gaining greater employment opportunity for women in the federal sector through regulation and legislation. Assisted by Patricia Lindh and Director Karen Keesling, Armstrong continued to address these concerns in the Ford administration. After her resignation, she joined Lindh and Keesling as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations' International Women's Conference in Mexico City.

As Chairman of the Federal Property Council in 1973-1974, she urged President Ford to continue its threatened existence with White House appropriated funds. The Council was responsible for review and reform of current policy toward federal real property and resolution of conflicting land use claims. She oversaw these functions and administered the Legacy of the Parks program which disposed of surplus federal land. On her departure, she advised Ford of alternate ways to provide these services within the federal government.

President Ford appointed Armstrong to the eight-member Council on Wage and Price Stability which he created soon after he became President to identify and expose the causes of inflation. In his administration, she also chaired two Cabinet-level committees on the Bicentennial which addressed federal agency participation in the observance. She continued to work in these areas after her resignation as Counsellor.

The Armstrong collection is very weak in documenting her various responsibilities. Materials are limited to some speeches and routine correspon-dence representing only fragments of her activities. Some areas of responsibility are undocumented, e.g. the Council on Wage and Price Control, liaison with Hispanics and coordination of youth programs. In some instances, Armstrong's successors in the White House inherited her files as well as her duties.

Related Materials (May 1988)
Additional files may be found in the White House Central Files (FG 6-11-1, 6-24, 6-27). Related materials may be found in the files of John Marsh (Bicentennial), Milt Mitler (Bicentennial) and Patricia Lindh/Jeanne Holm (Office of Women's Programs). Other related materials in currently unprocessed collections include the files of Pamela Powell (youth liaison), Thomas Aranda (Hispanic liaison), and Katherine Suttles (job applications from women recruits).


Office Files, Aug.-Dec. 1974.  (Box 1, 0.1 linear feet)
Armstrong speeches; and letters and White House memoranda written by Armstrong and her administrative assistant, Beth Gordon, mostly entailing routine announcements, thank you notes, transmittals of job applications, brief elaborations of policy and acknowledgement of public opinion.

Arranged by subject.

View container list for this series

Personal Correspondence, 1973-74.  (Boxes 1-2, 0.7 linear feet)
Letters, invitations, thank you notes and photo/autograph requests exchanged between Armstrong and friends and associates, many of them members of the Republican National Committee.

Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

View container list for this series

Photographs, 1973-74. 
Photographs from Armstrong's personal correspondence. Events depicted include a Heritage Group meeting in California, New York Hispanic Luncheon, a naturalization ceremony, the 1973 Federal Women's Award Banquet, and a Congressional Committee Chairman reception.

Arranged in parallel to the textual materials.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Office Files

  • Armstrong, Anne - Speeches (1)-(2)
  • Armstrong, Anne - Correspondence and Memoranda
  • Gordon, Beth - Correspondence and Memoranda

Box 1 (Continued) - Personal Correspondence

  • A - F

Box 2 - Personal Correspondence

  • G - Z