Special Assistant to the President for Hispanic Affairs
Office of Public Liaison


Material related to De Baca's liaison with Hispanic groups and individuals, their issues and goals, and the federal government's role in assisting their development in areas of civil rights, education, equal employment opportunity and technical aid.

6.6 linear feet (ca. 13,200 pages)

Gerald R. Ford (accession numbers 77 - 64 and 77 - 107)

Open. Some items are temporarily restricted under terms of the donor's deed of gift, a copy of which is available on request, or under National Archives and Records Administration general restrictions (36 CFR 1256).

Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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 Nancy Mirshah, September 1989
[s:\bin\findaid\de baca, fernando - files.doc]


Fernando E.C. De Baca

January 20, 1938 - Born, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1961 - B.A., University of New Mexico

1962 - 1964 - U.S. Army, South Vietnam

1964 - 1967 - Special Agent (Major), U.S. Army Airborne Intelligence Corps

1968 - 1971 - New Mexico State Manpower Coordinator, then Assistant State Personnel Director, Regional Tax Director, Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, Special Assistant to the Governor

1969 - M.A., University of New Mexico

1971 - 1972 - Assistant to the Chairman and Director of the Sixteen Point Program for Spanish Speaking Americans, U.S. Civil Service Commission, Washington, D.C.

1972 - San Francisco Regional Director, Department of Health, Education and Welfare

1973 - Chairman, Federal Regional Council for Region IX (the western United States)

Sept. 1974-Mar. 1976 - Special Assistant to the President, The White House

April 1976 - Director, Department of Health and Social Services, State of New Mexico

1985 - Business executive, Washington, D.C.

1985 - Chairman, Republican National Hispanic Assembly, Washington, D.C.


In July 1974, President Nixon appointed Fernando E. C. De Baca as Counsellor Anne Armstrong's Deputy for Hispanic Affairs, but De Baca did not arrive at the White House until the following September. He received the new title of Special Assistant to the President for Hispanic Affairs from President Ford and served under Armstrong in the newly-created Office of Hispanic Affairs (OHA) until her resignation in December 1974. The one-person office was then placed with similar special interest groups in the newly-created Office of Public Liaison (OPL) under the direction of William J. Baroody, Jr. De Baca resigned his historic role as the first Hispanic Special Assistant to the President in March 1976 and returned to his native state to serve as Director of New Mexico's Department of Health and Social Services. His White House position remained vacant until July when President Ford appointed Thomas Aranda his successor.

The Special Assistant's function was to advise the President on the needs of Spanish-speaking Americans and to promote the President's programs within the Hispanic community and the federal government. In addition, through standard OPL procedures, he provided liaison for Hispanics requesting government assistance.

De Baca sometimes claimed direct contact with the President in constituent mail, but there is little evidence of it in the collection. Materials are present on his efforts to oversee and promote the President's policies in the federal government, especially in areas of federal employment opportunity, presidential appointment of Hispanics and minority business programs. He served on and collected material from the Domestic Council Committee for Illegal Aliens and the Interagency Council for Minority Business Enterprise but these materials provide only scant information about his own contributions. He received materials from the Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking Persons (CCOSSP), but his lobbying efforts for its extension, as well as for the Voting Rights Act and bilingual education appropriations, are similarly not well documented.

Material is ubiquitous on De Baca's energetic outreach and shared goals with Hispanics and major Hispanic organizations, through conference participation, speeches, correspondence, visits and telephone calls. The material contains the hopeful, sometimes ardent and verbose, expectations and pronouncements of a minority attempting to gain government assistance and build political power. De Baca faced occasional conflict between his loyalties to the administration and his Hispanic constituency, although this is more implied than documented in the files.

Interesting but scattered material is provided related to De Baca's efforts to define the role of the Special Assistant, the style and content of his communications, the cultural and political expectations of his constituency and his actual role in the White House. His well-documented publicly stated views were sometimes controversial and in contrast to the President's such as his endorsement of blanket citizenship for illegal aliens, statements about Cuban refugee attitudes and an Army depot layoff affecting a local Hispanic labor force.

The Chronological File and White House memoranda in the Subject File provide informative material on De Baca's activities. Included are occasional activity reports to Armstrong and Baroody, De Baca initiatives in the White House, and information requests from senior staff, in addition to more frequent and routine queries related to topics of presidential proclamations and appearances, guest lists, personnel references and even a Spanish translation request from the First Lady's Office.

The De Baca files were originally accessioned as a joint collection with those of his successor Thomas Aranda, but they easily separated into two collections during processing. Much of the material was found in a state of disarray and substantial amounts of unfiled or misfiled material were integrated into existing folders, causing many redundant, nearly empty or empty folders to be eliminated.

Related Materials
Related material is found in the collections of Special Assistant to the President for Hispanic Affairs Thomas Aranda and Deputy Assistant for Hispanic Affairs Reynaldo Maduro (late 1976). The Aranda collection contains some original De Baca material in scattered folders. Additional material related to illegal aliens is found in the collections of Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs James M. Cannon, Assistant Director for Justice, Civil Rights, Drugs and Communications F. Lynn May and General Counsel Richard D. Parsons. The currently unprocessed files of William J. Baroody, Jr., to whom De Baca reported, also may contain related files.

Additional related material exists in White House Central Files categories:

Federal Government: FG 6-11-1/De Baca

FG 6-15 Domestic Council

FG 17 Justice Department (OA 9281)

FG 21-17 Office of Minority Business Enterprise

FG 145 Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish Speaking Persons

Human Rights:

HU 2 Equality

HU 2-2 Employment

HU 2-4 Voting

Immigration: IM Immigration and Naturalization


Hispanic Organizations, 1974 - 75.  (Boxes 1-3, 1.0 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, briefing papers, committee reports, organization position papers and statements, notes, research studies, proposals, agendas, schedules, speeches, printed materials, newsletters and lists. They relate to De Baca's liaison with Hispanic organizations and government efforts to increase economic, educational and political opportunity for Hispanics. Also included are reports, affidavits, testimonies, applications and background material related to federal financial assistance for Hispanic organizations and civil rights complaints.

Arranged alphabetically by organization name or acronym.

View container list for this series

Major Hispanic Issues, 1974 - 75.  (Boxes 3-5, 0.9 linear feet)
Correspondence and memoranda relating to De Baca's liaison with Hispanics, White House staff and agency officials on the following issues: bilingual education, illegal aliens, immigration, National Hispanic Heritage Week, Spanish-speaking appointees, U.S.- Cuban relations and voting rights. Also included are proclamations, government printed material, news clippings, press releases and lists.

Arranged alphabetically by issue and thereunder by subject.

View container list for this series

Meetings and Trips, 1974 - 76.  (Boxes 5-7, 0.6 linear feet)
Summaries, talking points, and a briefing paper related to President Ford's 1974 meetings with Counsellor Anne Armstrong, De Baca and leaders of major Hispanic organizations. However, most meetings and trips are weakly documented with only occasional speeches and a few routine items such as arrangements correspondence, schedules, programs, itineraries, invitations, printed material, travel requests, travel vouchers and name lists. They concern De Baca's nationwide outreach with Hispanic organizations and local meetings in the White House.

Arranged chronologically by meeting date.

View container list for this series

Federal Programs, 1974 - 76.  (Boxes 7-8, 1.6 linear feet)
Correspondence, memoranda, reports, agendas, tables, summaries, notes and printed materials related to several meetings of the Interagency Council for Minority Business Enterprise, and additional routine liaison activities with federal agencies. Also included are press releases, newsletters, statements and news clippings.

Arranged alphabetically by program name or acronym.

View container list for this series

General Subject File, 1974 - 76.  (Boxes 8-14, 2.5 linear feet)
Q's and A's, White House staff memoranda, referrals, news clippings and press releases related to the role of the Special Assistant and the Office of Hispanic Affairs. Also included are routine correspondence with groups and individuals, occasional speeches, proposals, reports, fact sheets, statistics, newsletters and publications. Additionally, the series contains OHA telephone message logs, De Baca public appearance and OPL meeting logs, resumes, job applications, travel vouchers, press releases, theater schedules, and sample forms.

Arranged alphabetically by subject.

View container list for this series

Chronological File, 1974 - 76.  (Boxes 14-17, 1.0 linear feet)
Carbons of outgoing letters to Hispanic individuals and organizations and memoranda to White House staff. Most are responses to routine incoming mail and follow-up correspondence from De Baca's activities, occasionally with attachments. A significant amount of intra-White House memoranda reflects liaison activities not represented elsewhere in the collection, including occasional activity summaries submitted to William Baroody, Jr.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series


Box 1 - Hispanic Organizations

  • American Association of Spanish - Speaking Certified Public Accountants
  • American G.I. Forum
  • Chicano Education Association
  • Chicano Federation
  • Colegio Cesar Chavez
  • Comision Pastorale de Migraciones
  • El Congreso - National Congress of Hispanic American Citizens
  • El Congreso Nacionale de Asuntos Colegiales
  • EOFULA - Educational Organization for United Latin Americans
  • Grand Council of Hispanic Societies in Public Service
  • Hispanic Businessman's Association, Inc.
  • Hispanic Society - Police Department of New York City
  • IMAGE (1)-(2)
  • International Latino Art Forum

Box 2 - Hispanic Organizations

  • Juntos, Inc.
  • LA SED - Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development
  • LAMA - Latin American Manufacturer's Association
  • League of Mexican - American Women
  • Lists of Prominent Hispanics and Hispanic Organizations
  • LULAC - League of United Latin American Citizens (1)-(2)
  • MACEP - Mexican American Council for Economic Progress
  • MAES - Mexican American Engineering Society
  • MALDEF - Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (1)
  • MALDEF - Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (2)
  • MANA - Mexican American Women's National Association
  • MAPA - Mexican American Political Association
  • Mexican American Organizations
  • Minor Organizations
  • National Bankers Association

Box 3 - Hispanic Organizations

  • National Conference of Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers
  • National Council of La Raza
  • National Hispanic Crusade Committee to Conquer Inflation
  • National Republican Heritage Groups
  • NEDA - National Economic Development Association
  • Opportunities Industrialization Center
  • Pan - American Association of Opthamology
  • PRHSF - Puerto Rican Health Services Federation
  • Puerto Rican - Hispanic Young Republic Club
  • Republican National Hispanic Assembly
  • SED Center
  • SER/Jobs for Progress (1)-(2)
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
  • Spanish Speaking Coalition on Domestic Affairs
  • SSPA - Spanish Speaking Political Association
  • TELACU - The East Los Angeles Community Union

Box 3 (Continued) - Major Hispanic Issues

  • Bilingual Education
  • Bilingual Education - White House Meeting, March 4, 1975
  • Illegal Aliens - Ames, Fred
  • Illegal Aliens - Background Information

Box 4 - Major Hispanic Issues

  • Illegal Aliens - Correspondence
  • Illegal Aliens - DeBaca Notes
  • Illegal Aliens - Domestic Council Committee
  • Illegal Aliens - Garcia, Al
  • Illegal Aliens - Manuel D. Fierro Statement
  • Illegal Aliens - San Diego Study
  • Illegal Aliens - Willis, Clayton
  • Immigration - Aliens
  • Immigration - Study and Statistics

Box 5 - Major Hispanic Issues

  • Immigration and Naturalization Requests
  • National Hispanic Heritage Week (1)-(2)
  • U.S. - Cuban Relations (1)-(2)
  • U.S. - Cuban Relations - Correspondence
  • Voting Rights Act (1)-(2)
  • Voting Rights Act Signing Ceremony

Box 5 (Continued) - Meetings and Trips

  • 1974/01/29 - Hispanic Leaders, White House Luncheon
  • 1974/04/11 - Vice President and Hispanic Leaders (folder empty)
  • 1974/09 - Meetings
  • 1974/09/16 - DeBaca and Hispanic Leaders
  • 1974/10/17 - President Ford and Hispanic Leaders
  • 1975/02/25 - Minority Small Business Summit Conference
  • 1975/02/28 - White House Issues Briefing
  • 1975/03/04 - Tuesday at the White House Meeting on Bilingual Education
  • 1975/03/12 - Spanish Speaking Conference, Providence

Box 6 - Meetings and Trips

  • 1975/03/14 - THINK TANK Session at the White House
  • 1975/03/21 - National Association of Counties, Albuquerque
  • 1975/03/21 - Pan American Employees Speech/Dinner, Houston (Empty)
  • 1975/03/22 - Mexican - American Leadership Conference of Houston
  • 1975/04/03 - White House Conference, San Diego
  • 1975/04/04 - National Hispanic Businessman's Organization
  • 1975/04/12 - Third Annual Latino Media Coalitions Conference, San Antonio
  • 1975/04/18 - SBA Conference, Houston
  • 1975/04/24 - Mexican Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Keynote, Dallas
  • 1975/04/25 - Association of Mexican - American Educators of California Legislators Annual Convention, Oakland
  • 1975/04/26 - SSPA Fourth Annual Installation Dinner, San Diego
  • 1975/04/29 - Opthamological Congress, San Juan
  • 1975/05/22 - IMAGE National Convention, Kansas City
  • 1975/05/29 - Crystal City
  • 1975/06/04 - Albuquerque High School Commencement
  • 1975/06/12 - COSSMHO, Chicago
  • 1975/06/12 - 14 - Minority Program Manager's Workshop, Washington, DC (Empty)
  • 1975/06/14 - 15 - Second Annual Ethnic Press Conference, American University
  • 1975/06/23 - Brookings Luncheon Speech
  • 1975/06/25 - Hispanic Reception White House
  • 1975/06/25 - Oaxaca Reception
  • 1975/06/28 - Baroody, DeBaca and Hispanic Leaders
  • 1975/06/28 - LULAC Convention, Milwaukee
  • 1975/07/15 - FAA Luncheon Speech, Washington DC
  • 1975/07/17 - Ford and SER Board of Directors
  • 1975/07/24 - 27 - National Institute on Access to Higher Education for the Mexican - Americans, Albuquerque
  • 1975/07/31 - St. Petersburg
  • 1975/08/07 - National Council of La Raza Conference, Phoenix
  • 1975/08/19 - Tuesday at the White House
  • 1975/08/22 - El Monte
  • 1975/08/9 - 10 - American G.I. Forum
  • 1975/09/04 - 07 - San Antonio/Albuquerque
  • 1975/09/12 - 16 - San Francisco/Midland
  • 1975/09/19 - U.S. Air Force Academy Visit
  • 1975/09/20 - 27 - U.S.A.F. Visit to Europe

Box 7 - Meetings and Trips

  • 1975/09/30 - Luray, VA
  • 1975/10/8 - 12 - San Francisco/Fresno/Waco
  • 1975/10/20 - IMPA Conference
  • 1975/11/12 - AAIE Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, York, PA
  • 1975/11/19 - 22 - International Population Conference, Washington, DC
  • 1975/11/21 - Archdiocesan Latin American Committee, Chicago
  • 1975/11/22 - United California Mexican - American Association Testimonial Dinner
  • 1975/12/11 - U.S. Civil Service Commission Federal Extension Board Recognition Awards Program
  • 1976/01/23 - Federal Extension Board SS Program Coordinating Council Job Fair, Dallas
  • 1976/01/24 - IMAGE, Installation Ceremonies, Boston

Box 7 (Continued) - Federal Programs

  • Cabinet Committee on the Spanish - Speaking (CCOSSP)
  • Civil Service Commission Spanish Speaking Program
  • Community Services Administration
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Transportation
  • EEOC - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government
  • HEW
  • HUD
  • LEAA - Law Enforcement Assistance Administration
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • OMBE
  • OMBE - Agency Reports

Box 8 - Federal Programs

  • OMBE - Interagency Council for Minority Business Enterprise
  • Presidential Appointments and Executive Level Appointees (1)-(2)
  • Small Business Administration
  • Spanish Speaking Presidential and Supergrade Appointees
  • USOE - Office for Spanish Speaking American Affairs

Box 8 (Continued) - General Subject File

  • Activities - First Quarter in Office
  • Affirmative Action Congress
  • Albuquerque
  • Armstrong, Counsellor Anne
  • Attorney General
  • Baroody, William J.
  • Bicentennial
  • Chicano Bibliographies and Periodicals

Box 9 - General Subject File

  • Conference on Cultural Diversity
  • Consumer Information Publications
  • Correspondence - DeBaca/HEW, August, 1974 (1)-(2)
  • Correspondence, A - Z (1)-(3)
  • Correspondence - With Members of Congress
  • Correspondence Log - September - December, 1974

Box 10 - General Subject File

  • DeBaca - Biographical Sketch and Routine Personal Papers
  • DeBaca - White House Staff Memoranda, A - Z, (1)-(3)
  • Diplomatic List - State Department
  • Discrimination Cases
  • Domestic Council Committees
  • Dress, Margaret
  • Duplicating - MT/ST Machine
  • Education
  • Filipino - Americans
  • "Ford Team in the White House"
  • Forms and Samples
  • Hispanic Organizations

Box 11 - General Subject File

  • History of Hispanics
  • International Women's Year
  • Invitations - Accepted and Rejected
  • Invitations - Returned from White House Central Files
  • Job Announcements - Clerical, Private and Federal
  • Job Applicants
  • Johnston, Edward
  • Kennedy Center Opera House and Theater
  • Lists of Prominent Hispanics and Hispanic Organizations (1)-(4)

Box 12 - General Subject File

  • Media - Clippings and Newsletters (1)-(2)
  • Media - Radio and T.V.
  • Meetings
  • Migrant Workers
  • Minority Business Enterprise
  • National Space Institute
  • Naval Air Facility - San Diego Trip
  • Office of Economic Advisors
  • Office of Ethnic Affairs (Empty)
  • Office of Hispanic Affairs
  • Office of Hispanic Affairs - Personnel, Procedures and Maintenance

Box 13 - General Subject File

  • Office of Hispanic Affairs - Telephone Logs (1)-(2)
  • Organization of American States
  • Panama Canal
  • Polls
  • President Ford Committee
  • President's Briefing Book
  • President's Press Conferences and Remarks (1)-(2)
  • Presidential Clemency Program
  • Press Releases
  • Referrals to Agencies
  • Referrals to DeBaca
  • Republican National Committee
  • Sample Schedule Proposal and Model Letters
  • Savings and Loans

Box 14 - General Subject File

  • Spanish Speaking Nations, Puerto Rico and Guam
  • State Department
  • States: Arizona - Texas
  • Travel Requests and Vouchers (1)-(2)
  • Veteran's Day Ceremony
  • White House Biographies
  • White House Initiatives for Spanish Speaking Americans
  • White House Summer Intern Program
  • Who's Who Among Latin Americans
  • Women's Resources
  • Youth Opportunities Foundation
  • United Way

Box 14 (Continued) - Chronological File

  • 9/74 - 10/74

Box 15 - Chronological File

  • 11/74 - 5/75

Box 16 - Chronological File

  • 6/75 - 1/76

Box 17 - Chronological File

  • 2/76 - 4/76