COLLECTION FINDING AID



ELISKA HASEK FILES, 1974-1977

Director of Presidential Messages
Office of Presidential Messages




SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

Routine and incomplete material related to White House production of presidential messages of a congratulatory nature and some campaign-related messages to groups and individuals.

QUANTITY
2.8 linear feet (ca. 5,600 pages)

DONOR
Gerald R. Ford (accession numbers 77-42, 77-43)

ACCESS
Open.

COPYRIGHT
Gerald R. Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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, January 1990
[s:\bin\findaid\hasek, eliska - files.doc]


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION


Eliska A. Hasek


1941 - Born, Prague, Czechoslovakia

1959 - Class valedictorian, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School

1963 - Graduate, Cum Laude, Georgetown University Foreign Service School

1963 - Staff assistant, The White House

1964-73 - Writing and editing assistant, The White House

1974-81 - Director, Office of Presidential Messages, The White House


Michael S. Johnson


1946 - Born, Danville, Illinois

Northern State College (2 ½ yrs)

Carl Sandburg College (coursework)

1967-76 - Reporter and Editor, Galesburg Register-Mail, Galesburg, Illinois

1972-1974 - Chairman, Western Illinois Region Transportation Committee

March-July 1976 - Consultant, Editorial Staff, The White House

1976-1977 - Associate Director Presidential Messages, White House

1977-85 - Press Secretary, Congressman Robert H. Michel

1985-90 - Chief of Staff, Minority Leader Robert Michel

1990 - Lobbyist, McCamish Martin Brown & Loeffler, Washington, D.C.


INTRODUCTION

The Presidential Messages Office (PMO) provided the President with written messages of commendation to the public, expressing his greetings and good will (see Appendix A). Director Eliska Hasek authored statements and messages in the styles of Presidents Johnson and Nixon in her prior White House experience. She joined the Ford administration in August, 1974. The Hasek collection includes the files of Associate Director Michael S. Johnson who joined PMO during the 1976 campaign. PMO operated as part of an enlarged White House Editorial Office under the supervision of Counsellor Robert Hartmann, received 200 requests a week, and produced a significant portion of congratulatory presidential messages emanating from the White House. Hasek and Johnson reported directly to the head of the research/presidential messages division of the Editorial Office, Hartmann's deputy Gwen A. Anderson.

At the request of prominent national groups or individuals, Hasek composed the president's written acknowledgment and commendations for achievements or national holidays to be read at public events or otherwise distributed. Johnson wrote in response to requests for messages with political content for inclusion at partisan events. He once stated the office wrote presidential messages to Congress which were attached to legislation, but there is no evidence of this in the Hasek collection.

Hasek handled requests individually. She screened and investigated recipients, ensuring the appropriateness of a message from the President to them. Thoughtful preparation and scrupulous editing preserved the purity and accuracy of each message's content. After staffing drafts for editing and careful tracking to meet deadlines, she reviewed completed messages before signing by presidential autopen. The autopen was secured in Hasek's office, and she screened correspondence that the Editorial Staff sometimes sent for signature.

Material in the Hasek files is incomplete, thin and routine. Administrative memoranda are absent; procedural information available mostly in tracking logs kept from 1971-76. The chronological series, containing predominantly 1976 material presumably served as quick reference and would have been retired had there been another Ford term. PMO sent completed letter cases of all messages 1974-76 to Central Files for storage and easy access to its background material.

Originally attached to the Gwen A. Anderson files, the routine and incomplete Johnson material was joined to Hasek's files during archival processing.

Related Materials (January 1990)
Related material is found in the collections of Director of Research and Presidential Messages Gwen Anderson, Counsellor Robert Hartmann and in White House Central Files categories:

ME Messages
PL Political Affairs
HO Holidays
PR Public Relations
MA Medals-Awards
SP Speeches

Material related to the subjects of messages is found extensively throughout the Library's holdings. Material related to the Editorial Office is found in the collections of Executive Director Paul Theis/Special Assistant Robert Orben, and Research Director Charles McCall. Information on Hasek is found in the White House Central Files category FG-6-11-1/Hasek, in the Central Files Name File/Hasek, and in the Ford Library Vertical File.


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Presidential Messages, 1974-76.  (Box 1, 0.5 linear feet)
Photocopies of selected presidential messages to prominent national groups and individuals. PMO sent original auto-penned messages to national headquarters and photocopies to local branches of organizations. Occasional carbons of Hasek's cover letters to White House staff or the public are present.

Arranged chronologically by year and thereunder alphabetically by name of organization or occasion.

View container list for this series

Presidential Statements and Wires, 1976.  (Boxes 2-3, 0.6 linear feet)
A 1976 chronological file of carbons of presidential statements and telegrams to groups and individuals. Included in the blind notations are copy routes listing staff requesters, drafters and editors. Hasek sent letter cases 1974-77 to Central Files to ensure safekeeping and easy access to her background materials.

Arranged chronologically and thereunder by physical type.

View container list for this series

Eliska Hasek Messages, 1976-77.  (Boxes 3-4, 0.5 linear feet)
Messages sent over Hasek's signature denied requests for a presidential message, conveyed the president's good wishes and often enclosed copies of his prior messages, proclamations or photographs. This series also includes a folder of similar messages signed by various White House staff. PMO stored Hasek letter cases 1974-77 in Central Files.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series

Subject File, (1971) 1974-76.  (Boxes 4-5, 0.8 linear feet)
Message and telephone logs related to the handling, tracking and turn-around of message requests and to the denial of requests by telephone. Also included are thank you letters from recipients of presidential messages.

Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder by date.

View container list for this series

Michael S. Johnson Files, 1976. (Boxes 6-7, 0.8 linear feet)
Letter cases of Johnson's messages related primarily to politically-oriented requests received from the President Ford Committee and various White House and Congressional offices. Also present is written material drafted or edited by Johnson prior to joining POM.

Arranged alphabetically by subject and thereunder by date.

View container list for this series


CONTAINER LIST

Box 1 - Presidential Messages, 1974-76

  • 1974 Messages
    - Boy Scouts of America
    - Christmas - Men and Women of the Armed Forces
    - Christmas - General
    - Citizenship
    - Jewish High Holy Days
    - Model United Nations Sessions
    - National Bible Week
    - National Newspaper Carrier Day
    - Veterans Day
  • 1975 Messages
    - 200th Anniversary of the Army
    - 200th Anniversary of the Marine Corps
    - 200th Anniversary of the Navy
    - Bicentennial Projects
    - Black History Week
    - Black Press Week
    - Boy Scouts of America
    - Chinese New Year
    - Christmas - Armed Forces Veterans
    - College Graduates
    - DeMolay Week
    - High School Graduates
    - Independence Day
    - Jewish High Holy Days
    - Junior Achievement
    - Labor Day
    - Model United Nations Session
    - National Businesswomens' Week
    - National Newspaper Carrier Day
    - National Newspaper Week
    - Prince Hall Masons
    - St. Patrick's Day
    - Secretaries Week
    - Women's Equality Day
  • 1976 Messages
    - Bicentennial Message
    - Boy Scouts of America
    - Chinese New Year
    - Christmas - Armed Forces Veterans
    - Christmas - General
    - Citizenship
    - College Graduation
    - Demolay Week
    - Hearing and Speech Month
    - High School Graduation
    - Israel Anniversary
    - Jewish High Holy Days
    - Lincoln's Birthday
    - Lithuanian Ancestry
    - Memorial Day - Armed Forces
    - Model United Nations Assemblies
    - National Bible Week
    - National Black History Month
    - National Handicapped Awareness Week
    - National Historiuc Preservation Week
    - National Hobby Month
    - National Library Week
    - National Newspaper Carrier Day
    - National Newspaper Week
    - National Nursing Home Week
    - National Volunteer Week
    - Ramadan (Islamic New Year)
    - St. Patrick's Day
    - Secretaries Week
    - Telephone Centennial
    - Thaddeus Kosciuszko Day
    - Youth Art Month

Box 2 - Presidential Statements and Wires, 1976

  • January - August

Box 3 - Presidential Statements and Wires, 1976

  • September - December

Box 3 (Continued) - Eliska Hasek Messages, 1976-77

  • January - August

Box 4 - Eliska Hasek Messages, 1976-77

  • September - December
  • White House Staff Messages

Box 4 (Continued) - Subject File, (1971) 1974-76

  • Humor of President Ford
  • Miscellaneous Memoranda
  • Presidential Schedules
  • Projected Message Logs (1) - (6)

Box 5 - Subject File, 1974 (1971)-76

  • Projected Message Logs (7) - (8)
  • Telephone Logs, 1971-72
  • Telephone Logs, 1972- 74
  • Telephone Logs, 1975-76
  • Thank You Letters for Presidential Messages (1) - (6)

Box 6 - Michael S. Johnson Files, 1976

  • Articles, Q's and A's, Talking Points - Drafts
  • Presidential Correspondence - Drafts
  • Ford Policy - Background Materials
  • Political Messages, Alabama - New York

Box 7 - Michael S. Johnson Files, 1976

  • Political Messages, North Carolina - Washington DC
  • Presidential Wires (1) - (2)
  • Proclamations - Drafts
  • Speeches - Drafts (1) - (2)
  • Subject Messages