COLLECTION FINDING AID



MILTON MITLER FILES, 1972-77

White House Coordinator of Bicentennial Matters;
Special Assistant to the President for Human Resources
Public Liaison Office




SUMMARY DESCRIPTION

The collection documents Mitler's liaison activities with Bicentennial groups and Vietnam War MIA/POW groups. It also describes his occasional handling of White House meetings with veterans, educational, medical and religious organizations.

QUANTITY
16.4 linear feet (ca. 34,000 pages)

DONOR
Gerald R. Ford (accession numbers 75-65, 78-30, 78-48)

ACCESS
Open. Some items may be 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).

COPYRIGHT
Gerald Ford donated to the United States of America his copyrights in all of his unpublished writings in National Archives collections.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 P.M. Green, October 1987; Revised by William McNitt, June 2003
[S:\bin\findaid\mitler, milt - files.doc]


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION


Milton E. Mitler


Dates Unknown - Colonel, United States Air Force

1975 - Assistant to the National Chairman, National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense

1975-77 - Coordinator for Bicentennial Affairs, White House staff


INTRODUCTION

Milton E. Mitler joined the White House staff as coordinator for Bicentennial matters on April 17, 1975, leaving his post as assistant to the national chairman for the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Mitler replaced Richard Lukstat, who had resigned on April 3, 1975, and took over Lukstat's duties as liaison between the White House and the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, Federal agencies and general public. He also administered gifts received at the White House for the Bicentennial. The Bicentennial Office functioned directly under Counsellor to the President John O. Marsh Jr. and under the Special Assistant to the President for Human Resources Theordore Marrs. Marrs had worked with Mitler at the Defense Department and was instrumental in bringing him to the White House. A detailed description of the role of the White House Bicentennial Office is available in the case file.

When Marrs resigned on July 17, 1976, Mitler inherited much of Marrs' work and became, on Sept. 30, 1976, Deputy Special Assistant to the President for Human Resources. The files for July 1976 to January 1977 reflect Mitler's additional responsibilities dealing with the MIA/POW. issue. This issue, which was the concern of groups like the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, MIA/POW families and concerned members of the public, represented the above groups' and citizens' feelings of being abandoned by the U.S. Government. They believed there were still captured American servicemen being held in Southeast Asia, even after U.S. POW's had been repatriated in 1973. They also demanded an accounting of what had happened to the many servicemen listed as missing in action. Mitler and his superior, Marrs, handled relations between the White House and these groups and kept the White House informed of developments regarding this issue. Specifically Mitler answered correspondence on the MIA/POW issue and served to explain the Ford administration's policies in this regard. The many letters from family members of MIA/POW's sent to President Ford show their frustration of not knowing whether their loved one is living or dead and also reflects the emotional intensity of this issue.

Mitler's major duty and the majority of his files concern his work with the Bicentennial. As coordinator of Bicentennial matters, Mitler sat on various Bicentennial task forces, such as the Federal Agency Bicentennial Task Force, which planned various activities for Federal agencies during the Bicentennial. The major problem for this task force was in coordinating what each agency was going to do so that there would be no overlapping of activities if possible. The direction of overall activities from the White House was an attempt to provide a general theme for the Bicentennial. Mitler also answered requests from private sector groups and individuals for presidential attendance at functions, authorization to hold events on Federal property, funding for activities and similar matters.

For the final months of the Ford administration, Mitler helped to organize meetings which consisted of bringing a selected group into the White House to attend a ceremonial function such as the signing of a bill by the President or to attend a public relations function such as meeting with labor leaders to discuss administration policies on some issue. He was basically the organizer and facilitator of the meetings and usually only opened them with introductory remarks to welcome them to the White House.

Related Materials (October 1987)
Related open materials on the Bicentennial can be found especially in: the files of Presidential Counselor John O. Marsh; files of Domestic Counsel staff Andre Buckles and Stephen McConahey; and White House Central Files categories FG 75 American Revolution Bicentennial Commission, FG 370 American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, GI 3 Gifts to President (includes Bicentennial) and PR 8-1 American Bicentennial Celebration.

Related open materials on Vietnam War MIA/POW's are found especially in the John Marsh Files and in the White House Central Files category ND 8-1 Military Personnel - Casualties.

The closely related files of Theodore Marrs are currently processed and available for research.


SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Vietnam War MIA's and POW's File, 1972-77.  (Boxes 1-2, 0.7 linear feet)
Correspondence between Mitler and Vietnam War MIA and POW organizations, mostly with the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, and their leaders, families of MIA/POW's and members of the general public concerning the Ford administration's policies and action on the MIA/POW issue. Includes material sent by MIA/POW organizations supporting their claim of U.S. servicemen being held captive in Southeast Asia and policy statements, speeches and reports of the President indicating his response to these organizations. The file also includes Defense Department material, such as reports on their meetings with MIA/POW families and organizations.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series

Bicentennial Subject File, 1973-77.  (Boxes 3-27, 6.0 linear feet)
Correspondence between Mitler and private citizens, government officials and Bicentennial organizations concerning their plans to celebrate the 200th birthday of the United States. The file includes American Revolution Bicentennial Administration task force meeting minutes detailing the White House Bicentennial Office's plans and recommendations for Bicentennial programs and activities. It also includes lists of participants in these White House meetings and many brochures and publications from Bicentennial groups. Much of the file contains statements of what an individual or group was doing or was planning to do for the Bicentennial, what the individual or group would like the President to do for the Bicentennial, the offer of gifts for the Bicentennial, and requests to meet with the President.

Arranged alphabetically.

View container list for this series

Events File, 1976-77.  (Boxes 28-31, 1.6 linear feet)
Correspondence between Mitler and various organizations and their leaders, and memoranda, agendas, attendee lists, invitations, reports and other materials created for meetings. Includes material on various bill signings and briefings. Also includes background information on some of these organizations.

Arranged chronologically.

View container list for this series

Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (By Control Number), 1975-76.  (Boxes 32-36, 2.0 linear feet)
Correspondence between Mitler and donors of Bicentennial gifts. Also background material concerning the gifts.

Arranged by control number.

View container list for this series

Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (By Donor Name), 1975-76.  (Boxes 37-38, 0.8 linear feet)
Correspondence between Mitler and donors of Bicentennial gifts for which control numbers had not yet been assigned. Also background material concerning the gifts.

Arranged alphabetically by name of donor.

View container list for this series

Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Offered, 1975-76.  (Box 39, 0.4 linear feet)
Correspondence between Mitler and persons wishing to donate Bicentennial gifts.

Arranged alphabetically by name of the correspondent.

View container list for this series

Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Offered (Miscellaneous), 1975-76.  (Box 40, 0.4 linear feet)
In addition to some correspondence between Mitler and persons wishing to donate Bicentennial gifts, this series contains information about presentation ceremonies.

Arranged alphabetically by name.

View container list for this series

Bicentennial Gift Displays, 1975-76. (Box 41, 0.4 linear feet)
Charts and notes concerning the display of Bicentennial gifts in Washington.

Unarranged.

View container list for this series


CONTAINER LIST

Box 1 - Vietnam War MIA's and POW's File

  • 12/72-7/76

Box 2 - Vietnam War MIA's and POW's File

  • 7/76-10/76
  • House Report
  • Military Organizations - List
  • Vietnam

Box 3 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Age of Franklin and Jefferson (1)-(3)
  • Agency for International Development
  • Agriculture Department
  • American Freedom Train (1)-(3)
  • American Heritage Square - Los Angeles
  • American Historic and Cultural Society, Inc.
  • American Indians

Box 4 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • American Issues Forum
  • American Numismatic Association
  • American Productivity Center
  • American Revolution Bicentennial Administration
    - Advisory Council (1)-(3)
    - Board: General
    - Final Report to Congress: 1973 (1)-(2)
    - Job Applications

Box 5 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • American Revolution Bicentennial Administration
    - License Program (1)-(2)
    - Miscellaneous (1)-(5)
  • American Society of Association Executives
  • American - Israel Cultural Foundation
  • Army Bicentennial - Fort Benning, Georgia

Box 6 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Audio-Visual Presentations (1)-(4)
  • Ballad of Valley Forge
  • Bands
  • Beltsville Recreation Area
  • Bicentennial USA
  • Boston Bicentennial Forum

Box 7 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • British Military Tattoo
  • CETA Funds
  • Cape Canaveral - Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology (1)-(7)

Box 8 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Cape Canaveral - Bicentennial Exposition on Science and Technology (8)-(15)
  • Centennial Safe

Box 9 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Center for Understanding Media, Inc.
  • Commerce Department
  • Commercialism
  • Communities
  • Cultural Laureate Foundation (1)-(3)
  • Declaration - John D. Rockefeller III
  • Declaration of Independence Committee
  • Defense Department

Box 10 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • District of Columbia - Bicentennial Federal Programs (1)-(3)
  • District of Columbia - Fringe Parking Plan (1)-(4)
  • District of Columbia - Grant Requests (1)-(2)

Box 11 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • District of Columbia - Logistics Plan: Background
  • District of Columbia - Transportation Plan (1)-(4)
  • District of Columbia - Visitors Facilities
  • District of Columbia/Philadelphia Reports (1)-(3)

Box 12 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Domestic Council Bicentennial Committee (1)-(3)
  • Expo '74
  • Eye of Thomas Jefferson
  • Federal Agency Bicentennial Projects
  • Fund Requests
  • Gem Show - International
  • Global Record Run
  • Great Hall Federal Exhibition

Box 13 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Health, Education and Welfare Department - Bicentennial Projects
  • Honor America (1)-(5)
  • Horizons on Display (1)

Box 14 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Horizons on Display (2)-(4)
  • Hugh O'Brian Youth Foundation (1)-(2)
  • Independence Day

Box 15 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Interior Department (1)-(2)
  • Jewish
  • Keep America Beautiful (1)-(2)
  • Legislation
  • Logo and Seals
  • Medical
  • Messages and Speeches of Gerald R. Ford
  • Military Participation

Box 16 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • National Bicentennial Conference (1)-(3)
  • National Visitor Center
  • News Clippings - Miscellaneous (1)-(5)

Box 17 - Bicentennial Subject File.

  • Parades - Miscellaneous (1)-(2)
  • Passports
  • Philadelphia Grant Requests (1)-(6)

Box 18 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Photo 200
  • Police Involvement
  • Presidential Participation - Miscellaneous
  • Presidential Questions and Answers (1)-(3)
  • Programs/Projects (1)-(3)

Box 19 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Publications (1)-(5)
  • Queen Elizabeth's Visit - 1976
  • Religion
  • Resumes

Box 20 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Security
  • Skits/Plays
  • Slogans
  • Slogans USA Contest
  • Small Business Administration
  • Smithsonian Bicentennial Projects (1)-(3)
  • Solomon, Haym - Recognition
  • Songs

Box 21 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Speech Material
  • Stamps - Foreign
  • State Department
  • Sutherland Associates (1)-(2)
  • Synagogue Council of America (1)-(4)

Box 22 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Task Force - General (1)-(2)
  • Task Force Meetings: 9/23/73-3/27/75(2)

Box 23 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Task Force Meetings: 3/27/75(3)-5/3/76

Box 24 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Task Force Meetings: 5/17/76-6/29/76
  • Task Force Members
  • Task Force Subcommittee - D.C. Coordinating Committee (1)-(3)
  • Task Force Subcommittee - In House (1)-(3)

Box 25 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Task Force Subcommittee - Operations and Logistics (1)-(2)
  • Thank You's From Diplomatic Corps - Redwood Plaques
  • Third Century USA ("Turning on the Lights") (1)-(2)
  • Town Meeting '76 (1)-(4)

Box 26 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Transportation Department
  • Treasury Department
  • Visitation Statistics - Weekly
  • Wagon Train Program (1)-(3)
  • White House Bicentennial Office
  • White House Miniature Program (1)-(3)

Box 27 - Bicentennial Subject File

  • Youth Programs (1)-(5)

Box 28 - Events File

  • 1976/08/04 - VFW and President
  • 1976/08/13 - USAF Sergeants Association
  • 1976/08/18 - Kiwanis International
  • 1976/08/24-26 - American Legion
  • 1976/09/08 - Education and Arts (1)-(3)
  • 1976/09/15 - American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (1)-(3)
  • 1976/09/16 - National Health Insurance
  • 1976/09/20 - National School Volunteers (1)-(3)

Box 29 - Events File

  • 1976/09/22 - Defense Appropriations Bill Signing
  • 1976/09/28 - Land and Water Conservation Fund Bill Signing
  • 1976/09/29 - Public Safety Officers Benefits Bill Signing
  • 1976/10/05 - Association of Rehabilitation Nurses
  • 1976/10/13 - Briefings for Foreign Labor Leaders
  • 1976/10/14 - Polish and Czech World War II Veterans Bill
  • 1976/10/15 - National Council on Health Care Services
  • 1976/10/18 - Commissioner of Education Swearing-In
  • 1976/10/19 - AMVETS Golden Helmet Award Presentation
  • 1976/10/21 - Federal Council on Aging Swearing-In Ceremony (1)-(3)

Box 30 - Events File

  • 1976/10/28 - Human Resource Development in the World of Work (1)-(3)
  • 1976/11/23 - National Bible Week
  • 1976/11/30 - Global Perspectives in Education (1)-(3)
  • 1976/12/03 - Johnny Bench (Baseball Player)
  • 1976/12/06 - Middle Cities Education Association of Michigan

Box 31 - Events File

  • 1976/12/14 - Citizens for Highway Safety (1)-(5)
  • 1977/01/11 - Alcoholism

Box 32 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (by Control Number)

  • #1-#225 (some numbers missing)

Box 33 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (by Control Number)

  • #226-#430 (some numbers missing)

Box 34 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (by Control Number)

  • #431-#527 (some numbers missing)

Box 35 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (by Control Number)

  • #528-#670 (some numbers missing)

Box 36 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (by Control Number)

  • #671-#929 (some numbers missing)

Box 37 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (by Donor Name)

  • A-K

Box 38 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Received (by Donor Name)

  • L-Z

Box 39 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Offered

  • A-Z

Box 40 - Correspondence re Bicentennial Gifts Offered (Miscellaneous)

  • A-Z

Box 41 - Bicentennial Gift Displays