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National Archives

WHORM - Federal Government (FE)

(12.8 linear feet; boxes 1-32)

A primary subject category containing information relating to the creation, organization, and reorganization of the federal government as a whole. Related topics include the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, presidential powers, executive orders, and proclamations. There are a variety of other important matters covered, including ceremonies and protocol, heraldry, flags and seals, national emblems, presidential libraries and archives, Presidential records, and access to documents. Over half of this file code is devoted to archival issues centering around the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act (PA). Most materials consist of routine memoranda and correspondence providing the researcher with a glimpse of how the federal government operates on a daily basis. Personal and privileged information is sometimes included especially in the FOIA/PA section of the subject code. As a consequence, a large portion of these records are closed under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and Presidential Records Act.

DESCRIPTION OF SECONDARY FILE CODES

FE Federal Government (.2 ft.; box 1)

A secondary subject category concerning the general operations of the federal government. Most of the material focuses on President Bush's attempt to reaffirm an executive order entitled "Federalism," which laid out basic principles departments and agencies should employ when implementing policies vis-a-vis state and local governments. This directive was first issued while Presdient Bush served as Vice President, and he wanted to make sure it remained operative during his years as Chief Executive. This section also contains a report entitled Managing the Federal Government: A Decade of Decline, forwarded to President Bush by the Congressional Committee on Government Operations.

FE001 Ceremonials - Protocol (.2 ft.; box 1)

A secondary subject category concerning several etiquette and protocol issues including the rules of etiquette in the cases of flying the flag at half-mast and how the President and Vice President should greet the leaders of foreign countries, especially those the U.S. does not consider friends or allies. This subcategory also contains constituent correspondence urging President Bush to propose legislation to commemorated special occasions. In addition, there are letters from congressmen and Senators urging Bush to order flags to be flown at half-mast on the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor to honor the servicemen who gave their lives for their country.

FE001-01 Deaths - Funerals (.1 ft.; box 1)

A secondary subject category concerning the President's attendance at head of state funerals and the proper government response to deaths of world leaders and prominent American politicians. Only a small amount of correspondence is located here, nearly all of it dealing with the funeral of Emperor Hirohito and the memorial service for Senator John Tower.

FE001-02 Wreath-Laying (.1 ft.; box 1)

A secondary subject category containing materials relating to ceremonies involving the laying of wreaths. Most of the records in this file code have to do with President Bush designating personal representatives to place wreaths at ceremonies commemorating anniversaries of the birthdays of various Presidents. This category also contains the text of the remarks President Bush gave at the Navy Memorial on 7 December 1992.

FE002 Declaration of Independence - Constitution (.2 ft.; boxes 1-2)

A secondary subject category containing materials relating to the Constitution. There did not appear to be any records concerning the Declaration of Independence. Letter-writers addressed such topics as the constitutionality of the Boland Amendment, the need for an amendment banning the burning of the American flag, and the inaction of Congress with respect to the passage of a balanced budget amendment. There are also materials which document how the Bush Administration supported state and local officials in their attempts to restore meaning to the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. In addition there are materials that Warren Burger, Chairman of the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, presented to President Bush regarding the National Archives plan for a Bicentennial of the Bill of Rights Tour.

FE002-01 Presidential Powers - Succession - Term of Office (.6 ft.; boxes 2-4)

A secondary subject category containing materials relating to the War Powers Resolution and how this controversial piece of legislation might be reformed. Official letters from President Bush to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore invoke the War Powers Resolution with respect to Panama, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia. Other subjects of interest include enhanced rescission authority, separation of powers, whether or not the President has the authority to remove members of the Civil Rights Commission, and the pros and cons of term limitations for members of Congress.

FE003 Executive Orders (.3 ft.; boxes 4-5)

A secondary subject category containing constituent requests for executive orders addressing specific issues including an E.O. banning the importation of semi-automatic assault rifles into the U.S.. This category also contains proposed executive orders including the "Administration of Foreign Assistance and Related Functions and Arms Export Controls". Some additional examples of executive orders (a few of which Bush eventually issued) include an order to return Haitian refugees to Haiti without giving them a chance to ask for political asylum; an order to declassify and publicly release all documents, files, and other records relating to American MIAs/POWs; and finally, an order to stop selling all pornographic magazines at all American military installations.

FE004 Heraldry - Flags - President's Seal (2.0 ft.; boxes 6-10)

A secondary subject category containing a large quantity of correspondence supporting President Bush' call for a constitutional amendment to prohibit the burning of the American flag. Various memos and letters advance the views of departments and agencies concerning the Flag Protection Act of 1990. Proclamations by cities and towns declare their intention to recite the Pledge of Allegiance on National Flag Day, 14 June 1989. An interesting matter discussed in detail involves a two-acre, seven- ton American flag presented to Ronald Reagan by the Great American Flag Fund that had not been flown on Flag Day at the Washington Monument, as the donors had wished. In addition, many letters came into the White House requesting permission to use the Seal of the President. The White House rejected most these requests because of their commercial nature. In a few instances, the White House approved the use of the seal including for a commencement publication distributed by Oklahoma State University (where President Bush gave the commencement address) and a golf bag promised to the President by McGregor Golf Company.

FE005 Management Improvement Program (.2 ft.; box 10)

A secondary subject category containing material on the federal government's Management by Objectives (MBOs) system. In this system, President Bush outlines the basic principles of the program, and solicits input from the different departments and agencies as to three to five worthwhile objectives they think should be implemented within a relatively short period of time.

FE006 National Emblems (.2 ft.; box 11)

A secondary subject category containing constituent correspondence concerning the use of the President's Seal and signature, and the protocol associated with the national anthem. In one example, a constituent writes President Bush to request permission to replace a replica of the Seal of the President displayed at the JFK Memorial Wall in Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. In another example, a young boy admonishes Bush for not placing his hand over his heart during the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner."

FE007 National Emergency (.1 ft.; box 11)

A secondary subject category containing materials relating to the conditions necessary for a national emergency declaration by the President. There are only two documents in this category. The first concerns is a letter from a New Jersey congressman urging Bush to declare a state of emergency in order to facilitate the release of additional unemployment benefits. In the other letter, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee informs the President that the cause for declaring a national emergency in the case of Iraq still exists.

FE008 Libraries - Museums, Presidential (.1 ft.; box 11)

A secondary subject category containing materials relating to presidential libraries and museums in general. A small amount of correspondence concerns the possible locations for the Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Other topics include the transfer of Iran/Contra documents from Washington, D.C. to Simi Valley, California, the dedication of the Nixon Library at Yorba Linda, California, and President Bush's participation in the opening of the Reagan Library.

FE008-01 Library, (Incumbent President) (.4 ft.; boxes 11-13)

A secondary subject category containing records discussing the process President Bush used to select College Station, Texas, as the site for his presidential library and museum. The three major contenders for the Bush Library were the University of Houston, Rice University, and Texas A&M University. The President made his choice known on 3 May 1991, relying heavily on the advice of Don Wilson the Archivist of the United States. The documents in this subcategory document the key role played by Wilson in the entire selection process. Detailed proposals from each of the main rivals are also included. Finally, a great deal of correspondence from important political, civic, and business leaders poured into the Bush camp imploring him to choose either the University of Houston or Rice University as the location for his presidential library and museum. Very little in the way of letters came in from prominent figures suggesting that Bush choose Texas A&M as the place to store his records and artifacts.

FE009 Proclamations (.1 ft.; boxes 13-14)

A secondary subject category discussing the guidelines describing when to issue presidential proclamations. The Bush White House created these guidelines to reduce the number of proclamations coming out of the White House. Throughout the records, there are many examples of constituents writing President Bush to request proclamations for specific occasions. For instance, one constituent writes President Bush requesting a proclamation to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the AmistadRebellion. On at least one occasion the Bush Administration turned the issuance of a proclamation into a full-fledged ceremony. This event occurred on 11 April 1991 when President Bush delivered remarks launching the National Celebration of Community Service at the start of a Midnight Basketball All-Star game in Glenarden, Maryland.

FE010 Records and Archives (.2 ft.; boxes 14-15)

A secondary subject category containing materials concerning the Paperwork Reduction and Management Improvement Act of 1990 (various companies send in letters supportive of the legislation) and the need for updates to the "The Bush Administration Record." This subcategory also contains information on the controversy over whether or not electronic messages should be archived, the optical system in use in the Bush White House, and the transfer of President Bush's Presidential records to College Station, Texas.

FE010-01 Access to Records - Documents (6.8 ft.; boxes 16-32)

A secondary subject category containing materials relating to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) requests. In addition, in this subject code documents the occasions the head of Presidential Libraries notifies the President's Counsel (C. Boyden Gray) that papers from the Nixon and Reagan Libraries are proposed to be opened for research.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845
Telephone: (979) 691-4000 | Facsimile: (979) 691-4050 | TTY: (979) 691-4091