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  •   The Nixon Tapes: Key Stories

    Richard M. Nixon's presidency has been debated since he resigned from office in 1974, and one of the keys to his legacy – tapes of his Oval Office conversations – have become the focus of a tug-of-war between his family and the federal government. The National Archives and the Justice Department have been locked in a battle with the Nixon family over who rightfully may possess which portions of the tapes and papers that total 44 million items housed at the National Archives complex. Both sides became more entrenched with each new decision from appellate and lower courts, and the issue – as well as the fight – are likely to continue.

    Court Upholds Order on Nixon Tapes
    April 1, 1998
    In a sharply worded ruling that accused the government of acting "in flat defiance" of Supreme Court pronouncements more than 20 years old, a federal appeals court ordered the National Archives to give former president Richard M. Nixon's estate all the "personal and private" conversations scattered through his original White House tapes.

    Nixon to Get Day in Court On Tapes Compensation
    March 29, 1998
    Eighteen years after he filed suit, four years after his death, former president Richard M. Nixon's demand that he be compensated for his White House tapes and papers is finally going to trial.

    Nixon Papers Portray Fear Of News Plot
    March 19, 1998
    At first blush, it sounds like a memo that could have been addressed to President Clinton by one of his loyal supporters, railing against "the conspiracy of the newspaper people" out to get him and urging "a gloves off" response.

    Judges Lean Toward Claim Of Nixon Estate
    February 24, 1998
    A panel of three federal judges made clear yesterday that they think former president Richard M. Nixon's estate should have sole custody of 819 hours of "personal" conversations from his White House tapes even if the original recordings have to be mangled in the process.

    Hopes for U.S.-Run Nixon Library Fade
    January 25, 1998
    Construction of a government-run Richard M. Nixon presidential library in California is becoming increasingly unlikely. Lawyers for the Nixon estate and the Justice Department are preparing for a court battle this summer over how much Nixon's tapes and papers are worth.

    U.S. Argues Against Return Of Excerpts of Nixon Tapes
    December 2, 1997
    The Justice Department has told an appellate court here that the government is required by law to maintain the integrity of President Richard M. Nixon's White House tapes and that it has no obligation to cut out portions of them to satisfy the demands of Nixon's estate.

    Nixon Hoped Antitrust Threat Would Sway Network Coverage
    December 1, 1997
    The best way to intimidate the nation's three major television networks, President Richard M. Nixon concluded in 1971, was to keep the constant threat of an antitrust suit hanging over them.

    Deal on Nixon Materials Is Pushed
    November 11, 1997
    The head of the National Archives asked the Justice Department to settle all outstanding litigation with former president Richard M. Nixon's estate with an agreement that could result in permanent damage to Nixon's original White House tapes and moving the huge collection of Nixon material to California.

    Kennedy, Muskie, Jackson Eyed for Nixon Dirty Tricks in '71
    October 30, 1997
    Long before the Watergate scandal, President Richard M. Nixon demonstrated an aptitude for political mischief, according to newly transcribed tape recordings from the Nixon White House.

    In New Release of Tapes, Nixon Backs Measures to Prevent Leaks
    October 17, 1997
    With the fallout from a White House-sponsored burglary in the Pentagon Papers case fresh in the headlines and his approval of a "clearly illegal" 1970 domestic intelligence plan about to become public, President Richard M. Nixon vigorously but elliptically defended such measures on May 23, 1973, at a Cabinet Room meeting with Republican congressional leaders.

    Some Nixon Tapes Will Have to Wait
    September 9, 1997
    More Nixon White House tapes will be made public next month, but they're not going to include some recently declassified "abuse of power" segments.

    U.S. Appeal on Nixon Tapes to Be Heard
    August 4, 1997
    The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a request by Richard M. Nixon's estate for quick return of private conversations on his White House tapes.

    Nixon Lawyers Battle For Return of 'Private' Segments of His Tapes
    July 7, 1997
    Lawyers for Richard M. Nixon's estate accused the Justice Department of filing a "melodramatic" appeal that ignores provisions of a 1974 law requiring the return of private conversations on his White House tapes to Nixon or his heirs.

    25 Years After Break-In, Nixon's Words Endure
    June 17, 1997
    In the final years of his life, long after his presidency ended in disgrace and on the brink of impeachment, Richard M. Nixon amazed former allies and enemies with the success he had rehabilitating his reputation.

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