Members of the White House Communications Agency-audio visual branch who supported President Nixon held a reunion at the Nixon Library on Saturday, October 19. The group toured the museum galleries and archives area and had lunch in the East Room.
The White House Communications Agency (WHCA) had the mission of providing communications support including telecom, radio, encryption, and audio visual services for the President and other members of the White House.
The A/V branch was responsible for providing audio feeds to the press, handling the President’s microphone, the Presidential Seal, Presidential podium, lighting and PA systems, and sent all recorded speeches to the National Archives.
Some of the WHCA staff members were even authorized to announce the President when he traveled, “Ladies and Gentlemen: The President of the United States…”
The agency advanced Presidential trips and worked closely with Nixon Foundation Chairman Ron Walker’s presidential advance team, and the White House press office.
“Most of us were in our early 20s; it was quite an honor to serve President Nixon,” said Brian “Rusty” Chamberlain, who provided support on RN’s historic trip to the People’s Republic of China in February 1972.
“Back then communications were difficult as China had not yet modernized. It was easier to communicate from Hangzhou to D.C. than from Hangzhou to Beijing,” Chamberlain added.