Wednesday, April 25, 2012

VP Nixon Receives National Secretaries Association's First 'Special Award'

On July 19, 1958, the National Secretaries Association presented Vice President Richard Nixon with their first special award "for recognition and understanding of the secretarial profession" at their convention in Minneapolis.

"A determining factor in Mr. Nixon’s selection for the award was his appraisal of the secretarial profession in 'Mr. Nixon Calls Himself Lucky,' in the Saturday Evening Post on Dec. 28, 1957," reported The Pittsburgh Press on July 11, 1958.
"Mr. Nixon Calls Himself Lucky" was a preface the Vice President penned to an article written by his secretary, Rose Mary Woods, titled "Nixon's My Boss."

Here's what he said:

"Next to a man's wife, his secretary is the most important person in his career. A top-flight secretary has to have an incredible variety of virtues. She has to be flawlessly proficient at shorthand and typing. She has to have the quite different skill of making hundreds of decisions a day for her employer -- and she has to know just what decisions not to make as well. She has to understand every detail of her employer's job; to have unquestioning loyalty and absolute discretion. Unlike her boss, she can never enjoy the luxury of temperament, no matter how tense the atmosphere, how long the hours. She is the balance wheel for the whole office. On every count Rose measures up -- and on top of that she's been a good friend to both Pat and myself. I'm a lucky man." Richard Nixon

Tomorrow I'll profile Best Actress nominee Ann Sothern who had an extraordinary impact on Washington secretaries in her role as Susie McNamara in the groundbreaking sitcom, "Private Secretary" produced by Desilu from 1953-58.

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