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The Presidential Daily Diary (PDD) is the official day-by-day record of every moment of George W. Bush’s eight years as President. It chronicles activities including meetings, briefings, press conferences, telephone calls, photo sessions, meals, travel, and recreational activities. It details both presidential and personal activities, although personal information is redacted at this time.
The Presidential Diarist, a National Archives and Records Administration employee detailed to the White House, has the chief responsibility for creating the Diary. The Diarist uses documents provided by various White House units that include the President’s schedule, press briefings, pool reports, speeches, and notes from White House staff members. These supporting documents, as well as drafts of the final Daily Diary, are found in the Presidential Daily Diary Backup.
The primary Daily Diary document is a minute by minute log. Each entry on the log lists starting and ending times, brief descriptions for entries which require explanation, and information on people or groups involved. Log entries also refer to appendices which provide full participants lists for certain meetings, air travel, and social affairs.
The Presidential Daily Diary is not the same as the President’s official schedule. The President’s schedule lists events that were planned in advance that the President is expected to participate in. The Daily Diary is the official log that reflects the exact timing of planned events as well as impromptu moments such as staff member drop-ins and telephone calls. For example, President George W. Bush was scheduled to meet with Catholic Hispanic Leaders and attend the annual Congressional Barbecue on September 11, 2001. Due to the terrorist attacks that occurred that morning, his schedule was not followed. The events that did occur that day are captured in the Presidential Daily Diary rather than on the President's schedule.