Release of LBJ’s Telephone Conversations January - March 1965

May 12, 2000

At 9:00 A.M. on Friday, June 8, 2001, the Johnson Library will release recordings and transcripts of President Johnson's telephone conversations from June and July 1965.

In these two pivotal months, President Johnson faced critical decisions at home and abroad, many of which are documented in these recordings. He made several historic appointments, including naming Thurgood Marshall as Solicitor General, the first African-American to hold the post, as well as appointing Arthur Goldberg as Ambassador to the United Nations and Abe Fortas to the Supreme Court. During this period, Congress considered the Voting Rights bill, an omnibus housing bill, the Cold War GI bill, and attempted to repeal Section 14-B of the Taft-Hartley Act. But many of the conversations concern the decision to increase the US military commitment in Vietnam. Throughout these two months LBJ discussed his concerns about Vietnam with numerous people, including President Dwight Eisenhower, Senators Mike Mansfield and Richard Russell, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

There are approximately 18 hours of recorded conversations from this time period: 9 hours for June 1965 and 9 hours for July 1965. In addition to these recordings, the Library will also open the recording of an informal press conference the President held in September 1964. Detailed information about individual conversations will be available in the Library's Reading Room and on the Library's web site (http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu) on June 8.

Researchers may either listen to the recordings in the Reading Room beginning on June 8 or purchase copies of individual tapes at a cost of $6.00 per tape, plus shipping. The cost of the set of 19 tapes is $114.00, plus shipping and Texas sales tax where applicable. Orders for complete sets must be placed with the Reading Room archivist, 512-916-5137, extension 234, by June 4. Once the limited number of available sets has been sold, orders will be filled once a week as staff time permits. Orders for individual tapes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis after June 8.

Copies of transcripts of those conversations which were transcribed by the President's staff may also be purchased at a cost of 25 cents per page by mail or 15 cents per page if ordered in the Reading Room. The exact page count of a complete set of transcripts will be available on June 4. Researchers should be cautioned that the transcripts are not always reliable and should never be used without checking them against the actual recordings to assure accuracy.