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MAY 12, 2000


At 9:00 A.M. on May 26, 2000, the Johnson Library will release recordings and transcripts of President Johnson’s telephone conversations from January through March 1965.

These recordings cover the first three months of President Johnson’s new term, and in them he discusses plans for his Inauguration; his legislative agenda, including landmark education, Voting Rights, Medicare, and poverty bills; and appointments within his new administration, particularly the appointment of the Secretary of the Treasury. During these months, he deals with crises at home and abroad: violence in Alabama during the Selma voting rights campaign; the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo; and bombings of U.S. facilities at Pleiku, South Vietnam, and the US embassy in Saigon. The recordings include conversations with former Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, Congressman Gerald Ford, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jacqueline Kennedy, Senator Edward Kennedy, Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Senator Richard Russell, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, Governor George Wallace, Senator Everett Dirksen, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge.

There are approximately 28 hours of recorded conversations from this time period: 5 hours for January 1965, 6 hours for February 1965, and 17 hours for March 1965. 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 May 26.

Researchers may either listen to the recordings in the Reading Room beginning on May 26 or purchase copies of individual tapes at a cost of $6.00 per tape, plus shipping. The cost of the set of 27 tapes is $162.00, 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 May 22. Once the limited number of available sets have 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 May 26.

Copies of transcripts of those conversations which were transcribed by the President's staff may also be purchased at a cost of 20 cents per page by mail or 10 cents per page if ordered in the Reading Room. Although very few of the conversations were transcribed, the exact page count of a complete set of transcripts will be available on May 22. 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.