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RELEASE OF PRESIDENT JOHNSONíS TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS
At 9:00 A.M. on Friday, January 12, 2001, the Johnson Library will release recordings and transcripts of President Johnsonís telephone conversations from April and May 1965.†
The majority of the conversations concern President Johnsonís decision to send U.S. troops to the Dominican Republic following a violent revolution in that country and his efforts to negotiate a peaceful solution to that crisis.† These recordings between the President and his chief advisors, including McGeorge Bundy, Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, Thomas Mann, and Abe Fortas, provide in-depth insights into presidential decision-making at a time of crisis.† In addition to the recordings made by the Presidentís personal staff, the Library will also release a collection of recordings made in the White House Situation Room at the height of the Dominican Crisis, apparently the only time such calls were recorded in the Situation Room.† These calls include not only conversations between the President and his advisors, but calls between the advisors themselves, adding a unique perspective to the record.
Other topics covered in these conversations include the developing U.S. involvement in Vietnam, including the loss of a U.S. pilot shot down over Hainan Island and President Johnsonís call for Asian economic development in his speech at Johns Hopkins University, and the administrationís efforts to pass important legislation such as the Elementary and Secondary Education bill, the Voting Rights bill, and a supplemental military appropriations bill.
There are approximately 51 hours of recorded conversations from this time period: 11 hours for April 1965, 33 hours for May 1965, and 7 hours of recordings made in the White House Situation Room.† Detailed information about individual conversations will be available in the Libraryís Reading Room and on the Libraryís web site (http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu) on January 12.
Researchers may either listen to the recordings in the Reading Room beginning on January 12 or purchase copies of individual tapes at a cost of $6.00 per tape, plus shipping.† The cost of the set of 51 tapes is $306.00, 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 January 8.† 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 January 12.†
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 January 8.† 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.