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RECORDINGS OF TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS
WHITE HOUSE SERIES

October 11, 1996

INTRODUCTION

On January 29, 1973, Mildred Stegall, a longtime member of President Johnson's staff, transferred control of a collection of recordings and transcripts to the Director of the LBJ Library, Harry Middleton. At that time, she indicated that President Johnson had wanted this material to be closed for research until fifty years after his death. This collection currently consists of two types of recordings: 1) recordings of telephone conversations, primarily made on Dictaphone Dictabelt Records, from November 22, 1963, through January 1969, and corresponding transcripts; and 2) recordings of international meetings and of meetings held in the Cabinet Room from late November 1967 through 1968, made on reel-to-reel audio tape, and corresponding transcripts.

In response to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, the staff of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library prepared a special series of recordings and transcripts of telephone conversations. This series, entitled "JFK Assassination-Related Conversations," consists of the recordings and transcripts of all recorded telephone conversations from November 22, 1963, through December 31, 1963, as well as conversations containing information related to the assassination of President Kennedy from the following later periods in the Johnson administration:

January and February 1964, while the transition between administrations continued;

September 1964, the month of the release of the Warren Commission report;

December 1966, when the controversy over the serialization in Look magazine and the publication of William Manchester's book, Death of a President, occurred;

and January 1967 to the end of the Johnson administration, the period of the Garrison investigation and subsequent trial of Clay Shaw.

This series was opened in increments from September 30, 1993, through April 15, 1994. The only previous release from this collection was made in response to a subpoena in conjunction with the "CBS v. Westmoreland" lawsuit in 1984, when small portions of selected transcripts were released to the court.

With the fifty-year restriction effectively broken by the congressional mandate of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, the decision was made by the Director to continue to open these materials. The White House Series continues chronologically where the JFK Series left off, beginning in January 1964. The Library staff will open chronological increments of the collection periodically; information regarding the release of new material will be posted on the Library's Web site prior to the date of release.