Lyndon B. Johnson Tapes



photo of Johnson talkingn on phone
LBJ Library photos
(Additional photos of LBJ on the phone in the Oval Office)

Throughout his presidency, Lyndon Johnson surreptitiously recorded his telephone conversations. President Johnson intended that these recordings would not be open to researchers until 50 years after his death. However, in 1992 Congress passed legislation requiring release of most available information on President Kennedy's assassination. In response, the LBJ Library released President Johnson's phone conversations on this topic. Following the release of the Kennedy-related material in 1993 and 1994, the Library decided that the ban on release of the materials had effectively been broken, and the decision was made to gradually open the remaining materials to scholars and interested members of the public. These recordings provide a rare look behind the scenes of the inner workings of government policy making.

Some of the LBJ White Tape recordings touch on matters related to Social Security, Medicare, or the Social Security Administration and its associated government officials. We endeavor to identify these conversations. The list below identifies some of the conversations that contain Social Security-related content. For each recording, we have listed the participants, and the general topics discussed.


Using this guide, researchers can identify the recording of interest by noting the Tape No. and the Conversation No., then proceed to the Miller Center website where the full recording can be retrieved.

 LBJ Tape Recordings - White House Series - 1964
(Recordings are in RealAudio or Windows Media Player formats)
  Tape No. Conversation No. Key Speakers Date Time Length
1 WH6402.14 2031 Frank "Topper" Thompson 2/10/64 8:52P 1:41

In this brief conversation with Rep. Frank Thompson (D-NJ) Johnson thanks him for his work on the recently passed tax and civil rights bills, and in the next breath, exhorts him to work on passage of Johnson's medical care proposals.

2 WH6403.05 2409 Anthony Celebrezze 3/9/64 12:30P 9:00

photo of Celebreeze

In this conversation with HEW Secretary Anthony Celebrezze, President Johnson complains about press leaks involving his developing poverty and Medicare proposals, and Johnson ends the conversation by suggesting Celebrezze "fire someone" over the issue.


3 WH6403.15 2612 Wilbur Cohen 3/21/64 6:04P 1:22

picture of Wilbur Cohen

In this conversation with HEW Assistant Secretary Wilbur Cohen, President Johnson takes Cohen to task for news reports that he is considering resigning, both scolding and flattering Cohen at the same time. Cohen assures LBJ that the reports are untrue


4 WH6404.09 3020 Tom Hughes 4/14/64 11:10A 3:04

At the start of this conversation Johnson outlines his legislative priorities for the year, including Medicare. Most of the conversation is a discussion of the political strategy for pushing the Administration's food stamp proposal.


5 WH6404.12 3122
3125 (WMP)
3125 (RealAudio)
Bill Moyers
Bill Moyers

photo of Moyers

Conversation 3122 In this conversation with Bill Moyers, Special Assistant to the President, LBJ goes over edits in a typed speech, including one intended to divert possible criticism from the AMA. LBJ discusses strategies for his next meeting with the Attorney General.

Conversation 3125 In this conversation with Bill Moyers, the President if following up on a problem with his Medicare speech that he took up with Moyers earlier in the evening. He is still upset about the error in a statistic on the Medicare speech. They mention Wilbur Cohen, the Administration's expert on Medicare as Moyers tries to find someone with the right answer. The President expresses some frustration with Moyers over his continued inability to straighten out the matter of this errant statistic. (Mention is made at the start of the call to the pending Civil Rights bill and to House Agriculture Chairman Harold Cooley of North Carolina.

6 WH6405.08 3472 Larry O'Brien 5/18/64 7:35P 8:06

Larry O'Brien, Assistant to the President for Congressional Relations, recounts his conversation with Wilbur Mills about the status and legislative developments on the President's Medicare proposals. O'Brien was concerned about stories in the press which reported that the Ways and Means Committee was considering changes the Administration did not know about. Mills assured O'Brien that this was not the case. O'Brien and the President then go on to a long discussion of political strategy and possible policies for a Medicare program.

7 WH6406.03 3642 Wilbur Mills 6/9/64 9:55A 4:47

photo of Wilbur Mills

Rep. Wilbur Mills (D-AK), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, talks with the President about pending tax legislation and expresses concern about Social Security tax rate increases in current law scheduled to take effect in 1967 and 1968. Mills wants to delay at least part of these increases until the 1970s to lessen the political and economic impact.


8 WH6406.06 3686 Larry O'Brien/Wilbur Mills 6/11/64 3:55P 15:34
    3687 Larry O'Brien 6/11/64 3:55P 1:18
    3690 Earle Clements 6/11/64 4:18P 3:29

Conversation 3686-3687 with Larry O'Brien and Rep. Wilbur Mills (D-AK) provides the president an update on a number of bills, including excise taxes, social security, debt ceiling, assistance for widows, and Medicare. The President then has an extended discussion about his poll numbers. He is particularly concerned about his weak poll numbers for "more help for older people." Mills and Johnson then have a discussion regarding political strategy on Social Security.

Conversation 3690 with Earle Clements who updates the President on the status of support for pending legislation, including Medicare. The talk about the prospects of the King-Anderson proposal in the Senate, which was the early form the Medicare legislation took, and about the strategy of trying to add Medicare to a Senate bill.


9 WH6406.12 3804 Larry O'Brien 6/22/64 5:10P 10:15

Larry O'Brien provides a very pessimistic assessment of the prospects for the Medicare legislation. O'Brien reports on a discouraging conversation between Wilbur Cohen and Anthony Celebrezze and Wilbur Mills. Mills says that he sees little hope of passing a Medicare proposal through his Committee. He suggests the Administration may want to consider abandoning Medicare for now and settling for a general Social Security bill; or at best, try attaching Medicare as a rider to a general Social Security bill in the Senate. The Ways & Means Committee was scheduled to vote on the proposal the next day and Mills indicated that if it came to a vote, the Administration's proposal would be defeated.


10 WH6407.12 4309 Larry O'Brien 7/22/64 7:53P 4:24

In this conversation Johnson aid Larry O'Brien briefs LBJ on the status of various legislative initiatives, including his meeting with Congressional leaders on the Medicare bill.

11 WH6408.01 4603/4604 George Smathers 8/1/64 11:00A 22:09

photo of Smathers

Senator George Smathers (D-FL) has a long discussion with Johnson about Latin American policy issues. Johnson then lobbies Smathers about votes in the Florida delegation for his poverty proposals. The two former Senate colleagues also talk about the 1964 election campaign, and issues involving HEW enforcement of school desegregation laws. Finally, the talk turns to the legislative strategy for Johnson's Social Security and Medicare proposals in the Senate. Smathers and Johnson also have a candid discussion about Social Security and Medicare in a larger political context and as related to tactics in the 1964 election.


12 WH6408.04 4665 Clinton Anderson 8/4/64 11:12A 3:00

photo of Anderson

Clinton Anderson (D., N. Mex.) informs the President about the upcoming need for an appointee to head up planning for the future of Alaska. LBJ and Anderson also discuss the King-Anderson bill and Senator Ribicoff's proposal. Anderson also signals his support of Humphrey as a Vice-Presidential candidate.


13 WH6408.05 4677 George Smathers 8/4/64 12:30P 6:13
    4679 Myer Feldman 8/4/64 ? 1:12

Conversation 4677 Senator Smathers (D-FL) tells the President that he has gotten Senators Gore and Ribicoff to agree on the strategy to offer the King-Anderson bill on the floor. 

Conversation 4679 Because of a full schedule precipitated by the escalating war in Vietnam, the President asks Myer Feldman, Deputy Special Counsel to the President, to join him and take over a meeting with ranking Negro doctors and seek their support for Medicare.


14 WH6408.15 4839 Walter Reuther 8/9/64 8:51A 15:37

photo of Reuther

In this conversation, the President tells Walter Reuther, President, United Auto Workers, that this is the greatest Congress ever. LBJ states that 32 or 33 of his bills have passed, with an outside chance for Medicare. The President states that he would rather lose the SSA bill than lose the future of Medicare.


15 WH6408.19 4921 Larry O'Brien 8/14/64 12:02P 5:08

LBJ and O'Brien discuss the strategy passing Medicare. The plan is to get the King-Anderson bill passed in the Senate and then tradeoff on the Ribicoff bill once the legislation goes to Conference.


16 WH6408.21 4942 & 4943 Larry O'Brien 8/15/64 10:48A 4:18 & 6:57

Conversations 4942 & 4943 Larry O'Brien tells LBJ that Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CN) leaked details of a confidential meeting of the Senate leadership the day on Medicare O'Brien and LBJ also discuss the status of legislation on Appalachia, reapportionment, and the Mansfield-Dirksen amendment.


17 WH6408.28 5037 Mike Mansfield 8/19/64 5:31P 2:20

Mike Mansfield, Senate Majority Leader, (D-MT) informs LBJ that work on the report on Social Security is going to be delayed until after the Senate's recess. Mansfield and LBJ also talk about LBJ's finances and the President's release of his financial statement.


18 WH6409.01 5414 Albert Gore, Sr. 9/2/64 9:32A 8:46
    5416 Mike Mansfield 9/2/64 10:58A 5:51
    5417 Larry O'Brien 9/2/64 11:05A 8:22
    5419 Carl Hayden 9/2/64 11:15A 3:39

photo of Al Gore, Sr.

Conversations 5414 Senator Al Gore, Sr. (D-TN) tells LBJ about his call from Tommy Kuchel (Senator, R, Ca.) on the Javits (Senator, R. NY) amendment to the Medicare bill. Gore questions LBJ about his support for the amendment. Gore states that that he will call Clint about Kuchel's call and work out a compromise with Mike Feldman and Wilbur Cohen.


Conversations 5416 In this conversation, Mike Mansfield tells LBJ that at best there are 51 votes for Medicare and asks LBJ to call Carl Hayden (Senator, D., Ariz.) in an attempt to get his support. LBJ and Mansfield also discuss a developing FBI investigation.

Conversations 5417 LBJ updates O'Brien on his calls with Gore and Mansfield about the close vote on Medicare, including Mansfield's request that the President call Senator Hayden. O'Brien reports that the meeting with the New York county chairman went very well.

photo of Carl Hayden

Conversations 5419 LBJ reads news articles, describing supporting for him in the upcoming Presidential election to Senator Hayden. He tells Hayden that the vote is close on Medicare and asks Hayden to wait and vote, if his vote is needed to pass the bill. He tells Hayden that Medicare is needed in order to get the older people's support in the upcoming election.


19 WH6409.02 5424 Lee White 9/2/64 12:08A :54
    5426 Myer Feldman 9/2/64 1:20P 1:49
    5429 Alex Rose 9/2/64 5:32P 5:22
    5430 B. Everett Jordan 9/2/64 5:36P 5:53
    5444 Myer Feldman 9/3/64 11:14A 5:23

Conversations 5424  Lee White, Associate Counsel to the President, tells the President about an unidentified person who credits his election win with his Medicare vote.

Conversations 5426 Myer Feldman, Deputy Special Counsel to the President, tells LBJ that there is a tie vote on Medicare and asks him to contact either Jordan or Monroney. LBJ instructs Feldman to check with Humphrey. Humphrey has just told the President that he does not need help with the vote.

Conversations 5429
Alex Rose congratulates LBJ on his becoming the official party nominee. He predicts that LBJ will win by a larger margin in New York than Bobby Kennedy will in his Senate race. LBJ tells Rose that the win on Medicare in the Senate was 49 - 44 and expresses the need to get Wilbur Mill's acceptance of it in Conference.

Conversations 5430
In this conversation with Senator B. Everett Jordan (D-NC) Chairman, Senate Rules Committee, LBJ expresses his appreciation for Senator Jordan's role in getting the vote for the Medicare legislation. The Senator and LBJ also discuss the FBI investigation of Reynolds.

Conversations 5444
At Myer Feldman's request, LBJ spells out key points about Medicare bill for an upcoming story by Joe Krebs, including that it is for all Americans, was developed by a majority viewpoint, and has made its most progress in 15 years.


20 WH6409.03 5445 Carl Albert 9/3/64 11:20A 9:01

In this conversation, Carl Albert (House Majority Leader) and John McCormack (Speaker of the House) discuss their strategy with LBJ for how to appeal to Wilbur Mills to support the Medicare bill. Mills has asked for their vote against the bill, as Mills believes he has enough votes to defeat it either way in Conference.


 21   5467 Larry O'Brien 9/3/64 4:00P 5:19

LBJ updates O'Brien on his conversation with Albert and McCormack (conversation 5445). LBJ asks O'Brien to talk to Wilbur Mills to agree to take on the Ribicoff amendment in conference. If that fails, O'Brien will talk to the conferees.


 22   5469 Carl Albert 9/3/64 6:06P 6:17
    5470 Carl Albert 9/3/64 6:06P 5:23
    5474 Larry O'Brien 9/3/64 7:07P 4:52

Conversations 5469 Congressman Carl Albert (D-OK), House Majority Leader, and LBJ discuss the Medicare bill. 

Conversations 5470 Albert has learned that the Republicans will object to the bill going to Conference. LBJ informs him that Wilbur Mills will not help on this bill. Albert tells LBJ that he will carry both Oklahoma and Texas in the upcoming Presidential election.

Conversations 5474
O'Brien reports to LBJ that the Republicans will not have unanimous consent on the Social Security bill and the bill will go to the rules Committee. LBJ asks O'Brien to meet with labor leaders to see what can be done to promote Medicare across the country. LBJ also goes over Gallup poll results with O'Brien that show increasing support for LBJ's reelection.


23 WH6409.06 5505 Walter Reuther 9/5/64 4:05P 7:47
    5506 Walter Reuther 9/5/64 4:05P  

Walter Reuther and LBJ discuss the Michigan delegation, the Democratic convention, Goldwater, the UAW strike, and LBJ's upcoming Labor Day speech. In the speech, LBJ plans to express his support for Medicare.


24 WH6409.10 5582 Larry O'Brien 9/14/64 7:35P 4:01

Larry O'Brien informs LBJ that his speech got the best reception he's heard in years, with no real problems.


 25   5673 George Smathers 9/24/64 5:20P 1:25

Conversations 5673 In this conversation, Senator Smathers tells LBJ that he was in Conference briefly but did not come away with the impression that things had broken up. LBJ has heard otherwise and Smathers agrees to quietly find out for what occurred for the President.


26 WH6409.15 5677 Russell Long 9/24/64 5:30P 5:42
    5682 Hale Boggs 9/24/64 5:53P 2:21
    5683 George Smathers 9/24/64 6:40P 2:22
    5688 Clinton Anderson 9/24/64 8:50P 8:31

Conversations 5677 Senator Russell Long (D-LA) informs LBJ that Wilbur Mills has not acted on Medicare. Long believes that Mills will divorce Medicare from Social Security. Long and LBJ discuss ways to keep the Medicare issue alive.

Conversations 5682
In this conversation, Rep. Hale Boggs, House Majority Whip (D-LA) tells LBJ that Wilbur Mills is acting to get out of Medicare, by bypassing the Rules Committee.

Conversations 5683
Senator Smathers tells LBJ that he has been out raising funds in Florida and to contact Clint for details about the status of the Medicare bill. Smathers informs LBJ that it looks worse and recommends letting it wind down.

Conversations 5688
Senator Clinton Anderson informs LBJ that they were unable to get Medicare passed, following Wilbur Mills' opposition to tying Social Security with Medicare. Anderson recommends dropping the entire thing, going out and campaigning for voter support, and then bringing up Medicare again.


27 WH6410.01 5802 Hubert Humphrey 10/1/64 9:46P 14:19
    5804 Albert Gore, Sr. 10/2/64 11:25A 6:18
    5805 Henry Wilson 10/2/64 11:31A 5:47
    5806 Carl Albert 10/2/64 11:35A 2:54

Conversations 5802 In this conversation, LBJ and Hubert Humphrey discuss the Presidential campaign. LBJ updates Humphrey on the status of Medicare. In spite of LBJ's efforts, Congress has recessed and the bill is dead. LBJ is uncertain whether Medicare will pass in the next Congress.

Conversations 5804
Senator Albert Gore, Sr. (D-TN) and LBJ discuss the status of the Medicare bill and support for LBJ's election. Gore tells the President that there was no agreement on the Medicare bill. He believes that, with the elections, LBJ will get a mandate on the issue from the people and will be assure a strong health care bill next year. LBJ and Gore also discuss recent press activities related to the election.

Conversations 5805
LBJ tells Wilson not to oppose the move to adjourn Congress and updates Wilson on his talk with Gore.

Conversations 5806
Congressman Carl Albert (D-OK) tells LBJ about the growing support for adjournment. LBJ concedes that Medicare will not be passed, and talks to Albert about getting support for an appropriation for an Appalachian Regional Commission.


28 WH6410.02 5828 Henry Wilson 10/2/64 7:41P :55

Henry Wilson updates LBJ on the Veterans Bill. LBJ notes that the House is ready to adjourn. The President and Wilson agree that the best course of action is to make sure that the Social Security bill does not come up. Wilson reports that Senator Morse will be making a statement on Social Security.


29 WH6411.05 6182 Hale Boggs 11/04/64 9:59P 7:21

photo of Hale Boggs

In this post-election call Congressman Hale Boggs tells Johnson he wants to co-sponsor the Administration's Medicare proposal in the next session of Congress.


30 WH6411.10 6263
Mike Monroney 11/06/64 11:35A 20:54

photo of Senator Monroney

In this long and wide-ranging conversation, Senator Mike Monroney (D-OK) discusses many matters with the President, including his desire to succeed Hubert Humphrey as Democratic Whip in the Senate. He also mentions his role in supporting the Administration's Medicare program in Oklahoma and how difficult this in for him politically.

31 WH6411.11 6269 Benjamin Spock 11/6/64 12:42P 3:36

In this call, Dr. Benjamin Spock is thanked by the President for his public statements in support of the Johnson election effort. Spock then informs the President that he will be appearing on television that weekend speaking in support of Medicare.


32 WH6411.14 6307 Carl Albert 11/9/64 12:20P 12:55

photo of Carl Albert

In this call, House Majority Leader Carl Albert (D-OK) briefs Johnson on the status of various legislative matters, including vacancies on the Ways & Means Committee and the potential impacts on the prospects for the Administration's Medicare bill.


33 WH6411.24 6403
Russell Long
Cyrus Vance
11/18/64 8:25P 16:55

photo of Russell Long

photo of Cy Vance

Senator Russell Long (D-LA) called the President to lobby him against closing military bases in Louisiana. As part of his effort, Long reminds the President of his past support on Social Security and Medicare votes. The President calls Defense Undersecretary Cyrus Vance and confirms that the base in question is not on the list to be closed. He then calls Senator Long back to reassure him that he has nothing to worry about.


34 WH6411.29 6474 Walter Reuther 11/24/64 10:05P 6:01

One of Administration's main constituents in the political fight for Medicare was the labor movement. President Johnson rarely missed an opportunity to at least mention support for Medicare in any conversation he had with a labor leader, such as this conversation with UAW President Walter Reuther.


 LBJ Tape Recordings - White House Series - 1965

Note: Recordings are in two formats: RealAudio (RA); Microsoft's Windows Media Player (WMP)

  Tape No. Conversation No. Key Speakers Date Time Length
1 WH6501.01 6718 (RA)
6718 (WMP)
Edward Kennedy 1/09/65 11:32A 7:34

photo of Kennedy

In this phone call Senator Edward Kennedy is sounding out the President regarding the timing of the Senator's regional economic development proposals. A key piece of the President's legislative package is an economic development proposal for the Appalachian area. Kennedy wants to extend this idea to the New England area and is consulting with LBJ about this. Johnson wants Kennedy to refrain from pushing other development projects until the Appalachian bill is passed, for fear that the specter of growing expenditures will cause opposition to the Appalachian bill. In trying to dissuade Senator Kennedy from going ahead, Johnson uses the example of the budget projections for his health care plan as illustrating how this may create a problem.


2 WH6503.02 7024 (RA)
7024 (WMP)
Vice President Humphrey 3/06/65 11:25A 15:22
2a   7025 (RA)
7025 (WMP)
Vice President Humphrey 3/06/65 11:25A 4:54

photo of Humphrey

In this conversation with Vice President Hubert Humphrey the President discusses a wide range of political concerns, including the importance of Mr. Humphrey's role as the Administration's liaison with the Congress. There is a lot of discussion about the role of the V.P., both historically and in the Johnson Administration. In passing, LBJ mentions the Administration's legislative agenda, including Medicare, and makes clear to the Vice President that Medicare will be among the handful of initiatives on which the Administration will be judged.


3 WH6503.05 7050 (RA)
7050 (WMP)
Don Cook 3/10/65 9:30A 7:01

In this conversation with Don Cook, the President discusses the potential appointment of Crawford Greenwalt as Secretary of the Treasury, following the resignation of Douglas Dillion. LBJ mentions Mr. Greenwalt's conservative attitudes toward Social Security as a key obstacle to his nomination. Johnson discusses other possible nominees, including Mr. Cook himself. (Mr. Cook's comments are mostly inaudible, and the recording ends abruptly before the completion of the call.)


4 WH6503.05 7051 (RA)
7051 (WMP)
Bill Moyers 3/10/65 9:40A 8:05

In this conversation with press aid, Bill Moyers, the President discusses plans for an upcoming press conference. He also explains to Moyers his philosophy on a pending proposal to increase Social Security benefits and why this increase should be made retroactive. LBJ also reflects at length on his general political philosophy on Social Security, health care and poverty programs, especially in the context of budgetary considerations.


5 WH6503.11 7141 (RA)
7141 (WMP)
John McCormack
Wilbur Mills
Wilbur Cohen
Carl Albert
3/23/65 4:54P 12:55

photo of McCormack

In this conversation with key House of Representatives Democratic leaders, and with HEW official Wilbur Cohen, the discussion focuses on the Administration's Medicare proposal. The House Ways and Means Committee had just voted 17-8 to pass a revised Medicare plan, which had been negotiated with Cohen representing the Administration. Cohen reports in detail on the key features of the final proposal. This call is the first report to the President on the results of the negotiations which positioned Medicare for eventual passage. The failure of the Administration to pass Medicare in 1964 was due to the lack of support from key Congressional committees--especially the House Ways and Means Committee. The features of a program acceptable to key Congressional leaders has been successfully negotiated as the President is learning in this phone call. The President indicates his general agreement with the approach, and discusses the political tactics needed to move the bill, as well as the budget impacts of the proposal. This is an important conversation about the development of Medicare!


6 WH6503.11 7142 (RA)
7142 (WMP)
Wilbur Cohen
Wilbur Mills
3/23/65 5:00P 2:26

This is a follow-on conversation to the previous discussion. In this discussion, the President and Wilbur Cohen discuss the timing and other tactical considerations involved in moving the Medicare legislation. The President is especially concerned about publicizing the new compromise proposal and directs Wilbur Cohen to draft a statement for the President's release.


7 WH6503.14 7178 (RA)
7178 (WMP)
George Meany 3/29/65 1:15P 4:43

In this conversation with AFL-CIO president George Meany, the President solicits the help of organized labor in passing his Medicare proposal. The President emphasizes to Mr. Meany that Medicare and his other proposals are in the interests of working people. There is extended discussion of lobbying tactics on Capitol Hill.


8 WH6504.04 7337 (WMP)
7337 (RA)
Larry O'Brien 4/9/65 10:42A 7:43

In this conversation with his legislative director, Larry O'Brien, President Johnson discusses legislative strategy and how to move his agenda through Congress. The President tells O'Brien to tell members of Congress that if they support his Medicare and education proposals their grandchildren will be able to say "my grandpa was in the Congress that enacted these two . . . so it makes them proud. . ."

9 WH6504.01 7308 (WMP)
7308 (RA)
Wilbur Cohen 4/1/65 11:01A 7:46
In this conversation President Johnson tells Wilbur Cohen, who is serving as an Assistant Secretary in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), that he plans to elevate him to the #2 job at HEW--Undersecretary of the Department. The two of them discuss strategy about how to accomplish this. (Cohen would be made Undersecretary, and eventually Secretary, of HEW and he would play a key role in the Johnson Administration's efforts to get the Medicare program through Congress.
10 WH6504.03 7329 (WMP)
7329 (RA)
Arthur "Tex" Goldschmidt 4/8/65 10:27A 12:57
This long conservation with Arthur Goldschmidt concerns the war in Vietnam and President Johnson's speech the night before in which he suggested the American government might provide foreign aid to Vietnam if the fighting were stopped. Johnson is trying to get Goldschmidt to line-up more editorial and political support for his proposal. At the very end of the conversation, Johnson mentions Goldschmidt's wife, Elizabeth "Wicky" Wickenden. Wicky was a leading advocate for health care and Social Security policy and the President and Goldschmidt briefly talk about the Administration's health care proposal, which was then pending in the House of Representatives.
11 WH6506.08 8197 (WMP)
8197 (RA)
Mike Mansfield 6/26/65 7:38A 2:17

bw photo of Mansfield

This is a conversation with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT). Johnson called Mansfield to solicit his views on a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues. Near the end of the conversation Johnson asks Mansfield for a status report on legislative actions in the Senate. Mansfield tells Johnson the status of the Administration's Medicare bill, and also mentions some efforts by Senator Russell Long (D-LA) to pass his alternative medical care plans.


12 WH6507.03 8326 (WMP)
8326 (RA)
Nicholas Katzenbach 7/9/65 2:00P 5:11

bw photo of Katzenbach

In this conversation with Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, Johnson is discussing two upcoming appointments he plans to announce. The first is his plan to nominate Thurgood Marshall as the Solicitor General. The second is the move of Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Anthony Celebrezze, out of his cabinet position by appointing him a Circuit Court judge. John Gardner would replace Celebrezze and in 1968 Johnson would elevate Wilbur Cohen to the position. Cohen had been elevated to the number two position at HEW three months before (see Conversation #7308).


13 WH6507.03 8335 (WMP)
8335 (RA)
Dean Rusk 7/15/65 9:12A 7:12

color photo of Rusk

Johnson discusses a number of matters with Secretary of State Dean Rusk, including the upcoming vacancies in the U. N. Ambassador's job and the Secretary of the Department of HEW. Johnson praises Celebrezze and they discuss John Gardner and James Perkins as possible selections for the HEW job.


14 WH6507.04 8343 (WMP)
8343 (RA)
Robert Byrd 7/15/65 2:50P 3:16

color photo of Senator Byrd

In this call Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) asks LBJ to support an amendment he wants to add to the Administration's Medicare bill. Byrd wants to lower the early retirement age from 62 to 60. He tells Johnson that the Social Security Trust Fund can easily afford this liberalization in benefits. Johnson is non-committal and tells Byrd to discuss the idea with his Capitol Hill liaison, Larry O'Brien, and have O'Brien talk to Wilbur Cohen about the merits of the idea. (The sound quality is poor and Byrd is almost inaudible on the recording. The recording starts with Byrd speaking.)


15 WH6507.08 8404 (WMP)
8404 (RA)
Harry Truman 7/27/65 3:15P  1:21

color photo of Truman

In this courtesy call to former President Truman, President Johnson is hinting to Truman that he will be coming to Independence in the next week or so to see him. Johnson is planning an elaborate signing ceremony at the Truman Presidential Library for the just-passed Medicare bill. Interestingly, he does not tell Truman why he wants to come see him. (This recording is also interesting because at the beginning we hear the switchboard operator and an unidentified person talk about recording the conversation. Since President Johnson's White House tapes were being recorded secretly, he would often signal the switchboard operator beforehand when he wanted her to start the taping machine to record a conversation. This signaling is not usually caught on the tapes.)


16 WH6508.07 8570 (WMP)
8570 (RA)
Paul Rogers 8/19/65 5:20P 6:28
Congressman Paul Rogers (D-FL) discusses the President's health care initiatives regarding heart disease and cancer research and the President asks him to get with newly appointed Secretary of HEW John Gardner in working with the Administration to push the President's agenda through Congress. The President also recounts his recent meetings with medical, business and labor leaders. Rogers also lobbies the President on agricultural issues important to Florida. (Note: Rogers' remarks are virtually inaudible.)
17 WH6508.07 8574 (WMP)
8574 (RA)
Abraham Ribicoff 8/06/65 5:33P 6:04

photo of Senator Ribicoff

Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT) was the Secretary of HEW at the start of the Kennedy Administration. President Johnson begins this conversation by asking Ribicoff to help Johnson's HEW Secretary, John Gardner, by giving him advise on how to manage HEW. This starts Ribicoff on a long conversation about the need to reorganize the Executive Branch. At this time Ribicoff is the Chairman of a Senate committee on government organization. The Senator also takes the opportunity to offer an extended critique of the Administration's War on Poverty, complaining that while he supports the programs, the administration of them is a "mess." They mention Sargent Shriver who was the head of the War on Poverty.