Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Just Published: LBJ-Jackie Kennedy New Year's Day 1964 Call

You have to read the transcript while listening to the audio to get the full conversation. The audio with transcript was just released this morning by the Miller Center.

President Johnson: Hello?
Jacqueline Kennedy: Hello?
President Johnson: Happy New Year.
Kennedy: Oh, Happy New Year to you, Mr. President.
President Johnson: How you doing?
Kennedy: Oh, I'm doing fine. [Unclear] have to do?
President Johnson: You getting some sunshine?
Kennedy: [laughing] Oh, it's pouring rain today.
President Johnson: We have a beautiful day here.
Kennedy: Oh, I see you're all in Texas. It looked so successful, the Erhard thing. That really went off beautifully, didn't it?
President Johnson: Yes, we had a good meeting. He's a pretty good fellow.
Kennedy: [Unclear] gosh, you know, I thought you'd get some rest when you get home, but you're doing more than you do at the White House.
President Johnson: Well--
Kennedy: [Unclear.]
President Johnson: I did this afternoon. I just waked up. I'm still in bed, and I just waked up thinking about you and wondering how you were getting along and what you did during the holidays. Santa Claus come see the kiddos?
Kennedy: Oh, [unclear] so nice to me.
President Johnson: I haven't been nice to you. I just--I want to see you. When you coming back to Washington?
Kennedy: Sunday.
President Johnson: Sunday?
Kennedy: Yes.
President Johnson: We'll I'll probably come back Sunday, too. I haven't made up my mind, but that's pretty persuasive.
Kennedy: [Laughs] [Unclear.] I'll find out a time and let you know.
President Johnson: Any time. Any time. You just quit being so modest now. Did you have any fun at all? Did you get out on the water any?
Kennedy: Oh, I did. I went swimming [unclear]. And the presents! Gosh, that [unclear]. [Unclear.]
President Johnson: Well, you're sweet. You're sweet.
Kennedy: That was a wonderful [unclear].
President Johnson: Well, bless your heart. They did a good job on you. Tell me, does John [Kennedy Jr.] like his automobile?
Kennedy: Oh, he loves that so! He loves that so. That ladder, we have to take it [unclear]--
President Johnson: [Laughs.]
Kennedy: --up the stairs, up to his bedroom, down to the living room. He's so mad about it.
President Johnson: I'm going to come see him when he gets back to Washington.
Kennedy: So cute. Please see him.
President Johnson possibly misheard Kennedy since his following reply does not seem to relate to what she said.
President Johnson: Well, she's in--she was up to see the Navy game today, and Lynda [Bird Johnson] had mixed emotions. Her boyfriend was a Navy man, and she was going to Texas.
Kennedy: Oh, who won? Did they go [unclear]?
President Johnson: Yeah, 28 to 6, Navy.
Kennedy: Navy?
President Johnson: I mean Texas, Texas.
Kennedy: Oh, really?
President Johnson: 28-6 Texas.
Kennedy: Oh, my.
President Johnson: Yeah.
Kennedy: Oh, that's the Cotton Bowl!
President Johnson: Yeah. That's right.
Kennedy: I was [unclear].
President Johnson: That's right.
Kennedy: Good for them.
President Johnson: You sound cheerful. I hope you are.
Kennedy: We're all getting so much better. You know, everything's better now.
President Johnson: I think you're a pretty great girl myself.
Kennedy: You're very kind, Mr. President.
President Johnson: All right--
Kennedy: [Inaudible.]
President Johnson: I just wanted to hear your voice and wish you a Happy New Year, and I'll see you next week.
Kennedy: Great, Mr. President. You know, I'm so touched by it. And to think of the kids, too, with all you've got to do.
President Johnson: Well, I've got a lot to do with you yet, dear.
Kennedy: Well, I would do anything for you! [Unclear.]
President Johnson: All right. Good-bye, darling.
Kennedy: Good-bye. Happy New Year.


  1. This is the strangest conversation ever recorded.

  2. So if I have my dates right, this would be about 6 weeks after JFK was killed.

  3. Really, Anonymous? It seemed like a typical conversation between lovers to me.

    Would that have been a Big Deal back then?

    - IndividualAudienceMember

  4. It sounds like President Johnson was bangin' his predecessor's wife.

  5. Sounds like Johnson had "morning (wood) Johnson" for the widowed Kennedy.

  6. LBJ and Jackie appear to have known one another more than may have been generally known during the course of her husband's time as President.

    In her case, this could be a woman that has lost both her husband and significant power-adulation at November 1963 seeking to maintain a tie to such(with LBJ apparently eager to accomodate). LBJ had a pretty casual(sometimes crude)style with many, so may just be his standard interaction modus operandi with Jackie he did with others.

    More could be read into this conversation, which I have no doubt will occur.

  7. Sounds like he wants her close by, for now....