Between 1940 and 1973, six American presidents from both political parties—Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Nixon—secretly recorded on tape just under 5,000 hours of their meetings and telephone conversations. The Miller Center’s Presidential Recordings Program is a unique effort aimed at making these remarkable historical sources accessible.

Troop Levels

LBJ and American SoldierOn December 1, 2009, President Obama addressed the nation on the issue of troop levels for the war in Afghanistan, announcing that he was sending around 30,000 more troops Afghanistan, a move that amounts to a significant escalation of the U.S. military presence in the region.

Sending troops into harm's way is arguably the most difficult decision a president confronts. The White House tapes of presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon capture remarkably intimate and candid behind-the-scenes views of presidents agonizing over this decision in another war fought in distant lands for complex geo-political reasons.

JFK Assassination Tapes

LBJ Being Sword in as President On Air Force One Following JFK's AssassinationOn November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. During the course of our work we have accumulated a wealth of material related to the aftermath of JFK's assassination. Below are some highlights, including a selection of calls from Air Force One enroute from Dallas to Washington. The plane was carrying a newly sworn-in President Lyndon B. Johnson along with the slain former president's body. 

National Archives to Forensically Examine Paper Trail of 18 1/2 Minute Gap

The National Archives has announced that it is convening a group of forensic experts to examine the paper trail of the Watergate-related meeting between President Nixon and his chief of staff Bob Haldeman on June 20, 1972, the recording of which famously includes an 18 1/2 minute gap.

JFK Library Releases New White House Tapes on Vietnam

The JFK Library has released new White House tapes from August 1963. The JFK Library's press release is below.

KC Johnson on Edward Korry and Richard Nixon

Drawing on Nixon tapes, Professor KC Johnson of Brooklyn College has a new posting on Edward Korry, former ambassador to Chile, and his ties to the Allende coup. Read the post here:

New Nixon Transcripts

We have posted new Nixon tapes transcripts from January and February 1973 dealing with topics such as the Vietnam peace agreement, former President Lyndon B. Johnson's death, CIA Director Richard Helms's reassignment to Iran, antisemitism in the United States, the visit to Washington of Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, preparation for Nixon's second inauguration, and a presidential ban on access by Time magazine reporters to the White House.

William Safire on the Nixon White House Tapes

William Safire, former speechwriter for President Richard Nixon and New York Times columnist, passed away on September 27, 2009. We have a selection of conversations from the Nixon tapes involving and about Safire available here and here

Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara Dies

Robert McNamara

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Strange McNamara passed away on July 6, 2009. He was one of the most frequently recorded participants in the Kennedy and Johnson tapes. Of particular note are discussions recorded during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam War. Below is a small sampling of the hundreds of recorded conversations that involved or discussed McNamara.

Nixon Library Has Released 154 hours of Nixon Tapes from January/February 1973

The Nixon Library has this morning released 154 hours of recordings from January and February 1973 along with about 30,000 of pages of documents.

SOUND FILES: The sound files in MP3 format can be downloaded from the Nixon Library site. Broadcast quality sound files are available here (under "Chron5").

TRANSCRIPTS: 036-053 | 036-091 | 036-018 | 043-191 | More coming soon.

PRESS COVERAGE: New York Times | LA Times | Politico | USA Today | Agence France-Presse.

PRP Research Fellow Ken Hughes will be covering the release and blogging about the new material.

PRP's other Nixon tapes transcripts and sound files are available here and here.

Nixon Library to Release 154 hours of Tapes from January-February 1973 on June 23

On June 23, the Nixon Library will be releasing 154 hours of recordings from January and February 1972 along with thousands of pages of documents. PRP Research Fellow Ken Hughes will be covering the release and blogging about the new material.

John D. Ehrlichman Recordings

John Ehrlichman

These tapes were secretly recorded by John D. Ehrlichman, President Nixon's chief domestic policy adviser, in his office on the fourth floor of the White House. The collection consists of 88 Dictabelt recordings and one double-sided audio cassette recording. So far, the Nixon Library has processed and released only the two conversations recorded on the audio cassette; we have now made these files available for download.


Senator Edward Kennedy and the JFK, LBJ, and Nixon White House Tapes

We have posted a collection of transcripts of conversations involving and directly related to the long Senate career of Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy. Drawing from the JFK, LBJ, and Nixon tapes, it includes calls between the newly elected Senator and his older brother, President John F. Kennedy; calls with President Johnson during the 1964 election campaign while bedridden recovering from a broken back suffered during a plane crash; and President Nixon's efforts to spy on Kennedy in the leadup to the 1972 election.


JFK Library Releases New Meeting Recording on Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

The JFK Library has released a new meeting recording from July 31, 1963. The discussion centers on the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The JFK Library's press release is below. You can download the short audio excerpt transcribed in the release here or listen with the play button below.

Ken Hughes quoted in New York Times article on disputed Watergate transcripts

New York TimesPRP scholar Ken Hughes was quoted in a front page story in today's New York Times about disputed Watergate transcripts published by Stanley Kutler.

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