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.
The LBJ Library today released the final batch of telephone tapes. This release covers the period May 1968 to January 1969. Read the Library's press release here.
We have posted a collection of Watergate-related transcripts. Earlier versions of a number of these have been previously published either by the various Watergate investigative committees or in Stanley Kutler, Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (New York: Free Press, 1997). The versions below have been revised and updated by the Presidential Recordings Program.
PRP scholar Guian McKee's new book, The Problem of Jobs: Liberalism, Race, and Deindustrialization in Philadelphia (University of Chicago Press) is now out.
Contesting claims that postwar American liberalism retreated from fights against unemployment and economic inequality, The Problem of Jobs reveals that such efforts did not collapse after the New Deal but instead began to flourish at the local, rather than the national, level.
In an article titled "When There's Nothing Left to Do but Wait" in its Outlook section, today's Washington Post features material from the Miller Center's Oral History and Presidential Recordings Programs in an article peering behind the scenes on presidential election nights.
The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish has an article in today's paper on John McCain's lessons from the Vietnam War.
TIME Magazine's cover story on presidential temperament features PRP Chair David Coleman and Russell Riley, the Chair of the Miller Center's Oral History Program.
The Presidential Recordings Program has released another batch of Nixon transcripts from June 1971. Click on the "read more" link to see selected extracts. The full conversation are available in the "Latest Transcripts" section at right.
John S. McCain III, (1936-) currently a Republican Senator from Arizona and Republican nominee for President in the 2008 Presidential election, was a U.S. Navy pilot during the Vietnam War. In October 1967 he was shot down over North Vietnam, taken prisoner, and held captive as a prisoner of war for five and a half years. His father, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command (CINCPAC∇) during much of the time his son was a POW.
We've compiled transcripts of the most substantive mentions of the McCain family in the LBJ and Nixon recordings. Given the time period the tapes span, most of these discussions relate to the Senator's father, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. (1911-1981), who became a four star admiral in the U.S. Navy and served during the Vietnam War as CINCPAC from 1968 to 1972. Senator McCain's grandfather, John S. McCain, Sr. (1884-1945), had also been an Admiral in the U.S. Navy.
Former PRP fellow Professor KC Johnson has published the results of a project funded by a Fulbright∇ Scholarship as Lyndon Johnson and Israel: The Secret Presidential Recordings. A PDF of the paper can be downloaded from the website of the S.
USA Today has a front page story on historical lessons for choosing a vice presidential running mate that draws extensively on the work of the Miller Center's Oral History Program and Presidential Recordings Program.
Having been vice president himself, LBJ had a deep understanding of the position. Leading up to the 1964 election, he wanted to maintain maximum flexibility to choose his own running mate. That involved fending off increasingly widespread calls to go with a popular choice amongst Democratic voters, the attorney-general, Robert F. Kennedy.
PRP associate scholar, Dr. Patrick J. Garrity, has published an article examining US policy toward Barbary Piracy, 1783-1805, a result of his work for a book on regime change.
On Thursday, June 5 and Friday, June 6, 2008, the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs will host The Politics of Troop Withdrawal, a conference to analyze the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam and assess its relevance to the current war in Iraq. The conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion on the war in Iraq.