Saturday, November 23, 1963
Lyndon Johnson, Edward Kennedy
White House Telephone

Published in The Presidential Recordings: Lyndon B. Johnson: The Kennedy Assassination and the Transfer of Power,
November 1963–January 1964, Volume One, November 22-30, 1963
, edited by Max Holland (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005), p.125

The previous day, President John F. Kennedy, Senator Edward Kennedy's brother, had been assassinated in Dallas. President Johnson had called several members of the Kennedy family the previous day, but had not yet spoken with directly with Edward Kennedy.

The operator connects the call.

Edward Kennedy: . . . The guards communicated to us today your expression this morning, and I tried last night to get you when you’d just gone home, so I thought I’d wait [un]til [unclear] opportunity—

President Johnson: You shouldn’t be taking your time now. But I did want you to know that you’re in my prayers, and I’m so proud of the fact that I know you, and [that] I’ve been a part of this family.

Kennedy: Well, that’s . . . I just want you to know how much my mother appreciated your thoughts [unclear]—

President Johnson: Well, you—

Kennedy: —[unclear].

President Johnson: You give her a hug for me, and you and Joan keep one for yourself and know that God Almighty in his wisdom works in mysterious ways, and we’ll just bear it together.1

Kennedy: Well, it’s very kind of you [unclear]—

President Johnson: Thank—

Kennedy: —appreciate it even more.

President Johnson: Thank you, Ted.

Kennedy: [Unclear.]

President Johnson: Bye.

Kennedy: [Unclear.]

  • 1. Joan was Senator Kennedy's wife.

Original tape courtesy of LBJ Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.