Monday, December 14, 1964 - 10:10am
Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman

President Johnson: Mr. President?

Harry Truman: Well, how are you?

President Johnson: What are you doing staying out so late at night? You young people ought to get to bed.

Truman: I agree with you 100 percent, but I don’t have any control over it, you know. They just push me around like I was a pin [sic] pin.

President Johnson: I thought you were the boss of all your domain?

Truman: [laughs] Well—I try to be but you know it doesn’t work very well.

President Johnson: Well, I’m pretty strong for you.

Truman: I know you are. You couldn’t be any stronger and make me any happier.

President Johnson: I’m a Truman man.

Truman: I appreciate it.

President Johnson: I called you because I wanted very much, if you feel like it and if you think you can and if it doesn’t tire you out, I wanted very much for you to come to the inauguration and hope that you and Mrs. Truman and Margaret [Truman]—1

Truman: Do you want me to tell you something?

President Johnson: —Margaret and her children and anybody else that you want to bring, any of your kin folks and just take over the Blair House and I’ll put everybody in the government at your disposal and—

Truman: I’ll be there.

President Johnson: —and well you just—

Truman: You don’t have to do that to get me there, because I was coming anyhow. I've already seen to that.

President Johnson: [laughing] Well, I know--I don’t want to impose on you but you’ve got so many friends and so many people—

Truman: I’ll be there. Have you consider that you are imposing on me, you talk to me and find out you’re not.

President Johnson: Well we all—everybody loves you, and you tell Mrs. Truman that Lady Bird and I called last night and we wanted to talk to both of you but—

Truman: Well, we were in Kansas City. I was in Kansas City making a speech.

President Johnson: We missed you so . . . You got a big house, you know more about it than anybody cause you lived in it and—2

Truman: [chuckling] That’s right.

President Johnson: —and I’m going to turn it over to you and Mrs. Truman and you all invite anybody you want to, ask Margaret and the kids, any of them that can come, and—

Truman: All right, I’ll do that.

President Johnson: You just have anybody, and we’ll have whatever cars and whatever servants and whatever else you need to make you comfortable and happy. And you come to what you want to, you’ll have—we’ll have everything for you. And what you don’t want to you just tell them to go to hell and go on go to bed.

Truman: Listen here, Mr. President, if you keep this up you’re going to spoil me entirely.

President Johnson: Well, I want to. You're entitled to be spoiled. [Truman laughs] You’ve done enough for your country that you’re entitled to be spoiled.

Truman: I’ll be there.

President Johnson: Tell Mrs. Truman we’re looking forward to seeing you.

Truman: I’ll tell her. I’ll call her right now and tell her.

President Johnson: I’ll sit down and talk to you about some things I need to talk to you about when you get here.

Truman: All right.

President Johnson: And you just let us know and the plane will pick you up.

Truman: Anytime I can be of service, you know you can call on me.

President Johnson: You just let us know, and the plane will pick you up anytime you want to.

Truman: All right, I’ll do that.

President Johnson: OK, bye.

  • 1. Situated across the street from the White House, at 1651 Pennsylvania Ave, Blair House serves as the official White House guest house for visiting dignitaries.
  • 2. The Trumans had lived in Blair House during Truman's second term while the White House was undergoing major renovations.

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