Harry Truman: Yes?
Operator: It’s President Johnson, sir.
President Johnson: I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and tell you that you are loved.
Harry Truman: Thank you very much, and I hope you—everything goes all right for you.
President Johnson: It’s going—it’s going—
Harry Truman: And that you get everything you want for Christmas.
President Johnson: —it’s been going well for me ever since I met you, and [Lady] Bird [Johnson] and I were just thinking about what wonderful people you and Mrs. Bess [Truman] had been to us since we met you, and we wanted to thank you.
Harry Truman: I appreciate that very much. And I want to tell you now [unclear].
President Johnson: Oh, well, bless your heart, well—you—
Harry Truman: That’s the best thing that any President has ever done.
President Johnson: Well you—you are always in our hearts. [Lady Bird Johnson tries to interject] And here’s Mrs. Truman. And I wish you could see this pretty portrait of hers—
Harry Truman: I do too.
President Johnson: —hanging here in the White House. We take so much pride in pointing out to all of our guests this portrait because we think she’s a very unusual lady.
Truman: Well, I feel that way too, and I’m in agreement with you.
Lady Bird Johnson: [Laughs] And, oh, Mr. President, I hope you just have a happy, happy time. Did you have your grandchildren with you?
Truman: How's that?
Lady Bird Johnson: This is Lady Bird. I hope you had a happy Christmas.
Harry Truman: Fine.
Lady Bird Johnson: And did you have your grandchildren with you?
Harry Truman: No, no they couldn’t come out this time. [Unclear.]
Lady Bird Johnson: Well, I know you had a good visit with them in the summer, though.
Harry Truman: I beg your pardon?
Lady Bird Johnson: I know you had a good visit with them sometime in the summer, because I remember seeing some pictures and you looked so happy.
Harry Truman: That’s right. That’s mighty nice.
Lady Bird Johnson: Well you give Mrs. Truman my love and we just wanted to wish you both a happy Christmas and tell you that—
Harry Truman: Thank you. Thank you very much.
President Johnson: Is she there where we can say a word to her?
Harry Truman: Yes—I’ll—here. Bess?
Bess Truman: Hello?
President Johnson: We wanted to—Lady Bird and I wanted to you and the President how loved you are and how admired you are and how grateful we are for all that you have done for us.
Bess Truman: Oh, you’re just too nice Mr. President.
President Johnson: No, I’m not. [Lady Bird Johnson laughs]
Bess Truman: Much too nice.
President Johnson: No, I’m not.
Bess Truman: I hope you all had a wonderful day with your family.
President Johnson: We have. We’re just so blessed. We had the sweetest daughters here, and we talked to the boys last night in Denang.1
Bess Truman: Oh, that’s wonderful.
President Johnson: The—one of them went up with the--the Air boy went up and met with the Marine and we talked to them about 9:00 [P.M.]. It was 9:00 in the morning there [in Denang].2
Bess Truman: Oh.
President Johnson: And we were so thrilled and we made both of them’s little baby--one of them's little baby is two months old, and one’s a little less than two years, and we made them both squeal over the telephone so they could hear them.
Bess Truman: [Laughing] Oh that’s great.
President Johnson: We think of you often, and every time I go by your picture I see my favorite First Lady except one.
Bess Truman: Oh, well [unclear].
President Johnson: And the one—the other one is on the phone, wants to say hello to you.
Bess Truman: Oh good.
Lady Bird Johnson: Oh, Mrs. Truman I’m just getting all packed and ready to go and I’m just thinking, in all my time here I’ve always just considered you such a strong, good help to Lyndon and to and—you’ve both been a great reliance to us and—
Bess Truman: Oh, you’re so nice to say that.
Lady Bird Johnson: We appreciate your friendship, and we’re just so fond of you.
Bess Truman: That gives us a big lift.
President Johnson: Did I tell you the other day--I told you this, but I want to tell you again--the other day my Cabinet gave me a silver blotter with a silver pen set on it and they had the major acts that we had passed, more than a hundred.
Bess Truman: Oh, is that true?
President Johnson: And the—you know things like elementary education and medical care and things of that kind, Civil Rights and conservation measures, and they listed each one of the major bills. And they said that they had a nice little statement about—
Bess Truman: Oh.
President Johnson: —how they were glad to serve in an administration that passed all of these.
Bess Truman: Well, that was a lovely gift.
President Johnson: I took it and reviewed it on a trip that I was making home, and do you know that almost half of the bills that I had passed, President Truman had started 20 years ago.
Bess Truman: Is that so. That’s very interesting.
President Johnson: So I thought that you would be interested in knowing that most of the good things like education and Medicare and Civil Rights, conservation, it took 20 years to get his ideas through but they were finally passed and—
Bess Truman: Well, you did it.
President Johnson: —I’ve tried to say that to the country but the paper don’t pay much attention to it.
Bess Truman: [with gusto] Oh no, the papers. You know what we all think of the papers. [Lady Bird Johnson laughs]
Lady Bird Johnson: Well, you have a healthy regard for them. [Laughs] Well, we’ll let you go and we hope we get to see you during the next year.
Bess Truman: [Unclear.] We’re so proud of the books that you sent us.
Lady Bird Johnson: Thank you.
President Johnson: Mrs.--Mrs. Truman?
Bess Truman: Yes.
President Johnson: The man that gives me the most pleasure is a [Marine] Corps man that comes in and looks after me and watches me a little and lifts me around and gives me a message once in a while. And I have one out in Kansas City, that’s a Kansas City boy that’s as loyal and devoted and I hope that—I hope he’s there, and I hope that as long as you and the President are there that he’ll look after you. He’s just a wonderful medical background, and any time you need it, please call him because you’re entitled to it.
Bess Truman: You’re awfully nice to do that.
President Johnson: President [Dwight] Eisenhower has it. President Johnson has it. And I don’t know any day if something happens, if you slipped or you had a fall or something, and I wish you’d come in, if the President would let him. He rubs me—he rubbed me to sleep nearly every night.
Bess Truman: Oh, that’s [unclear].
President Johnson: And he is there. And he’s going to be there anyway. And he’s stationed there and we don’t want to send a doctor to keep there any time because you have your own, but any time you want anything, you’ll never ask for it but I do want you to know I wish you’d use him because your country wants you to.
Bess Truman: Well, that you so much. I just can’t tell you how much we appreciate that.
President Johnson: This boy’s name is [Don] Nauser, N-A-U-S-E-R, and he is as faithful as your husband.
Bess Truman: Oh, that’s doing pretty well.
President Johnson: He’s just a good a boy as I ever met in my life—
Bess Truman: Oh.
President Johnson: And the reason I sent him is because of he is from Missouri.
Bess Truman: Oh, I see.
President Johnson: He was here at the White House for years, and I just told him one day to get out there. And I issued his orders and sent him out there. And I said, “Now you stay there, and they’ll put you busy doing other things. But the first thing that you do is be available to the President [Truman]."
Bess Truman: Oh.
President Johnson: "If you have to—if she wants you to go downtown and pick up something, well you go do it. If she wants to put an adhesive bandage on her wrist, well you do it."
Bess Truman: [Laughs] That’s great to know that.
President Johnson: Well, he’s there, and I wish you’d use him.
Bess Truman: Well, thank you so much.
Lady Bird Johnson: And we hope you have a good, good new year.
Bess Truman: Well, I hope you will too.
Lady Bird Johnson: Thank you.
Bess Truman: And I hope if you come this way you'll always stop over.
Lady Bird Johnson: Oh, we’ll always love to.
President Johnson: We’re going to do that as long as we live.
Bess Truman: Good.
President Johnson: Because no one else had done more to help us than you and the President.
Bess Truman: Well, I don’t know about that, Mr. President.
President Johnson: Well, I do. I do.
Bess Truman: [Unclear] we wanted to.
President Johnson: You—I do. Thank you, ma'am.
Bess Truman: Thank you so much for calling.
President Johnson: Bye.
Lady Bird Johnson: Good night.
Bess Truman: Good night.