Minutes and Documents of the Cabinet Meetings of President Johnson

Also from the Johnson B. Library is this collection of minutes of cabinet meetings, official reports, memoranda to the president, information passed to the cabinet by the president, and special briefings by the Department of State and Defense, the joint chiefs of staff, the CIA, and others. In addition, this collection includes weekly reports from such departments of the Johnson administration as the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, which was responsible for the programs of the Great Society. This collection of 17 reels of microfilm is an authoritative record of the key events of the Johnson presidency.

FINDING AIDMinutes and Documents of the Cabinet Meetings of President Johnson

Daily Diary of President Johnson, 1963-1969

This minute-by-minute account of the entire Johnson presidency contains 14 reels of microfilm which include the times, places, participants, and topics of all meetings, information on all telephone conversations, and countless quotations and brief analyses referring to important people and issues. The collection, filmed from the holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas, also includes Johnson’s pre-presidential daily diaries, covering the period from January 1959 till November 1963, and a log of the Johnson’s appointments from November 1963 till January 1965.

FINDING AIDDaily Diary of President Johnson, 1963-1969

Oral Histories of the Johnson Administration

This publication of over 700 interviews with members of President Johnson’s administration and White House staff and with members of Congress, the judiciary, and private individuals, enables scholars to find an inside perspective on Johnson’s political career and presidency. These oral histories from the Lyndon B. Johnson Library consist of 39 rolls of microfilm which contain, among others, candid recollections of Thurgood Marshall, Tip O’Neill, General William Westmoreland, and Hubert Humphrey. The firsthand recollections in this collection reveal fresh perspectives on the man and the president, and on a presidency which in many ways was rife with paradox. Most importantly, these oral histories recapture the experiences and impressions of those who served during the eventful Johnson presidency—many in key policy-making positions, all of them “insiders” to some degree. Their recollections reveal new information on the major issues of the 1960s, such as the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, and the War on Poverty.

FINDING AIDOral Histories of the Johnson Administration

Vietnam, the Media and Public Support for the War

This collection documents relations between the White House and the media during the Vietnam War era, revealing how the White House attempted to create and control a favorable perception of the war by the media and the public. The collection consists of 11 rolls of microfilm, divided into four major files. The first, the National Security File, was the working file of President Johnson’s special assistants for national security affairs, McGeorge Bundy and Walt W. Rostow. The Office of the President File contains correspondence, memos, and reports used by the president and his special assistants. The Office Files of the White House Aides contains materials gathered and utilized by White House aides such as George Christian, Johnson’s press secretary, and Fred Panzer, the White House “poll person” in their day-to-day operations. The final part of the collection, the Meeting Notes File, includes notes on 160 White House meetings, briefing papers, correspondence and memos. The White House meetings were attended primarily by the president and his foreign policy advisors, and more than a third dealt with some facet of the Vietnam War. All of these documents are a valuable source for researching the controversial events of the Vietnam War and the role of the Johnson administration.

FINDING AIDVietnam, the Media and Public Support for the War

Papers of William C. Westmoreland, part I , History, Statements, and Clippings File

General Westmoreland’s tenure as head of MACV (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam) from mid-1964 through mid-1968 spanned all three phases of the American military experience in Vietnam, which grew from 20,000 to over 500,000 troops. In four subsequent years of service as army chief of staff, Westmoreland would have wider responsibilities for the state of the army and new opportunities to influence policy as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. These papers document the general’s experience in both commands and locations over eight years. It consists of material designated as history files, statements files, and clippings files. Most of the historical file items were originally classified between confidential and top secret. These include Westmoreland’s correspondence, daily history notes and schedules, memoranda, cables, and reports to and from components of MACV, the U.S. ambassador and staff, the Mission Council, and the South Vietnamese government. The statements and clippings files include copies of Westmoreland’s public statements and his file on publications by various journalists, military analysts, and political officials. In addition, there are interviews conducted by military historian Charles B. McDonald, compiled largely in 1973. These were for use in Westmoreland’s book, A Soldier Reports. Also, a small collection of headquarters memoranda of telephone conversations has been included. These pertain to the Allied response to enemy offensives in 1968. (25 reels)

FINDING AIDPapers of William C. Westmoreland, part 1, History, Statements and Clippings File

The War in Vietnam : Classified Histories by the National Security Council

These 8 reels cover the major developments in Vietnam from 1964 through 1968, the National Security Council compiled a series of histories based upon top-secret documents. The NSC histories offer large amounts of material from the upper levels of the executive branch. The wide range of source material include :

* White House Situation Room reports
* Papers of the Vietnam Advisory Group
* Reports and briefings from U.S. ambassadors to Vietnam
* Military messages
* Communications of the President with Vietnamese leaders

For the study of virtually any aspect of America’s role in the war in Vietnam, this collection offers a wealth of untapped information. The documents give new perspectives on the Gulf of Tonkin incident, on the internal political situation in Saigon, on the build-up of U.S. troops, on the reactions of U.S. allies, on criticism that the military was not being allowed to do what was necessary to win, on intelligence estimates of enemy strategy, on the Tet offensive of 1968, on differences of opinion within the Johnson administration, and on many other topics.

FINDING AIDThe War in Vietnam: Classified Histories by the National Security Council

Civil Rights during the Johnson Administration, 1963-1969

The presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson marked the highlight of one of America’s greatest reform movements—the struggle for racial equality. Much of the drama, heroism, and torment of the civil rights movement is captured in the millions of pages of documents stored in the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library. A selection of major documents—over 70,000 pages—has been gathered in the five categories of this presidential microfilm collection:

FINDING AIDpart 1 The White House Central Files (15 reels), part 2 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Administrative History (3 reels
FINDING AIDRecords of the White House Conference on Civil Rights, 1965-1966 (20 reels)
FINDING AIDRecords of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission, 28 reels)

Taken together, this selection of written and oral sources from the Johnson Library allows researchers to begin to judge whether Bayard Rustin, a leading black activist, was correct in his assessment that in the area of civil rights “the Johnson Administration had done more … than any other administration.”

Political Activities of the Johnson White House, 1963-1969

These files, containing 47 reels of microfilm, focus on Lyndon B. Johnson’s ambiguous and controversial relationship with the Democratic party. They contain data on public opinion, internal Democratic organization, fund raising, and the workings of the state parties, allowing researchers to examine the question how a man so renowned as a political operator could bring the Democrats to such disarray by the end of his presidency. In addition to revealing, through his actions, Johnson’s view of what the Democratic Party ought to be, the White House political files also show the slippage in Johnson’s standing as a president and party leader in the crucial months from July 1967 through April 1968. The State Files contain information on Johnson’s dealings with such key states as Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and California. These Political Files are indispensable in studying the Johnson administration, and the history of the Democratic party in the 1960s.

FINDING AID: Political Activities of the Johnson White House, 1963-1969

The Lyndon B. Johnson National Security Files: Country Files 1963-1969

The presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson represents a significant period in the history of U.S. foreign policy. The 1960s marked the height of post-World War II U.S. globalism, and Johnson inherited worldwide obligations and a host of complex problems. For example, he faced crises in Vietnam, Panama, the Dominican Republic, and the Middle East. The management and development of new policies can be studied in-depth in the “Country Files” section of Johnson’s National Security Files. They were maintained in the White House by McGeorge Bundy and Walt Rostow, national security advisers to Johnson. These files document some of the most important foreign policy files maintained in the offices of Bundy and Rostow. They contain cable traffic, memoranda of conversations, intelligence reports, internal memoranda, and agendas and records of top-level meetings.

FINDING AIDJohnson National Security Files: U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe
FINDING AIDJohnson National Security Files: Western Europe part 1
FINDING AIDJohnson National Security Files: Western Europe part 2