LBJ and Joseph Alsop
(columnist). LBJ explores the idea of a Texas investigation of the assassination.
Alsop urges Johnson to appoint a special blue-ribbon panel and avoid the unsettling
prospect of the U.S. Attorney General (Robert
Kennedy, brother of the slain President) participating in an investigation
of his brother’s death.
Here, we have selected telephone conversations concerning the Special Commission
to Investigate the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (the Warren Commission).
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963. Shortly
thereafter, the House of Representatives and the Senate considered independent investigations
of the assassination and the murder of Kennedy’s putative assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
To trump these congressional efforts, President Lyndon Johnson decided to form a
presidential commission to investigate the assassination and Oswald’s death. These
conversations document the formation of the commission — indentified by the popular
title “The Warren Commission” — because the chairman was Chief Justice Earl Warren. The selected
conversations you will hear document Johnson’s extraordinary persuasiveness. The
matchup of personalities called on all of Johnson’s ability. Appeals to patriotism,
family, and honor were interspersed in his conversations. Some people were honored,
others were reluctant despite the Johnson treatment. In the end, all served. These
conversations explain how Johnson cobbled the committee together. (The conversations
are in chronological order.)
A comment about the recordings. These recordings vary dramatically in audio quality.
The recordings were made on Dictaphone Dictabelt equipment. You will hear many imperfections.
Sometimes the audio may be inaudible. This is not the fault of your RealAudio Player.
The problem lies in the source material. Do not be discouraged, for there are riches
to be found here that will illuminate those sad and frightening days following Kennedy’s