The Presidential Tapes at the Miller Center
One of the reasons I love teaching American history during the post-WWII period is it affords me the opportunity to utilize a wide range of online primary sources. One of my favorite sites is the Miller Center’s Presidential Recordings. Students can listen to the White House tapes of every president from Franklin Roosevelt onward and they provide a unique opportunity to listen in on "history-in-the-making." One of my favorite recordings is a telephone conversation between Lyndon Johnson and the president of the Haggar Pants Company in August 1964 shortly after the incident in the Gulf of Tonkin. Apparently, Johnson needed new slacks and as president of the United States he decided to order directly from a fellow president. My students always get a kick out of this one.
Today we listened to a few Nixon tapes, one in which he discusses John Kerry’s 1972 congressional testimony with Kissinger and Haldeman [Haldeman was such a sleaze] and the other in which Nixon speculates that Mark Felt is leaking information to Bob Woodward during the Watergate investigations. You can spend hours listening to these tapes.