White House Tapes: Tonkin and the JFK Assassination

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Here is a productive way to waste some time today: listen to some of the audio recordings made available by the Presidential Recordings Program and the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. The transcripts and audio have been accessible to researchers for a few years, but now they're on a website for all to enjoy. Listen, for example, to conversations between Air Force One and Crown (the White House) on the day President Kennedy was assassinated; to comms between senior officials and The Tank -- the National Military Command Center during the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Going back further, there's a fascinating discussion between Franklin D. Roosevelt and A. Phillip Randolph about integrating the military.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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