Listen to Lady Bird Johnson’s White House audio diaries with the ‘In Plain Sight’ podcast

Government August 16, 2021
Listen to ‘In Plain Sight’

“In Plain Sight” by ABC News and Best Case Studios archives the story of Lady Bird Johnson. Lady Bird was the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. While at the White House, Lady Bird audio journaled. In over 123 hours of her original audio footage, Lady Bird is a primary source, providing insight on the 1960s in her own words. She shares insider information and feedback on President Johnson’s time in office that enables listeners to reevaluate our understanding of historical events.

We learn Lady Bird was one of her husband’s closest advisors, recording updates on tumultuous events of the 1960s. For many history buffs, this is the first time we’re hearing all of this on the record. The two LBJs’ partnership ran deeply, meshing both their personal and professional lives.

The episodes explore Lady Bird’s impact in the White House. She carried notebooks around with her, which she took notes in on everyday life. In the audio clips, she shares many of these detailed observations. The first episode walks listeners through the days after JFK’s assassination. In the next episode, we hear Lady Bird’s predictions about the Vietnam War. She proposes an end date for LBJ’s presidency, 4 years in advance of when he announced he would not run for a second term. Lady Bird acknowledges Bobby Kennedy as a political opponent for LBJ. Listeners hear about the president’s progress with civil rights administration, LBJ’s health struggles, and the uprisings in 1966.

Lady Bird was known for her program called Beautification, an initiative to improve the environment and living conditions in Washington D.C. Lady Bird viewed this program as a pilot to go beyond the visible clean up of our environment to make the earth a better place. It encompasses “total concern for the physical and human quality we pass on to our children and the future.” The fourth episode shares info on the documentary she made with ABC News covering Beautification.

“In Plain Sight” is hosted by New York Times bestselling author, Julia Sweig. All 8 episodes are now available to stream.

Listen to ‘In Plain Sight’

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