October 31, 2020

JFK library to release last of his secret tapes

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BOSTON (AP) — President John F. Kennedy’s library is releasing 45 hours of privately recorded meetings and phone calls, providing a window into the final months of his life.

The tapes include discussions of conflict in Vietnam, Soviet relations and the race to space, plans for the 1964 Democratic Convention and re-election strategy. There also are moments with his children.

On one recording, made days before Kennedy’s assassination, he asks staffers to schedule a meeting in a week. He tells them he’s booked for the weekend, with no time to meet with an Indonesian general then, either.

“I’m going to be up at the Cape on Friday, but I’ll see him Tuesday,” JFK tells staffers.

The tapes, being released Tuesday by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, are the last of more than 260 hours of recordings of meetings and conversations JFK privately made before his assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

In the scheduling discussion three days before his killing, JFK also eerily comments on what would become the day of his funeral.

“Monday?” he asks. “Well that’s a tough day.”

“It’s a hell of a day, Mr. President,” a staffer replies.

Kennedy kept the recordings a secret from his top aides. He made the last one two days before his death.

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