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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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Oakes:

That's a different sort of thing. As you know, President Johnson, whom I've known for quite a long time in more or less the same kind of relationship that I had with Kennedy, except that it's extended over a longer period, was and is addicted to the telephone. And I have known Johnson, I repeat, for a long time but not intimately at all. I've spent many an hour in his office when he was senator and majority leader, particularly when he was majority leader, discussing political matters with him-actually not discussing, but listening to his monologues on political matters, because it was very hard to discuss anything with Johnson. He would get started and never stop, and an hour later you would manage to get away. I knew him in this sense, in a professional acquaintanceship, and not intimate at all.

I stress that because on November 23rd, 1963, the day after Lyndon Johnson became President of the United States, I was at a party. It was a Saturday night at a party at someone's home here in New York, and about nine o'clock I was called to the telephone at this person's house and I was told that the White House was on the phone. I was very surprised because I saw no reason why I should be getting a call on Saturday night from the White House or at any other time, for that matter. Walter [W.] Jenkins took the telephone. I didn't really know very well who Walter Jenkins was except that I knew he was somehow associated with Lyndon Johnson. When I picked up the receiver and Mr. Jenkins said, “This is Walker Jenkins, Mr. Oakes. The president,” I gulped and there I found the president at the other end of the wire. The president said, “Hello, John,” and there was a silence.



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