New tapes released by the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum show the president's mood was anything but upbeat in his final days. In a prescient discussion with staff members about a looming meeting with the leader of Indonesia, Kennedy noted that Nov. 25 would be a tough day.
It's a hell of a day, Mr. President, a staff said.
It ended up being the day of Kennedy's funeral.
The chat was part of 45 hours of tapes Kennedy recorded during his time in office and released on Tuesday, spanning the months leading up to his assassination on Nov. 22, 1963. They represent the last chunk of the more than 260 hours of recordings stored at the Kennedy library.
The tapes also include talks of foreign policy, politics, the space race and even chats with his kids. Kennedy was in the habit of recording important conversations, Prof. David Coleman, chair of the University of Virginia's Presidential Recording Programs, told The AP.
Kennedy did not tape as systematically as Johnson or Nixon, he said. ...What you have is an unusually rich collection of decisions being made in real time.
The JFK Library and Museum has released about 40 recordings. The last one was taped two days before his assassination. It was then he noted the day of his funeral would be a tough day.