Starting in July 1962, Kennedy had a sophisticated taping system installed in the Oval Office and Cabinet Room at the White House, presumably to record history for future use in memoirs.

The resulting 248 hours of meetings, plus 17-plus hours of phone conversations and private presidential reflections, were probably never listened to by Kennedy himself before his assassination in November 1963.

The recordings are published in a new book and accompanying CDs: “Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy,” on sale Sept. 25, 2012.

 

Cuban Missile Crisis:

The Space Race:

Civil Rights: