December 23, 1966. LBJ speaks with Defense Secretary Robert McNamara briefly about national security matters, then more extensively (at about 2 minutes in) about Sargent Shriver, the head of the Office of Economic Opportunity, or OEO. The OEO manages many of LBJ’s cherished Great Society programs, such as Head Start, the Job Corps, Volunteers in Service to America, the Community Action Program and Legal Services for the Poor. LBJ had chosen Shriver to run the agency in 1964 and refused to take no for an answer, in one the most famous recorded telephone conversations of the Johnson administration. Now, Shriver is threatening to resign over cuts to his budget by Congress.
McNamara describes his efforts to get Shriver to stay, and they agree that LBJ will call him next week himself. Whatever they do, it works: Shriver stays on until 1968.
Photo #A213-2A, 04/05/1965, LBJ and Shriver in the Oval office. LBJ Presidential Library.
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