ABC News Kicks Off Women’s History Month With New Podcast ‘In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson,’ Monday, March 1
ABC News will kick off Women’s History Month with its new podcast “In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson,” co-produced with Best Case Studios and hosted by author Julia Sweig. Drawn from over 123 hours of the former first lady’s mostly unheard daily audio diaries, the podcast presents a surprising and original portrait of Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson, told in her own words. The series provides stunning new revelations about Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency and reveals Lady Bird as Johnson’s closest advisor and most indispensable political partner. The series documents her front-row seat to some of the most notable events in U.S. history and decisions that shaped the nation forever, as well as her history-making encounters with John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Eartha Kitt, Peter, Paul and Mary, politicians, civil rights activists, environmentalists and her surprising partnership with Washington’s first mayor, Walter Washington. Using a rich trove of rare footage from the era, “In Plain Sight” creates an immersive audio experience of a tumultuous moment in America and tells the story of how one vastly underestimated woman navigated the power, politics and polarization of her time to become arguably one of the most influential first ladies in history. The first two episodes of the eight-part series will debut on Monday, March 1. Sweig is also author of the new book “Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight” on the same topic, to be published by Random House on March 16.
“In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson” is available for free on major listening platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and the ABC News app, with new episodes posting Mondays.
EPISODE 1: “14 Days”
In her first-ever diary entry, recorded eight days after President John F. Kennedy Jr. was assassinated, Lady Bird presents a dramatic, cinematically detailed moment-by-moment account of those terrible hours in Dallas, and the days that follow. The episode tracks the 14 days from the murder of the president to when the Johnsons move into the White House, days filled with tragic ceremony and heartfelt moments of solidarity between Jackie Kennedy and Lady Bird. We hear about the decade-long relationship between the two of them, one that dates back to the Kennedy’s arrival in Washington in the mid ‘50s, and hear fascinating observations these women make about each other.
EPISODE 2: “Thank You, Mrs. Vice President”
There are moments in Lady Bird’s audio diaries that truly rewrite the known history of LBJ’s presidency. This episode includes one of the most consequential. In a memo to Lyndon just five months into his presidency, Lady Bird predicts how the Vietnam War will derail his administration, and proposes a clear end date for his time in office — fully four years before he shocked the nation with his announcement in March of 1968 that he wouldn’t run for reelection. We hear Lady Bird’s growing sense that Bobby Kennedy will become LBJ’s political rival, and RFK’s bring-down-the-house performance at the Democratic Convention in the summer of 1964. In the run up to the ’64 election, Lady Bird makes a Whistle Stop tour of the South — her home turf — to try to keep southern Democrats from defecting over Civil Rights. But she’s met with open hostility, and worse. And on her return to Washington, a sex scandal involving Lyndon’s closest aide presents an October surprise that could easily upend the election.
“In Plain Sight: Lady Bird Johnson” is written and executive produced by Julia Sweig and Adam Pincus and produced by Anne Carkeet of Best Case Studios. Executive producers for ABC News are Victoria Thompson and Eric Johnson.