235. Women’s History Month BONUS Episode: “Understanding the influence of the first ‘podcaster’ at the White House”

With Julia Sweig
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Show Notes


Title: “Understanding the influence of the first ‘podcaster’ at the White House”

Episode 235

Guest: Julia Sweig, author & historian on Lady Bird Johnson



Sometimes influence is something that happens behind the scenes. In some cases, we might not fully understand the impact until years later, as is the case with the story I’m sharing with you this week in honor of Women’s History Month. 



I’ve pulled from the She Said/She Said Podcast archives to find a couple of episodes that showcase unique stories about influence, chutzpah, innovation, and impact. The first, which I’m sharing with you in Episode 235, is a conversation about a former First Lady who was not only a key adviser to the President, but who had her own seat in important meetings in the Oval Office. 

Known largely for her beautification and conservation efforts, what wasn’t well understood about this particular First Lady was how her efforts contributed to important policy making – including the passage of the Civil Rights Act. A personal historian in her own right, she could also rightly claim the mantle “first White House podcaster,” well before the medium existed. I’m talking of course about Lady Bird Johnson. 

When historian Julia Sweig ran across more than 123 hours of largely ignored audio tapes recorded by Mrs. Johnson herself during her time as first lady, she knew she found a treasure trove! The recordings begin with Mrs. Johnson’s first hand account of the tragic events that led to her husband becoming president. 



In this encore episode, Julia joins me for a deep dive into:

  • how Julia stumbled across Mrs. Johnson’s audio tapes; 
  • what we now know about Mrs. Johnson’s influence with her husband and on key policy initatives including the Civil Right Act; 
  • Mrs. Johnson’s unique impact on history; 
  • insights and observations about Mrs. Johnson’s own admitted self doubt and insecurities, based on Mrs. Johnson’s own recorded words. 
  • the relationship between Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Kennedy and how their connection ultimately evolved;
  • How Julia used this material to write “Hiding in Plain Sight” and then produced a terrific 8-part podcast series which includes clips from some of those original audio recordings made by Mrs. Johnson. I highly recommend this! 


Women’s history month is a perfect opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come and to celebrate some of those lesser known stories about incredible women in our history. It’s also a great time to think about how our ability to influence — both publicly and privately– can hold incredible value and power.  



“Hiding in Plain Sight” by Julia Sweig


In Plain Sight podcast 


She Said/She Said Podcast Is Produced Weekly By She Said/She Said Media 

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