Brian Williams, NBC Nightly News anchorman, listens to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. In addition to Kissinger, Special Counsel to President Kennedy Theodore Sorensen, Special Assistant to President Johnson Jack Valenti, and General Alexander Haig discussed their thoughts about the Vietnam War and the current situation in Iraq.
Letter to the President A humorous moment of the conference occurred when Caroline Kennedy read a letter Brian Williams wrote to President Johnson in 1966, when the aspiring journalist was seven and a half years old. ...I have not ben [sic] in the White house befor [sic]. but I will some time. (View Transcript. Document is from the Johnson Presidential Library. )
Timothy Naftali, director of the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of VirginiaÂs Miller Center for Public Affairs, plays excerpts from the Johnson White House tapes. Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries Sharon Fawcett moderated the panel, which also included professors David Kaiser and Jeffrey Kimball.
Former President Jimmy Carter, in a videotaped interview for the event, discussed the legacy of the war, his efforts to normalize relations with Vietnam, and the impact the war had on the handling of the Iran hostage crisis.
The final panel consisted of four veterans: retired general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark, Senator Hagel, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert who served in Korea in the 1960s, and Pete Peterson, who spent over six years as a POW and later became the first American Ambassador to postwar Vietnam.