November 4, 1963 — President Kennedy records a personal memo about the death of South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem, only to be interrupted by his son, John Jr.
JFK: Do you want to say anything? Say hello.
John Jr.: Hello.
JFK: Say it again.
John Jr.: Naughty, naughty daddy.
JFK: Why do the leaves fall?
John Jr.: Because it’s autumn.
JFK: Why does the snow come on the ground?
John Jr.: Because it’s winter.
JFK: Why do the leaves turn green?
John Jr.: Because it’s spring.
JFK: When do we go to the Cape? Hyannisport?
John Jr.: Because it’s summer.
JFK: It’s summer.
John Jr.: [laughter] Your horses.
JFK: [Returning to his Dictaphone] I was shocked by the death of Diem and Nhu. I’d met Diem …”
This audio excerpt is part of Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy, a collection of previously unreleased recordings selected by the John F. Kennedy Library and Historian Ted Widmer that will be released as a hardcover and 2-CD set tomorrow, September 25. Learn more about Listening In here.