Interview SummaryCarol Carlyle, a former Johnson White House staffer, begins the interview by detailing her personal background. Carlyle lists some of the jobs she had in the federal government prior to joining the White House staff. Carlyle remembers when she first met Bess Abell. Carlyle describes her job responsibilities as a White House staffer in the East Wing. Carlyle briefly talks of her family and their circumstances. Carlyle discusses her lack of involvement in politics while working in the White House. Bess Abell's personality is explored. Carlyle considers the dynamics between Bess Abell and Lady Bird Johnson. White House social aides and their tasks during White House events are also mentioned. Carlyle remembers some of the more interesting White House events she organized. The dynamics between Johnson White House staffers are explored. Preparations for White House Christmas parties and state dinners are recalled. Carlyle shares her memories of when certain aspects of White House events went differently than originally planned. Carlyle highlights the challenges of planning for events at the LBJ Ranch. Carlyle describes planning Lynda Bird Johnson's White House wedding. Carlyle remembers her efforts at maintaining a healthy work-life balance while working at the White House. Carlyle describes the interactions she witnessed between President Lyndon Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Carlyle shares her reaction to President Johnson's announcement that he would not run for re-election in 1968. An amusing story with White House china is recalled. Carlyle offers a comparison between White House staff dynamics under the Johnson and Carter administrations. Carlyle's work at the Democratic National Committee is examined. Carlyle also considers Bess Abell's overall legacy. East Wing staff are listed, including Lady Bird Johnson's personal secretary, Ashton Gonella. Carlyle reflects upon her memories of Lynda Bird Johnson's wedding. Difficulties in creating Christmas pictures for the Johnsons are discussed. Carlyle talks of the logistics of being a White House staff member including security, clothing, and food. Lastly, Carlyle shares her perspective on how her work was affected by the tumultuous atmosphere present in American politics and society during the 1960s.
Interview LC SubjectPoliticians Washington (D.C.) Federal government Staff Work Personality Dynamics Christmas LBJ Ranch House (Tex.) Wedding Work-life balance China Democratic National Committee (U.S.) Career Legacy Memories Pictures Food Security Secret service Security guards Demonstrations Vietnam War, 1961-1975 Civil rights movement Riots
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Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Carlyle, Carol Interview by Brien Williams. 16 Oct. 2018. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Carlyle, C. (2018, October 16). Interview by B. Williams. Bess Abell Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Carlyle, Carol, interview by Brien Williams. October 16, 2018, Bess Abell Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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