April 7, 2022 – September 30, 2022
Briscoe Center for American History, Austin, Texas
The Briscoe Center is proud to present selections from the papers of Richard N. Goodwin, speechwriter and policymaker for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, acclaimed presidential historian. These recent acquisitions join our primary source collections documenting presidential and legislative history, shedding light on how history is investigated, written, and remembered.
Richard Goodwin (1931-2018) wrote many of the most historically significant speeches of the 20th century. As a speechwriter and assistant special counsel, he helped shape national and international policies during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. His papers illuminate critical issues of the 1960s, including Kennedy’s New Frontier, the Alliance for Progress, Johnson’s Great Society, the Civil Rights movement, the War on Poverty, the Vietnam War, and the antiwar movement. They include speech drafts, presidential correspondence, and personal memorabilia that demonstrate Mr. Goodwin’s role and relationships during pivotal moments in 20th century U.S. history.
Doris Kearns Goodwin, called “America’s Historian-in-Chief,” is a preeminent public intellectual, presidential historian, biographer, and political commentator. Her papers chart her development as a Pulitzer prize-winning writer, with original research materials and drafts from all of her works, including No Ordinary Time, Team of Rivals, and The Bully Pulpit. With personal correspondence, documents, photographs, oral histories, and manuscripts for each of her books, the papers reveal how her research efforts inform her storytelling.