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DAISY: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AN INFAMOUS AND ICONIC AD
DDB memo detail, August 4, 1964. See document 9 below for complete memo.

DAISY: DOCUMENTS

In addition to reviewing newspaper, magazine and book accounts of the Daisy spot, CONELRAD obtained hundreds of letters and memos related to the 1964 campaign. A small fraction of these historical documents warrant full inclusion here. The documents presented below were selected because they provide insight into the evolution and aftermath of the Daisy ad itself and the political / media calculus surrounding its creation. The later documents (23-26) address the ongoing dispute over the true authorship of the spot.

The documents are organized chronologically and the assigned titles were chosen by CONELRAD to make identification easier for the reader.

For a round-up of the personalities mentioned in these letters and memos, please refer to the Daisy Dramatis Personae page.

Transcript of the 'Peace, Little Girl' aka the 'Daisy Spot'

DOCUMENT 1: Daisy Spot Transcript [PDF]
DATE: Unknown
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Daisy Reference File
Because it is very unlikely that such a detailed script existed prior to the spot being shot and edited, this document appears to be exactly what it is labeled to be – a "transcript" of the famous Daisy ad.

DOCUMENT 2: Lloyd Wright Agency Recommendation Memo [PDF]
DATE: March 11, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
Lloyd Wright, media coordinator for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was responsible for selecting the advertising agency that would be awarded the contract to work on Lyndon Johnson's 1964 campaign. This memo lays out Wright's impeccable logic in selecting Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB). In the context of the evolution of the Daisy spot, the importance of this document cannot be overstated. Had DDB not been chosen as the advertising agency for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Johnson media campaign would have looked much different.

DOCUMENT 3: Doyle Dane Bernbach / Democratic National Committee Contract [PDF]
DATE: March 19, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
This is the formal agreement between the agency and the Democrats signed by Maxwell Dane for DDB and by Richard Maguire for the DNC.

DOCUMENT 4: DDB / DNC Kick-Off Memo [PDF]
DATE: March 25, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
This is a memo from Lloyd Wright to prominent persons in the campaign regarding the "initial orientation session" to map media strategy with a contingent of senior DDB representatives.

DOCUMENT 5: John P. Roche Memo to Bill Moyers RE: Campaign Ideas [PDF]
DATE: June 12, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, White House Central Files, Aides: Moyers: Politics. Box 40 (1354-1355)
John P. Roche, President of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), gave voice to what a lot of people were thinking in his pre-campaign memo to Bill Moyers: "It begins to look as though the Republicans are really going on a Kamikaze mission in November." Roche goes on to suggest a "savage assault" on Goldwater and even pitches a novel billboard concept: "Goldwater in 64 —Hotwater in 65? With a mushroom cloud in the background." Moyers thought enough of Roche's concepts to forward it to the President.

DOCUMENT 6: "Rip Goldwater Commercial" Estimate Memo [PDF]
DATE: July 8, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
This DDB memo describing an estimate for the production of a "Rip Goldwater commercial" is included as an example of some of the minutiae DDB and Johnson's team had to deal with during the campaign. The 1964 DNC files obtained by CONELRAD are bloated with correspondence similar to this document.

DOCUMENT 7: Daisy Storyboard Approval [PDF]
DATE: Unknown (but likely mid-to-late July 1964)
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
The DDB document shows a listing of the status of a number of different commercials in various states of development. It is known from later memos that the Daisy spot was identified by the internal DDB "job number" "DPTV 426." Therefore we can glean from this document that a storyboard for the Daisy spot existed and was, indeed, approved. Efforts to locate the storyboard by CONELRAD were unsuccessful. Later documents indicate that the 1964 campaign storyboards were retained by Aaron Ehrlich (DDB Producer) and / or James H. Graham (DDB Account Executive).

DOCUMENT 8: Daisy Production Estimate Approval Memo [PDF]
DATE: July 31, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
In this DDB memo the "client" (aka the DNC and the campaign heads) is recorded as having approved the television production estimates for three commercials. Please note that the Daisy spot is referred to in the memo as "DPTV 426 Peace – Little Girl."

DOCUMENT 9: "Kremlin Men's Room" Killed Memo [PDF]
DATE: August 4, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
This DDB memo is included to demonstrate that not all of DDB's creative work made the cut. One such commercial that was "killed" played off of Goldwater's famous statement regarding the space program and missiles. Specifically, in a Salt Lake City, Utah campaign stop on May 5, 1964 the senator stated: "I don't want to hit the moon, I want to lob one right into the men's room of the Kremlin and make sure I hit it."

DOCUMENT 10: Wright Media Budget Memo [PDF]
DATE: August 13, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
This memo conveys the fear that Barry Goldwater's August 12, 1964 "Unity" conference inspired among the Democrats. At this meeting of GOP elite in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the senator appeared to be trying to moderate his persona to better position himself for the general election campaign. Wright's memo urges Bill Moyers to provide an advertising budget figure so that "spot buys" can commence.

DOCUMENT 11: William Bernbach "Stakes are (just) too high" Memo [PDF]
DATE: August 17, 1964 SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
Four days after being urged by Wright to provide the budget for the media campaign, Moyers received this remarkable letter from William Bernbach, co-founder of DDB. In it Bernbach states—in the starkest possible language—the risks of not proceeding with the "television advertising plans." It is interesting to note that in his plea Bernbach invokes the "stakes are (just) too high" line that was to be used in the majority of Johnson's campaign advertising.

DOCUMENT 12: Daisy Work Print Approval Memo [PDF]
DATE: August 20, 1964 SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
This "confidential" DDB memo reports that several commercials were shown in "working print form" for the "client" (which, in this case, included President Lyndon Johnson who was present for "all or part of the meeting"). Note that the Daisy spot is referred to here as "Little Girl – Countdown." Also present at this meeting as indicated in the memo was "D. Goodwin." And, indeed, Richard ("Dick") N. Goodwin's 1988 memoir "Remembering America: A Voice from the Sixties" recounts this screening session (page 305):

At the end of August, our small "council" assembled at the White House to view the final product… We watched with mounting jubilation as the screen showed a small girl with wind-tossed hair, plucking petals from a daisy as she stood in innocent solitude… After the viewing-room lights went up, the advertising executive looked with anxious uncertainty towards his momentarily silent and expressionless audience.

Finally, a voice was heard – I think it was Bill Moyers' – "It's wonderful. But it's going to get us in a lot of trouble." He was expressing what we all knew. The spot was a winner, but it would almost certainly be attacked as "unfair," even "dirty politics," by establishment pundits and publications.

DOCUMENT 13: Daisy Ad Buy Estimate [PDF]
DATE: August 24, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
These are the estimates presented by DDB to the "client" (the DNC) for how much it will cost to buy advertising time on NBC for various dates during the general election campaign. The first line item on the document indicates that the cost for airing the Daisy spot is anticipated to be $24,000. A subsequent story in Newsweek ("Spotting the Candidates," September 21, 1964) reported that the actual cost of airing the ad was $30,000.

DOCUMENT 14: Bill Moyers Budget Memo [PDF]
DATE: August 31, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, DNC Series II, Box 224
After hearing the dire warnings from Lloyd Wright and William Bernbach (see previous memos), Moyers met with the President (and Senator Hubert Humphrey) and received approval to not only proceed with the agreed upon network expenditures, but to increase the advertising budget. This memo conveys the good news.

Jack Valenti memo detail, September 7, 1964

DOCUMENT 15: Jack Valenti Better Late than Never Memo # 1 [PDF]
DATE: September 7, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, White House Central Files, Box 84
In this curiously late-in-the-game memo, Valenti lays out a comprehensive campaign strategy for the President. The writing is rife with familiar themes and ideas that were already being employed against Goldwater ("trigger happy," "radical," etc.). It is certainly ironic that Valenti's memo hit his boss's desk the very day the Daisy spot aired.

DOCUMENT 16: Dean Burch Letter of Complaint [PDF]
DATE: September 12, 1964
SOURCE: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Papers of Charles P. Taft, I-261
On September 11, 1964 Republican National Committee Chairman Dean Burch used a pledge signing ceremony sponsored by the non-partisan Fair Campaign Practices Committee (FCPC) as an opportunity to complain about the Daisy spot. He ultimately signed the pledge along with his DNC counterpart, John Bailey, but not before stating he would file formal complaints over the controversial ad.

This document is Burch's complaint to Charles P. Taft, Chairman of the FCPC. It should be noted that Burch's citation in his letter of the Wall Street Journal article is incorrect. The correct citation is as follows: "Democrat Drumfire: Publicists Seek to Tie Barry to ‘Extremists,' Show Cool, Busy LBJ," Wall Street Journal, August 28, 1964.

DOCUMENT 17: Moyers "Touch Up" Memo [PDF]
DATE: September 13, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Daisy Reference File
In this memo to the President, Moyers recaps how effective the initial campaign advertising has been. Note how the young aide gently reminds his boss about the mutual decision to "touch up" Goldwater in the early stages of the race.

DOCUMENT 18: Jack Valenti Better Late than Never Memo # 2 [PDF]
DATE: September 14, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, White House Central Files, Box 84
In this second, seemingly redundant memo from Valenti, he urges Bill Moyers, Myer "Mike" Feldman and Fred Dutton to do most of the things they had already been doing. The team presumably chose to ignore Valenti's suggestion to hire a "gag-writer, a comic man, a whip-cracker line-man…" The overheated Valenti actually uses the term "A-Bomb Barry" in his directions.

DOCUMENT 19: Charles P. Taft Letter to John Bailey [PDF]
DATE: September 15, 1964
SOURCE: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Papers of Charles P. Taft, I-261
This document represents the only known action that Fair Campaign Practices Committee Chairman Charles P. Taft took on Dean Burch's formal complaint regarding the Daisy spot. Bailey was the Chairman of the Democratic Committee during the '64 campaign. It should be noted that Taft's citation of a Wall Street Journal article is incorrect. The correct citation is as follows: "Democrat Drumfire: Publicists Seek to Tie Barry to ‘Extremists,' Show Cool, Busy LBJ," Wall Street Journal, August 28, 1964.

DOCUMENT 20: Hayes Redmon "Overkill" Memo [PDF]
DATE: September 18, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Daisy Reference File
This memo, written by Bill Moyers' assistant, is a rare example of concern from within the campaign over excessive negative advertising.

Detail of complaint letter from Senator Everett Dirksen, September 12, 1964

DOCUMENT 21: Everett Dirksen Daisy Complaint Correspondence [PDF]
DATES: September 18, 1964 / September 15, 1964 / September 12, 1964
SOURCE: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, White House Central Files, Aides: Moyers
This consolidated document includes the correspondence that originated with Illinois Republican Senator Everett Dirksen's formal complaint to Vincent T. Wasilewski, Executive Vice President of the National Association of Broadcasters (note that Dirksen misspells Wasilewski's name) over the Daisy spot.

DOCUMENT 22: Nixon Enemies List Memos [PDF]
DATES: September 9, 1971 / June 24, 1971
SOURCE: Exhibit No. 49 from the Presidential Campaign Activities of 1972 Senate Resolution 60: Hearings Before the Senate Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities of the United States Senate Ninety-Third Congress First Session: Watergate and Related Activities: Phase I: Watergate Investigation: Washington, D.C., June 27, 28, 29, and July 10, 1973: Book 4, pp. 1692-1696.
One of the original "enemies list" memos disclosed during the 1973 Watergate Hearings. The June 24, 1971 memo that singles out Maxwell Dane because his advertising agency (Doyle Dane Bernbach) "destroyed Goldwater in '64" was authored by George T. Bell, a special assistant to President Richard M. Nixon. The original memo is attached to a later memo dated September 9, 1971 in which Nixon aide Charles Colson writes to White House Counsel John Dean that he has assigned blue check marks to those persons who deserve "top priority" (one of whom is Dane). Colson closes his memo with an odd (for a Nixon hatchet man) bit of Seventies-slang: "...I think you will find this is a pretty good list. Right on!"

DOCUMENT 23: Aaron Ehrlich Complaint Letter to Tony Schwartz [PDF]
DATE: January 17, 1991
SOURCE: Aaron Ehrlich Collection, Center for American History, Austin, Texas
Decades of rage come spilling forth in Ehrlich's letter to Tony Schwartz over authorship claims to the Daisy spot. While Ehrlich may possibly be entitled to some anger, the credit he takes in his letter is not entirely accurate. Official credits record that Ehrlich was the producer of the ad, not the director and editor. This is further supported by the comments of Daisy Art Director Sid Myers in his interview with CONELRAD.

DOCUMENT 24: James H. Graham ABC News Pitch [PDF]
DATE: July 2, 1992
SOURCE: Aaron Ehrlich Collection, Center for American History, Austin, Texas
Ever the salesman, James H. Graham endeavors in this letter to interest ABC News anchor Peter Jennings to host a "news event" related to advertising during the 1964 campaign. In the middle of his pitch, Graham takes time out to call Tony Schwartz a "shameless charlatan." CONELRAD could find no record of Jennings hosting such a special. Graham makes mention in his letter of "storyboards" and other material related to the production of Doyle Dane Bernbach's 1964 campaign ads. CONELRAD contacted Graham's widow, Peggy B. Graham, who thus far has been unable to produce any of these records. There are a small number of DDB documents (but no storyboards) that reside in the Aaron Ehrlich Collection at the Center for American History.

DOCUMENT 25: Sid Myers Letter to the Editor of the New York Times (Previously Unpublished) [PDF]
DATE: October 29, 2000
SOURCE: Sid Myers (used with his permission)
In response to an October 27, 2000 New York Times article by Leslie Wayne ("The 2000 Campaign: The Attack Ad; Infamous Political Commercial is Turned on Gore), the Art Director of the Daisy spot, Sid Myers, was moved to try and set the record straight on Daisy authorship. The Times article was about a non-profit, Texas-based company (Aretino Industries) that had financed an update of the Daisy ad. The commercial targeted the Clinton-Gore administration for its alleged compromise of U.S. national security to Red China. The writer of the piece quotes Tony Schwartz as stating that the Aretino spot is a "perversion of my ad." Myers' letter was not published by the Times and it is unknown whether the editors ever gave any consideration to the points that he raised.

Ann M. Barton wrote this letter to the vaunted fact checking department of the New Yorker magazine after reading yet another story ("Annals of Marketing: The Word Lab," the New Yorker, October 20, 2000 by Nicholas Lemann) that attributed sole authorship of the Daisy spot to Tony Schwartz. To Mr. Lemann's credit he did write back, but Ms. Barton's question to the New Yorker remains: Why didn't Mr. Schwartz attempt to correct the record upon publication of Pete Hamill's 1964 article ("When the Client is a Candidate," New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1964) that omitted his participation in the creation of the Daisy spot? Or did he?


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