The Kennedy Legacy

Not just politics as usual

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Ambassador Caroline Kennedy Attends Hiroshima Memorial Service

America’s ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, attended the annual memorial service, remembering that day 69 years ago when the US dropped an atomic bomb on the city.

It’s unusual for the American ambassador to attend the memorial. Kennedy’s appearance marks only the 4th time a US ambassador has taken part.

Ms. Kennedy did not give a speech or lay a wreath at the ceremony, according to the city of Hiroshima. “This is a day for somber reflection and a renewed commitment to building a more peaceful world,” the ambassador said in a statement released by the U.S. Embassy.

As the only country to have suffered atomic bomb attacks, Japan “has the obligation to realize a world without nuclear weapons,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speech during the ceremony in Hiroshima. Mr. Abe also pledged that Japan will continue to ban production, possession or permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons in the country.

Although Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui did not touch on Mr. Abe’s efforts to revise Japan’s constitution, he kept the government in check by mentioning in his speech that the country has enjoyed 69 years of peace thanks to the document’s “sublime pacifism.”

Following the ceremony, representatives of atomic bombing victims met with Mr. Abe and requested that his cabinet withdraw its decision to pursue the right to collective self-defense.

The prime minister replied that the government’s intention is to provide peace and protect the lives of the Japanese public. He explained that the change is not meant to enable Japan to participate in war.

The ceremony, attended by approximately 45,000 people, began at 8 a.m. An additional 5,507 people were added to the registers of names of fallen atomic bomb victims, bringing the total number to 292,325.

Those present at the ceremony held a minute of silence at 8:15 a.m., the time the atomic bomb was dropped on the city. The attack caused the deaths of approximately 140,000 people in Hiroshima by the end of 1945. Another 70,000 people died in Nagasaki three days later due to the second U.S. atomic bombing on Japan.

Ms. Kennedy is also expected to attend the ceremony of the atomic bombings in Nagasaki on Aug. 9.

Abe’s decision to revise the Japanese constitution isn’t as controversial as it would have been a few years ago. Many Japanese realize that their nation cannot put total reliance on America for its defense anymore. The point was driven home by China’s recent aggressiveness in the South China Sea and America’s tepid response.

The Hiroshima ceremony is non-political,  but Kennedy’s presence has made waves both here and in Japan. Many Japanese believe it inappropriate that a representative from the country that inflicted mass destruction on their homeland should attend the memorial. Some Americans believe that a high ranking US official attending the ceremony is tantamount to endorsing the Japanese view that dropping the bombs were unnecessary.

(Source: pjmedia.com)

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"They would spend hours at the table and laugh a lot.”
“He would always kiss her when he said goodbye.” … “She was a very protective older sister, sort of a second mother to him.”
- General manager Marisa May and author Edward Klein about John and Caroline Kennedy

"They would spend hours at the table and laugh a lot.”

“He would always kiss her when he said goodbye.” … “She was a very protective older sister, sort of a second mother to him.”

- General manager Marisa May and author Edward Klein about John and Caroline Kennedy

Filed under Caroline Kennedy JFK Jr

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"Special Olympics is not just about people with intellectual disabilities; it’s about unleashing the spirit to uncover the best in ourselves."
- Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics

"Special Olympics is not just about people with intellectual disabilities; it’s about unleashing the spirit to uncover the best in ourselves."

- Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics

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John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette: The Way They Were

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He was the world’s most eligible bachelor, the only son of our 35th President, with a world of possibility ahead. 

She was the impossibly chic Calvin Klein fashion publicist, so beautiful that her close friend Daniel Pfeffer says, “No photograph ever did her justice.” 

In Carolyn Bessette, hose closest to John F. Kennedy Jr. say, he finally met his match. 

Still, she turned him down the first time he asked her out after meeting her at the Calvin Klein showroom in 1994. The first few times, in fact. 

"She didn’t think he was serious," says their close friend Gustavo Paredes, son of Jackie’s personal assistant, Provi Paredes. "He couldn’t believe she turned him down. It had never happened before." 

Flummoxed, he was. Discouraged, he was not. 

Kennedy, who had just launched George, his political and pop culture magazine, ”kept figuring out a way to keep coming back to the showroom for more business meetings and more fittings,” says Paredes. 

Their fairy-tale romance and suprise wedding on September 21, 1996, on Georgia’s Cumberland Island, was chronicled all over the world. Yet the fairy tale came to a tragic end on July 16, 1999, when the plane piloted by Kennedy, 38, carrying his wife, 33, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, 34, crashed off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, killing all aboard. 

Fifteen years later, their closest confidantes remember John, not as Camelot’s heir, but as a friend and colleague who liked to drink Rolling Rock and had begun to talk about starting a family. 

Carolyn they remember as a girl who loved to tease John about his penchant for blondes and his lack of fashion sense. 

"She thought he was a fashion mistake," says Gustavo Paredes. 

"They were fiery," says Ariel Paredes, Gustavo’s daughter and a close friend of Carolyn’s. "They would love hard and they would fight hard but they were very much a couple." 

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Some of their closest confidantes share these and other stories in this week’s PEOPLE because they want John and Carolyn to be remembered as the warm and wonderful friends they loved. 


"John was more famous than any celebrity but in a weird way, he was the simplest person," says Matt Berman, former creative director of George and author of a new book: JFK Jr., George & Meexcerpted in this week’s PEOPLE. 

"The world saw them as this prince and princess, but they were the most real and engaging people I’ve ever known." 

For more details and never-before-seen photos of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

(Source: people.com)

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Cheryl Hines and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. were married Saturday at the home of the groom’s mother, Ethel Kennedy, in Hyannis Port, Mass. The Rev. William F. Schulz, a Unitarian Universalist minister, officiated.Ms. Hines recalled being surprised at how funny Robert is. “People in my circle tend to look at people in politics as being boring,” she said.Mr. Kennedy said he was taken with the fact that he “had never seen Cheryl do anything that seemed small or selfish. She has as much integrity as anyone I’ve ever seen.” Asked about how their relationship progressed, he said (with a tip of the hat to Ernest Hemingway), “Slowly at first and then all at once.”

Cheryl Hines and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. were married Saturday at the home of the groom’s mother, Ethel Kennedy, in Hyannis Port, Mass. The Rev. William F. Schulz, a Unitarian Universalist minister, officiated.

Ms. Hines recalled being surprised at how funny Robert is. “People in my circle tend to look at people in politics as being boring,” she said.

Mr. Kennedy said he was taken with the fact that he “had never seen Cheryl do anything that seemed small or selfish. She has as much integrity as anyone I’ve ever seen.” Asked about how their relationship progressed, he said (with a tip of the hat to Ernest Hemingway), “Slowly at first and then all at once.”

(Source: The New York Times)

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RFK Jr marries Cheryl Hines

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After dating for more than two years, Cheryl Hines and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said “I do” before a cheering crowd of friends and family Saturday at the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts – under a tent at a home once owned by President John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie. 

The actress, 48, and the political activist, 60, became engaged  in May 2014. 

"It’s fun that the two families are coming together," she told PEOPLE in June. "It’s very sweet that way. I come from a big family and the Kennedys are a big family. It feels natural. It feels fun." 

Hines wore a white strapless tea-length gown by Romona Keveza for the ceremony, which took place during the family’s annual reunion. Besides many Kennedys, other guests, according to PEOPLE’s sources, included Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Sen. Ed Markey, Kevin Nealon and Ed Begley. 

The couple wed during a “casual ceremony,” before celebrating with a reception “at Teddy’s place” on the family compound, Kennedy told The New York Times.


Their union comes after the two were introduced twice by David at a ski resort in Deer Valley, Utah, followed up by a third meeting in Aspen, Colorado. “I was separated at the time, and Cheryl was still married,” Kennedy says. 

Their friendship eventually progressed “slowly at first and then all at once” to a romantic relationship. “She has as much integrity as anyone I’ve ever seen,” Kennedy says of his new wife. 

It’s the second marriage for Hines, who has a daughter, Catherine Rose, 10, with her former husband. It’s the third marriage for Kennedy. He has two children with his first wife, Emily Black, and four children with his second wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy committed suicide in May 2012 at age 52. 

And although the couple had planned to elope with their children, Hines tellsThe Times that they couldn’t leave their mothers out of the celebration – and from there the guest list just kept growing. 

"The next thing we knew, it was a wedding," she says. 

The Curb Your Enthusiasm star is looking forward to being Mrs. Kennedy. “It feels great because you know you are going to be with the person you really like to be with for a very long time,” she told PEOPLE last month. “And that’s a great feeling.” 

(Source: vanityfair.com)

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December 11, 1996 – John Kennedy Jr looked on as then president Bill Clinton spoke in the Oval Office of the White House. The former was on hand to present the president with an annual report on intellectual disability. Kennedy was one of 21 presidential appointees to the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation (now called The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities), which marked its 30th anniversary during the ceremony.

December 11, 1996 – John Kennedy Jr looked on as then president Bill Clinton spoke in the Oval Office of the White House. The former was on hand to present the president with an annual report on intellectual disability. Kennedy was one of 21 presidential appointees to the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation (now called The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities), which marked its 30th anniversary during the ceremony.

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Joe Kennedy Jr’s British love: Patricia Wilson

In October 1943, Joe flew to an airfield near London and called to see Kathleen at her city home. They dined together and because of the lack of accommodation in the area at the time, he stayed with an old acquaintance, newspaperman William Randolph Hearst.

He intended to leave London the following day but the weather conditions prevented him from flying. Being forced to stay for an extra night, he dined at the Savoy that night with Hearst, Kathleen and some other guests. One was Patricia Wilson.

Pat had been married into the aristocracy. Her first husband had been the 9th. Earl of Jersey. By the time she met Joe Jr., she was married to a British army major who was away fighting – far away in Libya. She lived in a property about an hour away from London with her three young children.

She liked to entertain her friends there and when she found that Joe’s airbase was on the same train line as her house, she casually invited him to call in whenever he wanted to.

 Still, seeing his mother’s reactions to Kathleen’s marriage—Rose had been coldly rejecting when her daughter wed a British aristocrat who was also Anglican—and knowing well his father’s plans for him wouldn’t have room for a twice-divorced mother of three, Joe had to realize that when he returned home his relationship with Pat would be at an end.

Joe junior had grown closer to his sister as they shared their “romantic predicaments,” and she saw that his pride in Jack’s achievements was tempered by doubts about his own. Always secure in the fact that he was the star of the family, Joe had suddenly found himself trumped by his younger brother. For Jack to come in ahead on any level was unthinkable, yet here he was, a best-selling author and a decorated war hero. The least Joe could do was stay on in Europe.

In Hyannis Port, Joe senior waited through the rest of June and July, “expecting to hear the telephone ring any time and to hear that you were in Norfolk,” where troops back from Europe disembarked, but it wasn’t until August that he received a letter from his eldest saying he had stayed on for just one more mission, “something different” with “practically no danger.” Upon reading the letter on August 9, 1944, Joe immediately responded, “I can quite understand how you feel about staying there … but don’t force your luck too much.”

But Joe junior did force his luck. He had been in harm’s way for more than a year, had flown more than 35 missions, and could have returned home with honor. Yet he had now volunteered to fly an experimental plane, gutted of everything but room for pilot, co-pilot, and 10 tons of TNT that would literally turn the plane into a bomb; Joe’s mission was to lock onto a German target and bail out, but before reaching its destination the plane exploded in midair.

After Joe’s death Pat wrote to Rose offering her condolences and momentos-I don’t think Joe shared to much about Pat with his mother.

Pat wrote:..”Loving him as much as I did,I can understand a little of the agony you,as his mother must be going through.Although Joe would hardly ever say anything flattering to himself he did once tell me that he thought you loved him the best of your sons-so I can truly realize how unhappy you must be and I long to be able to give you comfort. My thoughts and deepest heartfelt sympathy are with you and because I loved him so much and we were so happy together  I pray and believe that they will reach from your heart from mine.”

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The still elusive Joseph P. Kennedy

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Joseph Patrick Kennedy, the paterfamilias of the Kennedy clan, continues to be scrutinized in lengthy biographies as well as in numerous studies of his most famous progeny.

The reasons for this persistent interest are not especially difficult to understand. Kennedy’s intriguing career is well documented in print, in archival collections, in recordings, and on film. Of course, much the same can be said of the life of Senator Prescott Bush, the founder of the Bush clan. However, the Kennedy family story has taken on a unique and almost mythic quality because of the dramatic historical events which destroyed JPK’s own political ambitions and the tragedies that consumed his sons and two of his daughters.  

Historian and biographer David Nasaw, the most recent scholar to take on the JPK story, was offered unrestricted access by the Kennedy family to the papers of Joseph P. Kennedy at Boston’s Kennedy Library. Nasaw insists that there were no strings attached—that he received permission to read and cite any and all materials in the JPK papers. However, he has acknowledged in a TV interview, that even after he agreed to write the book it took nearly 18 months to finalize a legal agreement between the Kennedys and the author—inevitably creating speculation about the precise nature of the issues which required such lengthy negotiations.

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