The Kennedy Legacy

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Posts tagged Jackie Kennedy

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These photographs by Mark Shaw, never used,  were taken during the Bay of Pigs disaster in 1961.  The President later commented that he had decided not to release them. ‘I looked too serious.’  It was a grim, tense day, but he brought none of this to the top floor of the White House.  Afterward he had lunch, a sandwich and fruit on a small tray.  He made no mention of the cause and reason for his quiet.

(Source: jfk-and-jackie, via jj-kennedy)

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Suddenly, everything that had been a liability before—your hair, that you spoke French, you didn’t just adore to campaign… When we got in the White House, all the things that I had always done suddenly became wonderful… and I was so happy for Jack… Because you know, it made him so happy—it made me so happy. So those were our happiest years.
Jacqueline Kennedy on captivating the world


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New York Times bestselling author Christopher Andersen delivers another dramatic installment in the lives of the Kennedys, including new details about JFK Jr., his relationship with his mother, his many girlfriends, and the night of his tragic death.At the heart of The Good Son (October 2014)is the most important relationship in JFK Jr.’s life: that with his mother, the beautiful and mysterious Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Andersen explores his reactions to his mother’s post-Dallas suicidal depression and growing dependence on prescription drugs (as well as men); how Jackie felt about the women in her son’s life, from Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker, to Daryl Hannah and Carolyn Bessette, to his turbulent marriage; the senseless plane crash the took his life; the aftermath of shock, loss, grief, and confusion; and much more. Offering new insights into the intense, tender, often stormy relationship between this iconic mother and son, The Good Sonis a riveting, bittersweet biography for lovers of all things Kennedy.

New York Times bestselling author Christopher Andersen delivers another dramatic installment in the lives of the Kennedys, including new details about JFK Jr., his relationship with his mother, his many girlfriends, and the night of his tragic death.

At the heart of The Good Son (October 2014)is the most important relationship in JFK Jr.’s life: that with his mother, the beautiful and mysterious Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Andersen explores his reactions to his mother’s post-Dallas suicidal depression and growing dependence on prescription drugs (as well as men); how Jackie felt about the women in her son’s life, from Madonna and Sarah Jessica Parker, to Daryl Hannah and Carolyn Bessette, to his turbulent marriage; the senseless plane crash the took his life; the aftermath of shock, loss, grief, and confusion; and much more. Offering new insights into the intense, tender, often stormy relationship between this iconic mother and son, The Good Sonis a riveting, bittersweet biography for lovers of all things Kennedy.

Filed under JFK Jr Jackie Kennedy John F. Kennedy Jr Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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May 29, 1964: Jackie Kennedy’s Return to Arlington

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By Nicolaus Mills, professor of American Studies at Sarah Lawrence College

Fifty years ago on May 29, 1964, Jackie Kennedy, accompanied by her two children, returned to Arlington National Cemetery. There she placed a sprig of lilies of the valley on President Kennedy’s grave.

The occasion was JFK’s 47th birthday, and Mrs. Kennedy’s homage seemed only natural. But today it is possible to see more than a tribute to her husband in Mrs. Kennedy’s actions. It is also possible to see her deciding the time had come for her and the nation to end their period of mourning.

The day, which was intensely covered by the media, began with Mrs. Kennedy attending mass at St. Matthew’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Washington, where Bishop Phillip M. Hannan, who had eulogized the president following his assassination, gave the requiem sermon. Mrs. Kennedy, who had been so stoic at her husband’s burial six months earlier, wore no veil on this occasion and allowed herself to be seen crying openly.

A crowd of 1,000 people was waiting on the hillside across the Potomac when Mrs. Kennedy visited President Kennedy’s gravesite after the service, but it was as if Mrs. Kennedy looked on this spring day as one in which she was free to express her full range of feelings without worrying about being judged.

She knelt by the president’s grave, then watched as her son took the gold tie clasp in the form of his father’s World War II boat, PT-109, that he had on his coat, and placed it on the pine boughs covering the grave.

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By 4:30 p.m, Mrs. Kennedy was at the Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, home of her father-in-law, Joseph P. Kennedy, for an international telecast on President Kennedy’s life, but the most revealing indication of the specialness the day held for her came in the interview she did for the May 29 Life magazine.

On December 6 Mrs. Kennedy had been the subject of a Life cover story. In a widely remembered interview with journalist Theodore White, she had made a point of comparing the Kennedy administration to King Arthur’s legendary Camelot.  Referencing the popular Lerner and Loewe Broadway musical Camelot, she had told White that the specialness her husband and his administration had achieved was too unique to be duplicated.

“She came back to the idea that transfixed her,” White wrote. “Don’t let it be forgot, that was there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot—and it will never be that way again,” White quoted Mrs. Kennedy as saying.

In her Life interviewof May 29, Mrs. Kennedy was still elegiac about her husband, but this time she was not preoccupied with the idea of the Kennedy administration as mythic. She spoke instead about preparing an exhibit of the president’s mementos that would tour the country and be used to raise funds for the Kennedy Library.

The point of the library, she stressed, was to let the president’s example be a guide to the future, not just evoke nostalgia for the past. The ’60s, Mrs. Kennedy was implicitly saying, needed a fresh start, and she was not going to stand in the way of that fresh start or turn herself into a professional widow.

Two months later, Mrs. Kennedy announced that she was giving up her home in Georgetown and moving to New York. The move freed her from the crowds that gathered daily in Georgetown to watch her comings and goings, but above all, the move let her start a new life on terms of her choosing.

In New York, Mrs. Kennedy became a leading figure in the city’s cultural life. The preservation of St. Bartholomew’s Church on Park Avenue and, most important, the preservation of Grand Central Station, which for a time during the ’70s lost its landmark designation, were among her triumphs.

“Jackie Onassis will save us,” the famed modern architect Philip Johnson commented when she took the lead in the fight to stop a proposed 59-story office tower from being erected over Grand Central Station. Johnson’s praise, made in 1975, captures how dramatically Mrs. Kennedy altered the public’s view of her and how easy it is to forget, living as we do in the age of Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, that, prior to the ’60s, presidential wives were seen but rarely heard, especially after their husbands left office. 

In deciding what to do after she moved away from Washington, Mrs. Kennedy had before her only the modern example of Eleanor Roosevelt, who, following her husband’s death, took an active role in the United Nations and continued writing her newspaper column. But Mrs. Roosevelt was in her sixties when her husband died after 12 years in office. In 1964 Jackie Kennedy was just 35, the widow of a first-term president, when she began setting historical precedents of her own.

(Source: thedailybeast.com)

Filed under Jackie Kennedy JFK Kennedy John F. Kennedy Jacqueline Kennedy

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Jackie Kennedy and her son John Jr peeking out of a window of their Fifth Avenue home to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade pass by, they spotted Bobby Kennedy and waved and yelled to him, 1968.

Jackie Kennedy and her son John Jr peeking out of a window of their Fifth Avenue home to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade pass by, they spotted Bobby Kennedy and waved and yelled to him, 1968.

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She was surrounded by her friends and family and her books and the people and the things that she loved. And she did it in her own way, and we all feel lucky for that, and now she’s in God’s hands.

JFK Jr about his mother’s passing

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"Gracious and genuine": Memories of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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"I was in my late teens when we first rode together in New Jersey. My horse had an unattactive habit of foaming at the mouth. Jackie was very well turned out in white britches. My horse laid his head in her lap and smeared her with green slime from hip to knee. She just smiled and turned her horse around, and my horse did it to her other leg. She never turned a hair. She was an incredibly gracious person."

~ Christine Todd Whitman, governor of New Jersey 

"She was one of the most informal people I’ve ever known. When she was married to Jack, we’d go sailing together. I’ll always remember her sitting there so peaceful, putting her bare feet in his lap. She was so genuine."

~ William Styron, author 

"The First Lady asked me how many people passed through the White House on tours. When I told her thousands did, she said they should sell something to the tourists and use the profits to help redecorate the White House. She decided to make a small book. It cost 42 cents and sold for a dollar. Over the years it has brought in $42 million."

~ Clark Clifford, JFK adviser 

"She was a tough editor. She was rigorous about correcting usage. typical sidenotes were, ‘Omit’ and ‘Do something!’ "

~ Jonathan Cott, author of four books edited by Jackie 

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"In 1974, when her maid Provi had the day off, Jackie would answer the phone in a fake Spanish accent. ‘Allo,’ she would say, hoping callers wouldn’t recognize her voice. She told me, ‘I have to do that to get rid of people.’ "

~ Barbara Gibson, formerly Rose Kennedy’s personal secretary 

"She always wore clothes in private before she wore them at public appearances. The week before she went to Dallas, she wore the pink suit with the pillbox hat to our play group. She was very excited about the trip, very happy to be going." 

~ Meredith Dale, whose daughter Rosalind played with John Jr. in the early ’60s 

"There was a bridal dinner the nigh I before Caroline’s wedding, when John gave a touching toast about how close they were. He said, ‘All our lives "there’s just been the three of us.’ Instead of losing his sister, he had become very close to Ed Schlossberg. He ended saying that the three of them now welcome a fourth. Later, I told Jackie how I would want that kind of closeness for my sons. She looked me right in the eye and said, ‘It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.’ "

~  Doris Kearns Goodwin, biographer 

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When was the last time one woman so affected the world? In the tiny French town of Pont-Saint-Esprit, where a century ago her great-great-grandfather earned his keep as a cabinetmaker, the flags at City Hall flew at half-staff. On the front steps of the Kennedy family estate in Palm Beach, a single red hibiscus left by a stranger fluttered in the warm breeze. And in New York City, a woman on a mountain bike rode up to the elegant entrance of 1040 Fifth Avenue and placed a bouquet of red roses on the ground. “She was part of the landscape,” said Eileen Stukane before pedaling away. “I will miss her.”

 - People Magazine (1994)

(Source: lancer-lace, via nadinesayij95)

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She was always there for our family in her special way. She was a blessing to us and to the nation — and a lesson to the world on how to do things right, how to be a mother, how to appreciate history, how to be courageous. No one else looked like her, spoke like her, wrote like her, or was so original in the way she did things. No one we knew ever had a better sense of self.

In memory of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (July 28, 1928 - May 19, 1994)

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