tv First Ladies Influence Image CSPAN November 28, 2013 7:00pm-9:01pm EST
>> on the next "washington journal," discussing efforts to raise the minimum wage. looking at the book "america 3.0" or asperity in the 21st century. after that, the national endowment of the arts and americans from the arts on funding for the arts. mails, phone calls and tweets. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c- span. ♪ >> i think every first lady should do something in this tradition to help the thing that she cares about. i just think that everything in the white house should be the best. the entertainment that is given here. children are the same the world
over and so is our feeling for children. i think it is good in the world, there is quite enough to divide people, so we should cherish the language and the emotion that unites us. >> jacqueline kennedy's 1000 days as first lady was defined by images, young mother, advocate for the arts, fashion icon. footage of the assassination of president kennedy and his funeral cemented her in the public consciousness. welcome to the c-span series, first ladies, influence and image. we have two guests at the table, to tell you more about her story. he has a special focus on the cold war era and the kennedy administration. robert parry is a political scientist and as part of the modern first ladies series, he
has written the jacqueline kennedy biography. before we get into more details about her white house years, i want to talk about the images of that assassination. anyone who was alive at that time has those images in their mind. this is a collective consciousness. she was just 34 years old. >> just 34 years old. we know so much about this story. he was shot and into her arms, for five minutes they were there and she felt that they left the hospital to go back to washington, but they had to do something to make sure that he had the historical reputation.
>> what would a 34-year-old woman have sense of that experience? what did she draw from? there are so many iconic images together in such a short time. >> she said when she was young woman, my ambition in life is to be the art director of the 20th century. and she almost turned out to be that. and she felt one thing that would be important for his legacy, as horrible as dallas was, to wipe out the view of that, and having three or four days of ceremony that she wished would be what they would remember, not the tawdry miss of what happened. >> this is not the first presidential assassination and president -- presidential widow. as a political scientist you talk about the power of television, how did this work in this case. >> she wanted to go back to the
rights for abraham lincoln, the first assassinated resident. she asked her brother-in-law and his various friends to come to her aid, to find books on the lincoln funeral and all of this played out on television. when eisenhower was first elected in 1962, 20% of american households had television sets, but in 1963 about 90% had televisions. i can remember sitting in the family living room on that night of november 22, 1963 and saying mrs. kennedy walk out of air force one, behind her husband's casket. i remember my parents and older brother gasping at seeing her. >> what she said -- lady bird johnson said -- let me get someone to help you. >> but she understood the power of that imagery, we have two
hours to tell you with video clips and audio clips, the story of jacqueline kennedy. we encourage you to take part once again tonight, there are three ways to do this, you can tweet us, at first ladies, or on our facebook page, or you can call us. our numbers are -- mountan/pacific -- we will get to your calls in just a bit. i start with a phone conversation with president johnson. i want to ask about why we have them, before we listen very >> he takes his telephone conversations, as eisenhower and
roosevelt -- with johnson this was about 650 hours over five years. and in most cases this was without the knowledge that would include jacqueline kennedy. at that point, there was a very good relationship with lbj. >> this is the phone conversation was just 10 days after the death of her husband. this is a phone conversation with lyndon johnson. >> you just have to give me strength. >> i wasn't going to come over. >> you just come over and put your arm around me, let's walk around the backyard. let me tell you how much you mean to all of us, and how we can carry on, -- >> i know how rare a letter is in the president's handwriting.
i have more in your handwriting than i do in jack's handwriting, for you to send me the thing today, the announcement and everything -- >> i want you to know that i told my mother a long time ago, when everyone else gave up about my election in 1948 -- you have a lot of courage that we men don't have. so we have to rely on you and depend on you and you have something to do. you have the president relying on you, there are not many women running around -- so you have the biggest job in your life. >> i ran around with two presidents, that is what they will say about me. ok, anytime. thank you for calling, mr.
president. >> do come by. >> this relationship was not always the easiest of relationships, but how did he treat the departing first family and jackie kennedy? >> very well and mrs. kennedy talked about how grateful she was for president johnson. she would have to say president johnson unlike the president's brother, who she called a couple of hours across -- after the assassination -- president johnson -- the very easily to calling him mr. president. but she was very grateful to president johnson, that they were so grateful to her, and they let her stay in the white house until december 6. she was able to stay there with her children until she got the
sense of where she was going to go. and in the carnage in dallas, she lost her husband, her home and her job. she had no place to go until the home was open in georgetown. caroline was going to nursery school and kindergarten. she was very grateful to the president for that. >> you have listened to a lot of jacqueline kennedy -- she sounds so in control of herself, 10 days after the assassination and going to the funeral, how do we understand her and her psyche issues. >> you will find someone who has lost a spouse or someone very close to them -- during the days of the funeral and the ceremony, she said -- just keep on moving right now, we can collapse later. there were enough decisions that she had to make -- decisions
about the presidential library, making sure that the children were as and as well of environment as possible. you cannot think of anything more abnormal than, the children lost their father this way. and once she got to georgetown she did almost collapse. this was late december and the beginning of spring. before them -- for the four of them, you can ask for more than she did with keeping the situation together. >> in the days before the trip to dallas, what was the popularity of the kennedy administration and mrs. kennedy? >> the president had suffered because of civil rights. he had fallen in the southern states and he was concerned. he was going to texas to try to connect to the party there and raise money for the 1964 campaign. this was really the kickoff for the presidential election campaign. gallup did not take
regular polls about the first lady at that time. but early on, in 1961, she was polling at about 59%. and starting in 1960 gallup did take this -- the most admired woman pole. in 1962 she supplanted eleanor roosevelt, who had the number one for about 12 years, and mrs. kennedy was for about five or four years after that. and they had lost their baby patrick in august of 1963 and i think people felt kindness towards her. >> when john kennedy was planning his campaign in 19 60 there was an offhand remark -- we will have to run her through subliminally. she had been raised in an elite way -- and she might not be too politically helpful. and there was no one who was more astounded and delighted
that she had turned out this way. so in the state of texas -- john conley and the others in texas said, you have to bring mrs. kennedy. she is so popular and you will have much bigger crowds. >> i have to say that john kennedy was much more wealthy than she. so why would the public not react to his help? >> he felt as may political leaders that come from affluent backgrounds, -- in 1957 she bought him a jaguar as a birthday gift. he had this returned -- but he felt she was not someone who had a lot of political experience, and in 1960 -- this might be a
difficult -- >> she felt she was a drag on him in the early days. >> she said, i am sorry i'm such a drag for you. but this did not stop this -- this did not last long. >> i want to talk about the imagery of camelot. >> jackie kennedy asked teddy white, who was a family friend, to come up and interview her, with the idea of what she wanted to say would get into life magazine. she said, late at night, before jack and i were in the white house, wheeze to play the record of camelot. and needless to say, the editors
and life thought, this would be the big thing -- and they may camelot the major theme of the article. when it came out, the kennedy presidency and camelot made its debut. in the end -- this may not have been something that helped. there nights and the noble deeds they were setting him up for the revisionary of the 1970s. >> she must have known that these would come along and that she could get out in front of them, with this wonderful shining moment. one brief, shining moment and there was a dark side of camelot but all you have to do is look at the imagery and see that they were a wonderful couple with beguiling children. >> to talk on the 1960s campaign that brought them to the white
house -- we will do that throughout the program tonight. to learn more about her role in helping her husband during that campaign. >> mrs. kennedy spoke in rate length about president kennedy and his love of reading, his believe in the power of words, and this is a belief that they both shared. what i like about this story here, is it shows an example of the believe in the power of words, this is a great example of collaboration between husband and wife. this is early in the presidential campaign and in the early days, mrs. kennedy did travel with him as much as possible, and this is a reading copy of the speech he presented
in washington state in june of 1959. mrs. kennedy was with him at that dinner, president kennedy had speechwriters and he would often rewrite his speeches up until the moment he was about to deliver it, and at this dinner, he wanted to close the speech with some verses from the great home, you'll he sees. and he asked mrs. kennedy, there is a note here. can you have the last line from you lisi's? and following in her hand is the rest of the poem, which she knew, from memory. and gave it to him to close his speech, with those words. >> we have a viewer who says, you rarely see mrs. candy in clips from the 1960s. because of the difficulty of her 1966 presidency, she was actively campaigning for her husband -- did she feel that she could not bear losing another baby when she was pregnant again? >> she had a terrible record in her pregnancy, she had lost a
baby to miscarriage in 1965, and then as this person points out, she lost a little girl in 1956, right after that very hot, not air-conditioned -- >> she was really just afraid to go. i think what this person is referring to is about april -- april to 1960, she did tend to stay home, but she did go with the president of the, in 1962 manhattan, but she was great with child. the child would be john junior. >> then bradley also had a wife who was with child, and right after the election was one in hyannisport, he said to the two women, you can take the pillows out, we have one.
>> what role did she play and you talked about the concern -- at one point does john kennedy realize he had a political asset? >> the moment that began to happen is when they went to paris in spring of 1961, and a lot of people turned out both to see john kennedy, and jackie. who was known to be -- of french ancestry, she spoke french and new french history -- and we will talk about this later on, in february of 1962, she did the tour of the white house she had worked so hard to restore. >> this is after she was in, she
began to work on sustaining popularity. we will start with a few calls. ida in west palm beach, you are on the air. >> thank you, i am enjoying this series very much. i was only five years old when the president was assassinated, so i don't really remember it, but i have read so many books about the president and mrs. kennedy, i'm great admirer of hers. one of the biggest images was her pink stained suit, and after she removed it -- she did not want to remove it before they returned to washington, as she said, she wanted the world to see what had happened to him. what did become of that suit? was it destroyed or has it been preserved somewhere? and if so, where? and will it ever be shown to the public? >> as i understand, once she removed it, it was stored, i
believe in her mother's attic. people are familiar with manchester -- the last paragraph of that book talks about what he saw, after some years went by, the package -- he could see the stains and if someone did not know the story of that suit, someone would say that the person who wore that has met a terrible end. >> they might even wonder who has been to blame. >> as we understand, with the archives, i understand that this is still missing but this is with the archives, caroline has made sure that it will not appear to the public before 2103. we will not see it. unless there are changes in medical science. >> mary, from utah, you are on. >> this has been amazing and wonderful, one of the best
things on television. thank you for that. my question is, jacqueline kennedy, such a great style icon and known for that, her privates secretary, mary gallagher -- this was an issue with the president, the cost of the wardrobe. nothing was spent on her clothing. was she known as a frugal individual otherwise? thank you so much. >> not by her husband, if we answer truthfully. but she spent an awful lot on clothing, and by the best information we have, this was actually started by joseph kennedy, who said, just send me the bills. this is something that would be very important to that presidency. it turned out to be a great
asset. >> this was a big story in the 1960 campaign, that she must have spent $30,000 a year on her wardrobe. >> they could not spend $30,000 >> pat nixon -- >> this was a close election, for the public. >> and she wore that to the inauguration. so next, i'm going to have jacqueline kennedy, in her own words. a project you know very well. the book that came out of this. the life of john f. kennedy -- which you annotated in introduced, and work with caroline kennedy on. what is this project? >> when jackie kennedy, right in the wake of the assassination, there was a story -- that her
husband would not amount to much but she was so determined to help him win this reputation, one of the things that was urged on her by the white house aide and historian -- was to record all the history. which they spoke on briefly at the university of virginia. when there are historical events that may not be recorded, you go in an interview a great figure in history and try to fill in the gaps. she would be at her house in georgetown, about eight times, only a few months after the assassination, with her memories were fresh. the idea would be that she would speak freely, as it -- the historian of the 21st century.
and this was in 2011 when caroline felt they should be published. >> has anyone else done a similar oral history. >> i am trying to think of that. >> lady bird johnson. >> there is a wonderful book. by oxford university press. all of her oral history interviews as well. >> this is a critique of lyndon johnson and his role as a vice president. >> as his running mate -- to the majority leader. he was raised and mocking jack in every way. jack would say, you can never get an opinion out of him. they asked to go to luxembourg. you can have a president who is dying to give you a lot to do. to luxembourg -- and lyndon as vice president, he could just do
anything. >> i want to read something from barbara's but before i get to michael. you said -- underneath a veil of lovely in consequence, she had tremendous awareness. people were struck by this -- she had a shrewd view of people, who the real people were and to the phonies were, those who are bright and those who were stupid. the papers were filled with her assessment. did john f. kennedy use this to his advantage as a political partnership. >> they had a mastery of television and that sort of thing. we will talk about the fact she did not have a major impact on policy, nor did she want one and did she want one, and he did not talk to her about it. he did seek her out for advice. i think this is the case that if
he was going to have any connection with her, at all, in terms of politics it would be when they went off on these trips or when they were coming back from political trips. she did go to 36 of the 48 states in 1969 and 1960, when they were out with the rank-and- file. she was on the phone with him, saying, that one is phony, that when israel, that one is stupid, that one is smart. >> you hear the people that she criticizes, the secretary of state -- these are the people who tended not to do too well in the kennedy administration, like robert mcnamara. they did not just listen to her. in those days, they went to taxes on the month of november and since the inauguration,
jackie kennedy had never been west of virginia. she did not travel domestically, she had small children and did not campaign, and thought that this was something to do in an election year. this is why going to taxes meant so much. she said, jack, i will do anything to help you because this may be a close election in 1964. >> what do you learn about her savvy? >> you were mentioning what they said -- that someone had the impression of someone who was not involved in politics. before the election in 1960, and the convention of 1960, she was asked by a reporter where the democratic convention should be held. she said acapulco. >> she said these things, and she was not completely on top of
it. this was the potential for those days. the entourage will not help them well -- this would not have helped him very much. in terms of the society in those days -- they were too hard edged, this would not have been political. >> catherine brown, the publisher of the washington post, to be honest, the kennedy men, they were chauvinists. and they weren't interested in what women had to say about anything. >> when did the tapes come out with the biography?
>> the tapes came out thanks to michael and caroline kennedy in 2012, -- 2011, excuse me. much to my chagrin, the tapes were not available to write the book. so in her own words -- >> was this developed in the biography? >> i did. at first i wish i had these but then i realized that this was going to add color and substance, to be sure, and it would have added michael's superb annotation of the oral history. i found it actually follow the example that we just gave, talking about mrs. kennedy. i thought sn as i listened to this -- >> what also made me think about in terms of the camelot issue, with how she wanted to shake that image -- shape that image of her husband after his death. part of it may have been to
raise him up. >> and also, just humanly. helping him on various things -- there is a good oral history. during the presidency, her relationship with lbj -- they said she was the only person in the whole entourage who treated them nicely. by spring of 1964, we are talking all the time -- lbj was talking to her about the shortcomings and you have to listen to that, with that in mind. >> we are talking about a first- person historical document. in the previous letters -- did jackie do that? >> in a phone conversation with lbj, she says, i have more handwritten letters from you than from jack. >> and trying to say in general
he did not like to send letters to anyone. >> with the youngsters, the parents and the siblings. it was not romantic, to his wife. the letters are currently not available at the kennedy library. >> rachel is in portland, oregon. >> thank you so much for this program. i was wondering, how did jacqueline kennedy influence art and fashion in the united states? >> may i ask how old you are? >> i am 12. >> what a great question. >> how much did you know about jacqueline kennedy before you started watching tonight? >> i've been learning a lot about her. >> why is that? >> i like reading history very much. and i really enjoy studying about her.
and finding a book at the library -- >> thank you so much for making the effort to call in. we're going to talk about her -- let me start by showing a video. >> that was a good question. >> at her age -- john f. kennedy was the person i most admired. you could end up with -- in political science, this is a great life. >> we turn to the library -- and how they interpret her as a style icon. >> she is known as a style icon and has admiration for her fashion sense. the ensemble that she wore as first lady on inauguration day, this will coat and dress. this is just a wonderful example of -- this became very popular and the only thing that she wore
during the ensemble, was a really beautiful ruby brooch, by tiffany's. that jfk actually gave her 2 -- celebrate the birth of john junior. and she wore that right after the swearing-in. and most famously, finishing the ensemble, what she wore that day. she wore that on her head so that her face could be seen, and then became a fashion trend. where the hat would normally be one -- worn on the very top of the head. but she used that to frame her face. and this is one of her best- known dresses, the dress that she wore during her televised tour of the white house in february of 1962.
visitors are quite surprised to learn that this is a red dress. the program was filled in black and white and broadcast in black-and-white. she chose the color red for that program, knowing it would be televised on valentine's day, 1962. what's go into the museum and look at other examples of her clothing that we have on display. she put a lot of thought into her wardrobe, when she was represented in the country both at the white house and while traveling abroad. she talked about what colors
would mean something to the country. so for her visit to canada in may of 1961, the first state visit that the kennedys made as president and first lady, she wore this red suit, as a gesture of respect, for the canadian maple leaf and knowing that she would be greeted by the royal canadian mounted police, who wear the color red. this is the green coat and hat worn by the first lady for her arrival in bogotá, colombia in 1961. they traveled throughout south america, and were greeted by hundreds of thousands of people, with an overwhelming response, particularly when she would address the crowds in spanish.
i really admire the thought that she put into her wardrobe. >> what do we know other than the fact that she loved clothes and looked great in them? how do we compare her fashion to influence the country, and advance the position of the united states abroad? >> she felt that it was best for the first lady to dress in the best of american fashion. and bring the best of american culture to the white house. she suffered a bit during the televised tour in 1962, suggesting that thewas no longer this unformed country, but a country worthy of being considered as a superpower. >> and that is where she goes to be a cold warrior. >> she helped to draw in, what we then called the third world countries. we were the new world and what
better representation of the new world than the 33-year-old, young, fresh woman, with these youthful fashions. >> and the people in paris, she wore givenchy. >> last week, eisenhower -- they set trends across the country and people were emulating her. and it was a couple of years before they were putting the bags in their hair. >> you could get them on ebay, probably. >> we were talking about the ike sundress. this is not something that she would wear. this was an upping of the level of the style. she picked oleg cassini because he was american, he had european ties and hollywood ties, but he said, i will create a wardrobe for you on the world stage. >> she said, i want us to dress
as if jack was president of france. the way that this happened worked better in public. >> how did the american public respond? >> by and large, they love that. but sometimes she would show up and up bathing suit, and sometimes you had conservatives who said, a first lady should not do that and if you think of the previous three first -- three first ladies -- they were not and they were in their 60s when they left office. they had grandchildren in some instances, and she seems like everyone's older sister rather than their aunt or their grandmother. >> let's take a call next, from judy, in newport news. >> we are really enjoying it, thank you so much. it seems to me i have heard her name pronounced as jaqueline. is this true? >> she preferred to be called
jackie, which she hated. and she says in the oral history without the combination of jack and jackie was unfortunate. >> anthony in chicago. >> how are you doing today? >> what is your question? >> we are going to this in my high school class right now, as you all know, there was a film if i'm pronouncing his name right -- we were looking at this in class, this was graphic and horrifying, of course, but i was wondering, when he was shot --
was jacqueline kennedy trying to jump out of the car in that video, or was this just trying -- >> what year in high school? >> i am a junior. >> the answer, we don't know why. she was asked about that in the she did not remember, she was deeply in shock. >> would you show this in high school class? >> like the explosion of the challenger, i have not watched this, this is too painful and i would not show this to students. >> but this is widely available on the internet. >> is it helpful to talk about this in the classroom weather is a guided discussion? >> this would be a line i would be a line i would have to draw and i have to set out -- i would have to say i remembered that, being taken off to church -- the president had been wounded, and
to be told at the end of the day, he had died and we said our last prayer of the day for him. i would have to step back to my scholarly side, -- scholarly side in the human. >> what would you think about the documentaries this month -- would she have the quote, i want them to see what they did. >> there is always the hazard in talking about a historical figure and what they may or may not have done. she was so worried that jack would be forgotten in 1962. she was asking to her friends and others, please don't let them forget jack. she did not approve of everything that was being shown, but this was a sign that he was
not being forgotten. >> and the camelot label has remained. >> the young caller talked about her influence on the arts. and there is the kennedy library. and the trips she took to india and pakistan in 1962 along with her sister. let's watch that and then talk about her international travel. >> i am profoundly impressed with what you do in pakistan. and what you make of it now -- i think as i stand in these gardens, which were built before my country was born, they have survived this together and they always will. >> the interesting thing -- we were talking about the images of her in black-and-white, and here she is in color.
>> this was the presidency and the president, who was aware of the importance of color photography, he was talking about plans for the 1964 democratic convention and said, i want to have a motion picture about the administration in color. one lucky thing for us, is the agency -- we have a color film that was very rare for the time. >> how many international trips did she take? >> this was by herself with her sister, but not with the president. it would be viewed as unofficial and we could talk about the canadian trip, her first trip out of the country, and in paris in june of 1961. they made several trips south of the border and went to puerto rico and colombia, and venezuela, and costa rica.
where else have they gone? >> she felt it was not her duty to travel to mystically. >> she tended to travel by herself or with the family for vacations. >> she knew how important it was for her to go with him. >> how important was this to advancing foreign-policy? >> i think that for jackie to get the receptions like the kind that they did in 19 61, or when they went to vienna, this was 10 times -- the leader of the soviet union, nikita khrushchev, this was the time when the united states was trying to make the point that they were a rising power and the third world countries should align with us. >> next is dennis in brooklyn. you are on the air. >> thank you, susan, and thank
you for the program. we have mentioned that mrs. kennedy had a big influence on the arts, style and culture. i am curious with how she finished that ulysses quote earlier during the campaign -- she was incredibly well read, was this her education or her upbringing, that fueled her intelligence? >> it was both. she talked about, an autobiographical essay that she had done in 1951 -- she talked about her upbringing and said that she was a tomboy who like to go horseback riding, but she also like to be by herself and sit in a room, reading little lord fauntleroy, and she loved to read, with the european cast and she was an avid reader, much like her husband, but she tended to read literature and he would read history. and she had a superb background
in education, both from prep school years as well as going through -- with her junior year abroad in paris, and finishing up the george washington university. a handful of first ladies at that time had an undergraduate degree. >> sometimes it is forgotten, her influence on historic preservation. now, we take it as a given, if there is a beautiful historic building, there better be a good reason to take that down. but years ago that was not the case, when the term urban or newly is used. if john kennedy in particular and jackie kennedy as first lady had not been the first lady in the 1960s -- the executive office building next to the white house would have been torn down, which white eisenhower was
willing to do. he thought that this was an eyesore. part of the white house would be torn down. >> dolley madison -- the white house was lit up -- >> it would have been replaced by federal office buildings of the time -- a penitentiary and a prison yard. this really helped the historic preservation -- >> in the book you quote aldrich >> this was her schoolmate at miss porter's school. >> she wrote that mrs. kennedy designed her mission of first lady along the following lines. do you remember this? >> preservation of family, entertaining with style and grace in the number one house in the world, the makeover of the white house itself and the raising of the cultural stature of this country.
>> wasn't that amazing that she wrote that before going into the white house. she already had a firm sense -- family and children first. everyone would hope that would be the case but she already had a mission statement before she began as the first lady. >> the next clip is from an interview that was done about raising children in the white house. >> it is rather hard with children. there is so little privacy. i don't mind for myself -- but i think it is hard with them, i wanted to take my daughter to the circus last week and decided, i just shouldn't because that would ruin it for her. i worked so hard to make a little ballet school a private thing we can do together and there were a number of photographers when we got there. >> do you think caroline, who is older than john junior, has she
changed much from the attention she has gotten? >> she is still too little but someday she is going to have to go to school, and if she is always in the papers, that will affect her classmates and they will treat her differently. we are always treating her the same, but this is about how other people treat her, because they have read about her. >> many of you talk about the school that they created in the white house. how was this created, what the goal was and how the public received this. >> we heard about that right here, she was worried about caroline, who, when her family with her father became president, she would have been three years old.
she felt it may be normal if -- more normal for her, if she went to school at the white house solarium, that room on the top of the white house. they had other kids about the same age, children of other members of the administration. and at the time of the assassination -- this was 1963, one thing that lbj did do, he said the school can go on to the end of the semester. >> but there was a controversy, all the children worldwide. >> there was a photograph that shows the class picture, of caroline and her schoolmates, and there is one african- american boy, i think he was the son of andrew hatcher, but they were receiving -- >> the president came over to address them by name -- you must have been told that i was the one with the blue pin. >> the african-american student. >> there was the height of
concern over integration and people were riding into the white house and asking, are there any, they would say, negro childen in the class and they had to say this was a private school, not a public school, which would be -- which would have to follow the brown versus board of education edict. >> we have more on the candy administration -- with the presidential history happening for the first lady. the creation of the peace corps, the advancement of the space program, and the cuban missile crisis. the introduction of civil rights legislation, sending military advisers, increasing the number of military advisers -- do you
want to comment on those in particular, and the historical relevance of the administration? >> one thing is, how much did he engage with the controversial issues of his time. domestically and with civil rights -- john kennedy had two and a half years and after that he had the first big civil rights bill before congress to say that they should be integrated. domestically, the cold war, the cuban missile crisis. some elements of what he did lead to the cuban missile crisis. the moment it happened i want john kennedy as my president, because this did not result in the deaths of 48 million americans, which could have happened. these are as vital today as they would have been at the time. >> he said the term, fiasco, the
failure to remove castro. but because president kennedy made a press conference and said, i am the responsible officer of this government -- his approval ratings went up to 83%. >> and also, when the soviet missiles went into cuba, the joint chiefs said it -- you won't taking much of a risk, he knew to be skeptical of them in a way that he was not at the time. >> and he refashioned his entire administrative procedure by making these kinds of decisions. >> andrew, from south carolina. you are on. >> thank you for having me on. i was wondering how -- what was her astrological sign and how this shape our world view. >> she was interested in astrological. >> she was born on july 28,
1929. i think that this is leo. my wife was born on the same day. >> where is the woman who came to see them -- with the astrological signs of the entire kennedy family? listening to her in these videos, regina wants to know, did they speak with the same pauses in normal conversations as what they show on television. .a what they show on television. >> he did not. i think she never expressed herself on this. some people commented that in public, she spoke in a way that was very careful, sometimes a little bit stilted, and there explanation is that she had in
her mind the way a first lady should look and act, and the way a first lady should sound, which is different from how she sounded off duty. >> but her mother and sister also had that. there is a label, called -- this is for the oyster bay area of long island. but this is what she said to me. we all spoke that way, with the lock job. this is exactly what michael said and the other part is the whispery part of that. her dad had said this was a way to attract men. i always look at the photographs of mrs. kennedy in conversation with powerful men and foreign dignitaries, and oftentimes she is very close to them, with a strapless gown, just tucked up under their arms, and i have the sense that she is using that voice and she just enveloped -- even as a teenager, she would speak to a young man, you will
really brought into her orbit. clearly, this worked. >> when she wrote letters, she wrote some of the best letters, romantic, almost overdoing it, saying how wonderful someone was, this was one of the best evenings of my life when maybe it had not been. people were so charmed by these things that they felt they were much closer. >> next is craig, in omaha. >> thank you for your call. what is on your mind? >> i love your book, for starters. i own a 1962 kennedy board game. my question is, how did she feel about her image, being put out like that? >> a kennedy board game.
i was given a deck of cards by a student of mine who had all of the kennedy family on the faces of the cards. i doubt she would be pleased with that, but she had to know that these things were happening, and she had approved a paper doll collection that would have shown caroline as a paper doll dressed up like a first lady. >> this was from the political advisers in the west wing, she barely tolerated things like this. she thought they were other and she hated it when it involved her children. the best-selling record of that
time -- in history, von meter, imitating jfk. she was outraged that there would be an actress playing her. >> we are in the height of the mad men era. the creation of the political campaigns that came from madison avenue. she had to recognize the political value in all of this. >> many of the pictures -- that we most treasure of jfk and those children -- you may notice that there is no jackie. these were taken when she was oftentimes out of the country and not in a position to object when they said, get the photographers in. >> that is a nice segue. i want to talk to both the you about the relationship tween the press and the kennedy administration, and how jacqueline kennedy interfaced with the press. when you look back at those times, people talk about the fitness of the press corps. the relationship between the washington post editors, and the kennedy administration. how does this look to you now? >> much more genteel in almost
every respect about private lives. kennedy thought that the press was at his throat all the time, but compared to nowadays, it looks extremely different. the attitude was at the beginning of the administration she said -- your policy with the press should be giving out minimal information with maximum politeness. >> we show a picture of jacqueline, with ben bradley, and his arm is around her. you look at how close that relationship was, and what is at stake. >> you may notice that the original picture showed a little bit more of her legs, and she was so close to bradley -- they
moved her hand in a little bit so the dress was a little bit longer and more like a first lady. but he was also the editor ofn newsweek at that time. he had been the neighbor of the kennedys along with his wife emma so they were good friends and they continue that friendship. some of those people for videos that were taken in those last weeks at the northern virginia home right before the assassination are with the bradlees and they were brought in in the afternoon of the assassination to be with the children and they went out to be with jackie. >> does it serve the public well? >> i'm sure not. >> the president did not talk to him for about six months. >> likewise, mrs. kennedy
dropped him from her friendship when he wrote "conversations with kennedy" and she thought it was an invasion of privacy. they were thin skinned. >> robert from plano, texas, hi, robert. guest: how are you doing? i'm interested in the relationship between christine onassis and jackie onassis. i heard she was deceased and i want you to expound a little bit on their relationship. what was it like? >> there aren't great source on that as historians. we have to stick with things we can talk about that with certainty. i don't know if you want to come in on this -- >> i would say it's pretty obvious they had a fight over the onassis will and that mrs. kennedy at that time, mrs. onassis did fight to get more money from the family and that she was successful in doing that. so there's no love loss between the two of them, probably. >> one hour left in our two-hour
look at jaclyn kennedy's life and her accomplishments and approach to the role of first lady. when when he talk about how the press interfaced and how they might have been gentler than two issues that were very much apart of jack kennedy's biography to talk about, first of all, his health. there are many things we know now about the severity of the back pain and addison's disease and the like. why did we not know more about it at the time? >> he would not have been elected president in the 1960. there were rumors that he suffered from addison's disease, which he did. >> we should say rumors spread by lyndon johnson and others. >> and others, sure. there was an effort by his entourage to protect him and say he didn't suffer from addison's disease but not the classic kind. that was what was done. in recent years, we've gotten
access to his medical records that showed he suffered from all sorts of things, bad stomach, bad back. all sorts of thing, many medications. you can look at this one way or another. you can say this is a terrible cover-up we should have known. probably we should have. at the same time, if you're trying to evaluate what the man was made of to go through all of that, his brother once said jack kennedy went through at least half of his days on this earth in intense physical pain, probably true. and that is a test of someone who had great will. >> the last rites of the church said over him three or four times prior to dallas, 1963. >> i'd like for you to tell a story that you tell in your book about early in his marriage when he has experimental surgery on his back. she as a young wife tends to him. >> it's so difficult for him in
the first few years because the back gets worse. we think first from a football injury in college and then slammed against the bulkhead of pt-109 in the midst of world war ii. between than and taking cortisone for a bad stomach, robert believes in consulting with doctors that caused a deterioration of the lumbar. so in the early part of their marriage in '54, he has this experimental fusion attempt to be made of the lumbar region and they place a metal plate in his spine and it just -- he suffers a terrible, terrible infection that almost kills him. and then -- >> reduced immune response. >> from the addison's disease. then it won't heal. the wound won't heal. here's jaclyn kennedy, a newlywed, a young woman, she's with him once they get to palm beach in the hospital. she has to dress this gaping wound. he goes back under the knife a few months later. they remove the plate and have a
slightly more successful surgery but he suffers periodic bouts of severe back pain for the rest of his life. >> also led her to be very skeptical of doctor, one of the most poignant things that in parkland hospital in dallas when he was there and the doctors were working on him after the shooting. the doctors and the nurses said you can't come in here, and she said i'm going to be there when he dies. the reason was when she went through this in 1954, she remembered how the doctors said you can't be near him even though she heard him calling for her. >> ted in ft. lauderdale, florida. hi, ted, you're on. >> cute story -- jackie when she lived in manhattan. i believe they lived in an apartment building on fifth avenue. right next door in one of the apartment buildings was greta garbo. and jackie was a great greta garbo fan.
and she would watch and when she'd see greta garbo on the street, i don't want to use the word stalk, because that's too cruel. but she would follow her going into a store. she would follow her in never speaking to her but looking at her and saying, oh, there's greta garbo. a person she really loved and admired. >> she knew greta garbo. >> she did? >> that's what i wanted to hear. >> 1963, greta garbo came for dinner and len billings had known greta garbo in europe, spent some time with her. so j.f.k. spent a joke on his schoolmate. that len is going to fawn all over greta garbo. greta comes in and has dinner and len billings begins to talk to greta and greta said, i've never met this man before in my life. >> prep school pranksters.
>> a quote in his book in unfinished life that i wanted to introduce the other topic with the relationship to the press. that is john kennedy's womanizing. this is one thing he wrote. kennedy had affairs with several women, including pamela turnure, jackie's press secretary, mary pinchot meier, ben bradley's sister-in-law, two white house secretaries playfully dubbed fiddle and fadle. judith campbell exner and a full slender beautiful intern. how much of this did the press know and not report. >> ben bradley who i talked to at great length insists he did not know, did not know about his own sister-in-law being involved with jfk. so in retrospect, there was a feeling this was better known or better documented than it may have been at the time. >> in your biography, you talk about the fact that his reputation as a womanizer was known when he was a senator in washington.
she was well aware of this reputation as they were dating. what do we know about mrs. kennedy's knowledge about how much it continued after the marriage? and if so, how she felt about it? >> well, bless her heart, she kept her counsel on most of the time. she didn't write a memoir, she didn't go on oprah and tell all. >> or even tell some. >> that's a great credit to her. so we think she may have a couple of times let out in anger, perhaps, in french, both instances, where she made a reference to someone who might be having an affair with her husband in private. one could only speculate what that was like in the marriage and what tension it must have brought to the marriage, especially the early marriage when he was having all of the medical problems and she was having trouble with her pregnancies as well.
>> both -- a question for both of you. when you look back knowing now what we know about the tensions in their marriage and the challenges they faced, what was the relationship like? how strong a marriage did this seem? with your documentary edits? >> i think it was a real relationship. and probably perhaps happiest at the very end. she certainly says the happiest years were in the white house. i think that was true. and there's a lot of evidence to suggest after they lost a son, patrick, in august of 1963, they became a lot closer. for instance, you see them holding hands. >> at love field on the last day of his life in a way that you had not seen before. >> she would say that in the oral history, wouldn't she? she would say my husband didn't like to kiss babies or kiss me. he would not hold my hand or kiss me after the inauguration. you remember his touching very gently his cheek.
and at the end you want to say oh, jack, what a day. that speaks volumes. and when they came out of the hospital after poor patrick passed away after two days, he is holding her hand and when they take the helicopter back to high yeah nice and they come down the steps, he's helping her because she's gone through the cesarean section. a few weeks later, he's helping her down the steps and comes down herself. i had not seen that before. ben bradlee says on september of '63, he thought he saw them closer than ever. when they came together for newport for their anniversary, he said he had never seen her greet him so warmly. >> that is for all of the reasons she was distraught and devastated about what happened on the 22nd of november, it was that much worse because if you assume there was new hope and warmth in this, you can imagine it's going through her head. >> i don't have a number.
but she did for instance go to italy in the summer of 1962 with her sister and her daughter. >> i'm asking the question -- we've talked about international trips before. did she intentionally get out of washington? >> oh, yes. for instance, they ran at an estate called glen aura, middleburg, virginia the first two years where she rode horses. she thought for if children the more she could get them away from the white house and press attention, the better it would be on them and her. >> camelot in the lens jackie wanted jfk's presidency to be remembered was discuss. was this an effort on their part to hide their issues? >> i think not specifically. in some sense. but it was her effort to get people to look at that period
and for years, it was successful. >> so her time in the white house, the things we should talk about which contributions, entertaining and the arts. what did she do on this level to introduce the public to aspects of american culture that perhaps they might not see before. >> you mentioned entertainment. first of all, incounted up 16 state dinners, only 1,032 days in the white house. compared, for example, to george bush 43. they might have had a half dozen or so in the eight years, for a host of reasons, 9/11 security issues. laura bush didn't like to entertain that way. the kennedies loved it. they would have third world leaders come and they would draw them in. they would have the lively arts. >> people remark that mamie and ike would have fred wearing and the pennsylvanians. >> big band music. >> will rogers. >> military.
>> where as the kennedy had ballet and public -- >> and opera. there was that. the fine arts, she had the fine arts committee bringing paintings, attracting paintings to the white house. that was my favorite story. the mona lisa coming to washington and to new york. and then the picture of her standing in front of it in this gorgeous strapless pink gown with one of her arm tucked up under the art minister of france is priceless. >> she saw things aesthetically and knew those things would be important which we saw in the four days in november of 1963. but if you see a way a president nowadays sees a state visitor, that's all jackie kennedy is doing, between eisenhower and the predecessors. you have a state dinner and dining room, a big table in the shape of an e. the president, the first lady, the visitors would be at the long side of this. it was very formal and military looking. it was her idea that she should
have round tables that encourage conversation and you should have a pageant on the south grounds perhaps with performers that harken back to the revolutionary period. even air force one, she had prepared with the design we see now adays, she knew that plane landing in the foreign airport looking the way it does is a tool of america's diplomacy. >> it's important to greet the visitors. make it a ceremony. otherwise it would be at union station or international airport. >> jessica in berwyn, pennsylvania. hi, jessica. >> thank you for this series. so much fun. i'm curious to know since she's so lovely, did she have a regular exercise regimen? and what was her diet like? >> she certainly walked a lot. her favorite sport was as most people know equestrian.
she was very good. her mother spent a year, freshman year at street briar college in virginia. they're known for their equestrian program. >> that was subtle in there. >> thank you very much. she would go back after those years and she would train there. she was a very good equestrian. this started when she was just walking, she was in the saddle. so that was her favorite way to get out and get fresh air. we the tell she watched her diet, ate carefully and exercised well. >> we're giving the good points, she was a smoker. >> she was a smoker. it was something that was very well hidden. sometimes she would smoke putting a cigarette in an ivory holder which would not have been the most helpful thing.
she water skied, the aforementioned album of the first family there's one skit where john kennedy -- john glenn is called to hyannis port for the mission and said get down to the dock and put on your water skis, jackie's waiting. >> she took caroline out and pulled her up on the skis with her. that generated letters, how dare you put your child in danger that way. >> we talked about the white house administration. the truman administration, they gutted the white house, the trumans, and completely restored the framework. what specifically did jaclyn kennedy? >> what happened under harry truman was that for structural reasons we saw two weeks ago in the excellent series, the white house had to be gutted in a steel superstructure put inside eight inches away from the outer walls. that's what's there now adays. it turned out the be so expensive there was not much
money left to buy furniture. so harry truman made a great deal to furnish the whole ground floor in bulk with good prices, reproductions. jackie got there after the election of 1960 she feels aghast. she said it looked like a statler hotel which she did not mean as a compliment. it was not convincing reproductions. so this mother of two, with other things to think about, took on what was this enormous project of raising a huge amount of money of art and artifacts. she wanted it to be in europe. for foreign leaders to come to the white house and look like a hotel. threadbare and full of reproductions. it cast a bad light on the united states.
if you liked the way the white house looks nowadays, we should thank jackie kennedy. >> we've been telling people all along that our partners are the folks for the white house historical association. we should say that. but it was created in this time. what was the story of the creation? what did it do then? >> it helped her to restore the white house and acquire artifacts. she was worried that when she was no longer first lady, the next first lady may not be so interested in history and may have a sister-in-law that ran a curio shop somewhere who decided they would redecorate in perhaps the style of the late 1940s or something that was more contemporary. so she thought if there was an historical association, that would be one bullwart to prevent future first ladies from turning it backwards back to before the period in which it -- which it becomes a great museum. >> the precedent for the other two branches of government. quickly, congress establishes
its own historical society and the supreme court did about ten years later. >> looking at the press conference of a white house guide that came out. it's still in print. since the debut in 1962, 4.5 million books of these books have been sold. >> they have. she remembered going -- >> you'd like to have a number like that, huh? >> i think maybe not by the government -- not for $1 apiece >> yeah. >> the book is in a class of its own and should be. 1940, she went to the white house as a 10 or an 11-year-old girl. she was disappointed there was not a guide book. >> nothing to take away, she said. >> that was important. she knew this could generate income to help with the rest restoration. and that guidebook has been revised and revised and sold today.
>> the curator at the time was writing the text. jackie didn't like the way it was coming out. so she went to her friend -- >> told him it was going a little slowly. >> she went to arthur schlesinger. she asked if he would write the text. she wrote the introduction. >> you referenced the televised tour of the white house when the white house was completed and it was a p.r. bonanza for the administration. what were the circumstances of the tour? who televised it. how many people watched it? >> cbs televised it. >> it was shown on all networks. >> the two, maybe up to three by abc and coming on-line then. so she goes throughout the white house. now remember we're talking about 90% of the house holds having televisions. even though it's in black and white and we can't see her
bright red dress on valentine's day, by today's standards, it's stilted. people fell in love with it. they think there were 56 million viewers. they think three out of four viewers watched it. one little boy wrote to her and said i really liked it. my dad was going to watch "maverick," a western at the time. i talked him to this. she received a fan letter from barbara bush, future first lady. behind the iron curtain, 106 countries around the world. she won a special emmy for it. so it was a real high point. >> kennedy loved it. he couldn't believe what people was saying. he would have thought, i think he said this, here we have my wife, you know, raising money, buying art and artifacts and furniture. interesting to us. but to most americans, it will be a feat and different from their way of living. it had exactly the opposite impact of what made people love
this project that should take on -- >> he did the cameo. he comes in and does a little cold war vignette when he talked about how important the freedom of the united states is and how important the white house is. >> one of the worst performances. one of their friends said, i thought it was so great, i cried when i watched jackie's performance. and jack said, yep, i cried when i saw my performance too. >> as you know you've been watching, very robust websites. first ladies were all of the videos of the programs are archived but also the other videos and each first lady are accessible. each week we put a special item for you to see for the first lady being featured. you can see her special emmy for the white house tour. i do want to mention the first lady's book, which you can find there. it's a guide to the biographies of every first lady. it's available at cost.
if you're interested in a souvenir of the series or the history of the women we've been profiling all year, it's a link you can find it at $12.95, something along those lines. this is katie, she's watching us in san francisco. hi, katie. >> thanks for the program. i've been enjoying it every week. i wrote my thesis about jaclyn kennedy and her support of the fine arts. i would ask you to talk about her relationship and if the american public liked that relationship with him being a frenchman and how he helped with the white house restoration. >> i don't think he had a direct impact on the restoration. >> except taking her through versailles and showing her -- >> giving her a model to follow. but in bringing the mona lisa. michael might want to speak to this.
i thought she was more admiring of him than she seemed to indicate in the oral history. she talks about the sadness that he had experienced when she met with him in 1961 in paris. he and his wife lost two sons in a tragic car accident. he was meeting with her even under those circumstances. she admired him for that. she admired the literature to be sure and being frank fillic about all things. >> gary robertson wants to know, what would jackie say she's most proud of in her white house years after being first lady. >> she said in the oral history, i think, she said she was proud of the restoration. she probably wouldn't have used the word "proud" because she probably would have said one of the things i did i felt was most important. is the other thing gets almost no attention at the time.
that is it's a very important egyptian historic site that was temples that were in danger of being eroded by the nile that she worked with congress and jfk to save and did -- and the result was that the egyptian government, nassar at the time, said all right, thank you, mrs. kennedy, we'll send something to the united states of ours. it was a temple she hoped would be built in washington wound up put in the metropolitan museum in fifth avenue in new york. she saw it every morning. it was right outside her bedroom window at the apartment house she lived in. >> grand central station too. >> later on. not at first lady. >> later in life, would she have been proud of those. she would have used those terms,
no doubt. >> she drew a very thick line the things that happened when her husband was president. she felt things that happened before and after, they weren't. and some of the accounts of her destroying letters at the very end of her life with that in mind. >> who was jaclyn bouvier. we want to tell you about her early biography and the interest she developed as a young woman. return to the kennedy library to learn more about her early years as a writer. >> from a young age, she liked to write. she would create poems as gifts to her parents on christmas and birthdays. she would write a poem and illustrate it. we have two early examples when she was 10 years old. while at the school in connecticut when she went to high school, she wrote a really
wonderful essay called be kind and do your share. she said be kind and do your share, that's all there is to it. she goes on about how helping others in life is so important and how easy it is for us to say a kind word to someone and all of the difference it can make to this person. the scrapbook is called one special summer after graduating from school. their parents sent jackie and her sister lee on a summer through europe. as a token of appreciation for that gift, they collaborated together on the scrapbook to give to their parents to let them know what their adventures were. and it's a combination of snapshots that they took. handwritten descriptions of the different places they visited, the people they met. wonderful and whimsical sketches done by jackie. in the fall of 1950, jaclyn bouvier entered vogue's very well known writing contest.
the prix de paris contest. she won the contest. her two winning essays, one was a self-portrait, where she described herself as tall, 5'7", brown hair, a square face, and eyes so unfortunately far apart that it takes three weeks to have a pair of glasses made to have a bridge to fit over my nose. her example and her love of writing and the power of words, she's asked in question three of the essay, who are three people in history you wish you knew. in addition to that, the russian ballet. in the early 1950s, jaclyn bouvier was hired as the camera girl in "the washington times"
herald on display here. she went through the streets of washington interviewing different people and asking questions and creating columns. one column is prophetic because they interviewed john f. kennedy who would be adversaries in the 1960s campaign. i think the example of the early writings, and she did write throughout her life. but if her life had been different, she would have been a writer of some kind, maybe even professionally. and we know in her later life, the last part of her life, she was a prolific editor of books in new york city working on different authors with books of several didn't topics. >> put the basic facts on the table. where was she born, to whom, and to when? >> she was born in the hamptons in 1929 just before the stock market crashed in the summer of that year.
her parents were john and janet bouvier. he had been an investment banker on wall street but lost his savings in the stock market crash. she continued to summer with grandfather bouvier, she called grandpa jack. they would write poetry and memorize poetry together. her mother was a strict disciplinarian but both sisters lee and jackie grow up in a home. their parents separate when \thei parents separate when jackie is 7 and they divorce when she's 12 and it's a very bitter acrimonious divorce because her father was a womanizer and somewhat of an alcoholic. >> his nickname was black jack? >> black jack, also the name of the horse and the funeral coincidentally in november of 1963. she had this insecure childhood. but the interesting thing is if
you looked at her, didn't know any of this, you would have thought she had the most perfect early years. probably an heiress. her father was so short on money that when she was farmington in high school, she later said that sometimes she would worry they would not be able to pay the tuition at the end of the term she might have to leave. so we were talking about the strength of will and where it came from. this is someone who live in a way that was much more elite than 99% of human beings but at the same time, had its difficulties. >> father struggled with alcoholism. >> indeed. >> the extent of the wealth of her background of her family is important to understand the role she brought to it. >> her father's family had been in finance. it was the family money that was lost. her money, her father, her mother married an affluent man.
he was not in the business of endowing his new wife's two children. she needed the salary. >> she liked to work. >> she was a worker. >> how did that affect her exposure to the city? how did she develop an affinity to this place? >> michael mentioned she made the first trip to the white house when she was preadolescent at 11 or 12 years old. that is her introduction to washington, d.c. when her mother marries him, they're married at marywood at michigan state. they summer at newport. that's her introduction of the culture of washington. jackie kennedy would say, oh, her first trip at that time to
the national art gallery when she fell in love with art and the wonderful feeling it gave her to view art and sculpture. >> this was a life of privilege. >> she lived on a hugs tape. she was always the poor relation. i'm not making an argument that she lived in hardship given the way most of human kind does and did live. but this is someone who felt there were challenges. she didn't know what her future would be but to marry well. which she did. >> what was the attraction that kennedy's family was very, very wealthy. >> it wasn't love at first sight. there wasn't chemistry immediately.
when they were first introduced by the famous dinner party by the charlie bartels in 1951, there were no sparkings. he seemed to want to ask her out. when he went out with her, there was another beau waiting for her, another male friend waiting for her. >> what was the age difference? >> he was born in 1917, she in 1929. 12 years. >> they met several times before? >> she first met him on a train. she wrote about it. she said this congressman with reddish brown hair i met on the train, i don't think she had ever heard of him.
he had a book and a famous ambassador to england, that was not her world. >> he didn't remember. >> next up. you're on the air. >> what was her favorite hobbies? what did she like to do in her spare time? >> all right, thank you. i want sounds like we have another student watching us tonight. can you tell us about yourself? >> i'm 12 years old. >> doing wonderfully with 12-year-olds tonight. thank you for calling. >> i love history and watching channels and learning new things every time i turn on the tv. so i saw this channel and i decided to ask a question because i love history.
>> i'm from chicago too. >> how perfect be 12 the same age as jaclyn bouvier when she went to the white house? >> you asked about her hobbies. >> they put her in a saddle. she loved being in equestrian competitions. her mother was a rider. she loved all things canine as well. you see her with dogs. she liked to show dogs in competition. lots of dogs around them oftentimes even in the white house though the president was allergic to cats, dogs, and horses. so and she loved the solitude of reading, writing, and poetry and art. she started younger than you doing those hobbies. >> introduction to john kennedy.
what was mrs. kennedy's relationship with president kennedy's siblings and siblings in law? how did she get along with the rest of the kennedy family? >> at first, she found it hard. i'm particularly glad to have a japanese question here given the fact that caroline kennedy is about to go to tokyo for president obama's ambassador to japan. she was an introvert. she liked to read. the kennedys are gregarious and extroverted. took her a while to get used to that. >> her sister-in-laws didn't like the debutante way of speaking. she'd prefer to read a book.
>> this is talking about the life as a young wife of a senator. >> it might be like being a doctor's wife. you must be on call all the time. you don't know when he's on call. >> i suppose it is like being married to a doctor. they have such late hours, go away at a moment's notice. >> you are alone a good deal of the time then? >> yes. >> are you active in committees? or is your job big enough taking care of jack? >> that's it. >> yeah, now jack -- >> you're brighter in this shot. >> you do it for him? clumsy.
does he tell you what's going on on his trips when he comes back. >> at breakfast, he reads about seven papers and runs out the door. he is describing something to him. he's not reading the paper there. >> you talk to her sometimes. >> i do, i do. all the time. >> and enjoy it, i'm sure. >> what should we take away from this and how she's describing the early days of her marriage. >> so fascinating, it's april of '57, november of 1957, they had the first child, caroline. i guarantee you if they did that scene a year later, they would not be posing with a dog. >> was the relationship easy from the beginning or tough to get adjusted to many travels being on the road campaigning? >> it was very tough.
we mentioned the medical problems that she had with the child bearing that he had with his back and other ailments. but he was gone so often. they also didn't have their own home. they tried hickory hill, which famously then became the robert f. kennedy homestead with his wife, ethel and 11 children living there. but jackie and jack had bought that. they thought to start their family. when she began to have the miscarriages and stillborn children, it was too painful. so they moved back into town. >> one of the small facts i realized is that she brought to hickory hill, which is across the river to mclean, virginia. >> it was there. it had been owned by general mcclellan at the civil war. >> the management had been there.
>> jack and jackie sold it to bobby when they realized they would not be able to fill it with children. she spent all her time in '55 and '56 decorating it only to lose the children and the nursery and special shelves for jack so he would haven't to bend over or reach too high. it became a sad symbol. she was so isolated there. if they were in georgetown when they first rented a home and were first married, she could go back and forth to capitol hill and take him lunch. she was so completely isolated there they left. >> a facebook viewer wants to know if there were any known medical condition for all of her problem pregnancies. >> smoking could have been. she was a chain smoker. several packs a day.
if that didn't lead to the actual pregnancies themselves, the lung conditions that john jr. and patrick who succumbed to it. and possibly the presidents, some of his medical conditions, perhaps even stds could have led to the problems with pregnancy. >> did jackie share john's drive to be president or was she comfortable as a senator's wife? >> she was comfortable as a senator's wife and was threatened by the notion of being first lady. i talked to fdr jr., a friend to both of them. he said that jackie essentially panicked after jack won the presidency in 1960. she didn't expect it. she was terrified by the adverse effect on their marriage and family life for them to be president and for her to be first lady. and he said to fdr jr., please talk to jackie and convince her it's not going to be bad. >> we have less than 20 minutes left.
a long post white house life to cover. i want to go back to the 1964 video clip, film clip in those days. this is a message though the nation about all of the condolences messages that came to the white house. let's watch. >> i wanted to take the opportunity to express my appreciation to the hundreds of thousands of messages, nearly 800,000 or more, which my children and i received over the past few weeks. the knowledge of the affection in which my husband was held by all of you has sustained me and the warmth of these tributes are something i will never forget. when ever i can bear to i read them. for a bright light gone from the world, all of you who have written to me know how much we all loved him and he retained that love in full measure. it is my greatest wish that all
of these letters be acknowledged. they will be, but it will take a long time to do so. but i know you will understand. each and every message is to be treasured. not only for my children, but so future generations will know how much our country and people in other nations thought of him. your letters will be placed with his papers in the library to be erected in his memory along the charles river in boston, massachusetts. >> she talked about the establishment of the library. can you talk about what she did to preserve and enhance the legacy of john kennedy's presidency? >> it did start with the library. j.f.k. looked at what was going to be the site of his presidential library on the boston side of the charles
across the river from most of harvard. she started to raise money for it and she began to think about who should be the architect. most people would have found an established architect like edward dorrel stone who did the kennedy center here in washington, known for doing government buildings and in my view surpassing ugliness and massiveness. she employed one that was little known because she was thought he was much more in the spirit of j.f.k. who was young and was not well known himself. >> she also -- speaking of architect. the president with john carl weirneke. he had helped her with the saving of lafayette square and
putting in low rise brick buildings that blended in. he designed the grave site. she worked hard with him on that as well. >> she had a great interest in history and a great interest in privacy. caroline kennedy was thinking about whether this oral history should be opened. she had not left a piece of paper saying it should be closed for 100 years which some people thought, but she did tend to err on the side of these things
should be closed for a longer time rather than a shorter time. from my experience, political leaders and their families tend to overdo it and keeping things closed. think that things will be sensitive and damaging sometimes to be opened earlier than they will turn out to be. lbj would be horrified that his tapes were open given some of the language and would be shocked to find that many of the conversations that he thinks would have shown him as an uncouth back woodsman is what makes him cool. >> they've worked on the papers, receiving grants and donations to process them. they have released and they did for the 1962 and 2012 anniversary of the white house tour, they have begun to release mrs. kennedy's papers as they relate to the restoration.
since i had to write that book without that available, arthur schlesinger's papers are a wonderful cache of mrs. ken -- kennedy's papers. he was an historian. >> the ufs was the first-called first ladies. >> in the east wing. >> dan watching, dan, what's your question. >> one comment and a quick question. the comment didn't understand how important the zapruder film was shown it in high school. as a 40-year-old high school history teacher, students in high school associate this young president to being in their lives also as a young man. students did in that time. and it's been the image that he's such a young dynamic man. the videotape showed it at the library, what was the relationship with the nixons? either president nixon or pat nixon?
and mrs. kennedy after she left the white house? thank you again for a great series. >> the relationship was better than one might think. jackie kennedy found it appalling she would have to return to the white house after 1963. she thought it would be much too painful. she told the secret service agents in washington drive in a way i will never have to see the white house. i'll start crying again, one exception. 1970-71, her and j.f.k.'s portraits were painted by the artist. they were about to be displayed in the nixon white house. the nixons said why don't you come down and see them quietly. she felt she owed it to jfk to do that. she brought her children, it was a totally off of the record visit. they had dinner and she wrote to president nixon afterwards, she said a moment
that i always dreaded, meaning returning to the white house, turned out to be one of the most important days i've ever spent with my children. so she was grateful to nixon for that. in later years she wasn't happy with nixon, particularly in watergate. a number of things that nixon tried to damage the reputation of kennedy. >> she saw robert kennedy assassinated. the two were close. >> they were. thank goodness she wasn't in los angeles. >> yeah. >> but to have to go through that yet again. yes, they had been close. >> how concerned was she about security for herself and her children after -- >> terribly concerned after that. she supposedly said if they're killing kennedies, my children could be next. financial and physical security became so important to her. that was probably part of the attraction to mr. onassis. >> four months after rfk's
death, she married. >> what happened? >> she was pulled off of the pedestal. people were outraged. many were outraged she would marry anyone at all rather than be an eternal widow, but particularly to marry someone who was this much older, not an american, and who was under some suspicion by the united states government, some of the financial activities. one person says she has gone from prince charming to caliban. >> do we know that it was a happy relationship? >> i think of something her sister said not too many years ago about someone saying how could she have been attracted to such a man after being married to jack kennedy. her sister said, by the way, who had also had a romance with him prior to her sisters. >> meaning onassis? >> yes, not her brother-in-law.
and she said he was quite charismatic. she said the way he moved and the way he rooked and he may not have been a typical gq representation of a beautiful attractive man, but she said that he was. she liked all things greek, she liked greek mythology and poetry. she found great comfort in the tragic poets of greek that she introduced brother-in-law robert to. so we can't say she wasn't attracted to him at all. but certainly the money and the physical security. he had his own island, scorpios. >> how long did it last? >> from '68 to when he died in 1975. they were somewhat estranged. >> she would say that the marriage was quite good until january of '73 when aristotle onassis's son died in an accident and he blamed her. >> did she come back to new york
city? >> she did. something many people did not expect. she decided to go to work and get a real job. she became an editor and then at double day. this was not someone who was just there for show business and acquiring bookings. she actually edited with great intensity. her authors were hugely loyal to her. so the last years of her life, she was happier than she'd often been in life. she had a relationship with a fine man, maurice, who i think this was a relationship with equals. this is different from her second marriage and perhaps her first. >> how close did she remain with her two children at this time? >> always very close with them. always so proud of them. edward kennedy's eulogy, she said when she spoke of them, her
face would light up. >> her husband meeting j.f.k., close to the prime minister, harold mcmillen. when he was in his deep cannest grief, she wrote mcmillen and said if i raise my children well, that will be my vengeance against the world. she felt she had achieved that vengeance. >> rose kennedy lived a very, very long life. bo hamlin wants to know how did jackie get along with rose kennedy? >> i'm going the take that. >> this is the question. >> it is. i just published a biography of rose kennedy. >> fine one too. >> this past summer. they got along to begin with. she wrote to her mother-in-law and said dear mrs. kennedy, thank you so much for all of your good advice. rose kennedy liked to mete out plenty of advice. she said stand at an angle when one is having a photograph taken
because it makes one look slimmer. jackie said thank you, mrs. kennedy, for teaching me that lesson. she wrote kindly to her. after the assassination, there were issues of whether jackie would come back for the opening and the dedication for the kennedy center. she finally decided she couldn't. she couldn't face that. she couldn't face being that she said the widow kennedy for the rest of her life. she wanted to be with her children. it was just too painful. rose filled in with her. but you can see there was a little bit of tension but rose really appreciated that she would be invited often to be with mrs. kennedy and john and caroline. she got along with mr. onassis. >> and when people were giving her trouble for marrying mr. onassis, rose stuck up for her and said jack would have wanted her to be happy.
>> you describe her as being homeless after the death of president kennedy and wanted to know why the family didn't bring her more support, bring her to the fold, give her a place to live. >> she had money. >> she had $150,000 from the trusts coming her way. bobby pitched in $50,000. >> this is mid '60s. times that times ten for today's dollars. by her standards, perhaps it wasn't enough. in terms of the physical place to live, she said in the famous interview with theodore white, the camelot interview the week after the assassination said she wanted to live with my children in the places i lived with jack. georgetown and on the cape. she could have gone to the cape.
she went to georgetown. avril larriman loaned his home and she bought a home across the street. it was inundated with tourist buses, tourists, photographers, peeping into her windows and coming up on the porch. she couldn't bear it. after a relative few months, she took off for new york and spent the rest of her time there. >> did mrs. kennedy have to testify for the warren commission? >> she did. she did. june of 1964, earl warren and one or two others came to her parlor in georgetown and asked her about the motorcade. it was brief, i think it was less than a half an hour, but she did have to testify. that's on the record. some of her physical description of the wounding and kept for sometime because it was too graphic. >> other questions, did she talk
about what her own theories were? the theories continue to this day about the lone assassin, lee harvey oswald or a larger conspiracy? has she espoused an opinion? >> no, again, she kept her counsel in all things. >> dawn from colorado springs. hi, don. >> hi. very, very grateful for your show. the kennedys were very inspiring to me. but my question is how important was mrs. kennedy's catholic faith to her? >> both kennedys were catholics? how important was it? >> i think she would -- barbara will -- i'll just begin on this. she certainly considered herself catholic throughout her life. she had trouble when she remarried a divorced man outside
of the faith, but although was supported in doing that to some extent by the family cardinal. i think one of the toughest things i find, in understanding public figures, two things, do you ever get to the real truth of someone's marriage if they're married? number two, do you get to the well -- to the bottom of what their religion feeling was? sometimes presidents and first ladies exaggerate that. sometimes there's more than that on the surface. >> michael pointed out through the oral history that she was having her doubts about her faith in those months at the -- >> she said i believe at this moment that god is an unjust god. >> exactly. >> she talks about her husband, jack, praying at night. maybe a superstition. >> she said he did it in case there was a god. >> but she also apparently spoke to a father confessor at
georgetown university and mentioned she was having suicidal feelings about the assassination but decided that would not be the way to go. >> and with children? >> and with children. >> so we're going to close with >> we are going to close with jackie kennedy's voice one more time. it talks about her white house years. >> once you are in the white house, i felt like i could get out. as strong as the white house can , it was getting me down a little bit. go up to new york or go see your sister in italy? it was for a sad reason this year. he thought i was getting pressed after losing patrick did -- after losing