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JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: FOREWARD

February 21, 2012


JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: FOREWARD


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 begins our report of “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with JFK” published last year by Hyperion.


Today JFK+50 reports on the FOREWORD by Caroline Kennedy.

Caroline begins by writing that her mother wanted to “share her memories & insights (on the) life & career” of her husband as a part of an oral history project associated with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

The recordings of her conversations with historian & JFK Presidential aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. were made less than 4 months after JFK’s death.

Caroline says that the recordings “represented a gift of history & a labor of love” & gives the reason why she & her children decided to release them last year.

It was to coincide with the 50th anniversary of JFK’s presidency (1961-2011).


Joe, Jackie & Caroline at the Dedication of the Stephen Smith Center, February 1991


Caroline writes that her mother’s recordings were just part of her determination that the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library would be a “living memorial.”

Caroline tells us that her parents shared the love of history & her mother “resolved to do everything she could do” to make certain the record of JFK’s presidency was preserved.

Jacqueline Kennedy chose historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. to interview her precisely because the recordings were being made “for future generations.”

There were actually 3 interviews that Mrs. John F. Kennedy gave in the aftermath of her husband’s death.

The 1st, discussed in yesterday’s posting, was with Theodore White of Life Magazine in November 1963.

The 2nd was with author William Manchester for his book “The Death of a President”.

And the 3rd were the conversations with Mr. Schlesinger.

Caroline makes it clear that her mother intended for the recordings of these conversations to be released, so it would be left up to her daughter to decide when.

Caroline writes:

“Given the important role (my mother) played in the presidency of (my father) & its aftermath, it seemed a disservice to let her perspective remain absent from the public & scholarly debate that would accompany the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy administration.”*

*Please check out the posting “JFK+50 Goes to Washington” dated September 28, 2011 which reports on our attendance at Caroline Kennedy’s book signing at George Washington University.


Caroline Kennedy Book Signing, George Washington University, Georgetown, Photo by John White (2011)


               




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