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March 13, 2012


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 begins our report on the fifth conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy”, published by Hyperion.

The fifth conversation was recorded on March 24, 1964.

Arthur Schlesinger says:

“During the (1960) campaign, Cuba emerged as an issue.  Had the President been much concerned about Castro? Do you remember in 1959 when Castro first came in, what he felt?”

Jacqueline Kennedy answers:

“I remember how awful he thought it was that he was let in.  We knew Earl Smith then, who’d been Eisenhower’s ambassador at the time.* 

When we were in Florida–that’s all Earl could talk about.  Yeah, then Jack was really sort of sick that the Eisenhower administration had let him come.”

*Earl Smith’s 1962 book, “The Fourth Floor”, lambasted the Eisenhower administration for being too relaxed about letting Castro seize power.

Mr. Schlesinger says:

“Then came the campaign. And then after the campaign–remember when Allen Dulles came to–

Mrs. Kennedy interrupts:

“Oh, Allen Dulles came to Hyannis after–yeah.  The 1st two people Jack thought he had to keep were J. Edgar Hoover & Allen Dulles, & nice as Allen—well, turned out to be not so…..**

**Allen Dulles (1893-1969) served as CIA director from 1953 to 1961.  He came to Hyannis Port on July 23, 1960 to brief JFK on national security.

Allen W. Dulles, CIA Director, 1953-1961

Jacqueline Kennedy continues…

“And then all the time at his press conferences, Jack would keep having to say United States troops won’t be committed (in Cuba), sort of dodging everything that way.  Then I knew about all those people (Cuban exiles) being trained.  But I just remember, well, it was just Cuba, Cuba, all the time…”


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