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JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE FIFTH CONVERSATION VI

March 18, 2012

JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE FIFTH CONVERSATION VI

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 continues 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 asks Jacqueline Kennedy about her view of Madame Khrushchev.

Mrs. Kennedy says:

“I loved her when she was in America with the Eisenhower visit.  Then I just knew her through the newspapers.  I thought she had such a nice face (but) she was a bit maline, I thought.”*


The Khrushchevs & Eisenhowers, The White House, NARA Photo, 1959

*Nina Petrovnak Khrushchev (1900-1984) was married to Nikita Khrushchev in 1924.  She was a well educated communist party organizer.

Mr. Schlesinger asks if Khrushchev has any charm.

Jacqueline Kennedy responds:

“Yes, he’d say something sort of nice every now & then. Oh, & then I knew that one of those space dogs…had puppies.  

So I said, ‘Why don’t you send me one?’ And he just sort of laughed.”

A couple of months later, the Russian ambassador appeared at the Oval Office “carrying this poor terrified puppy…”


Mr. Schlesinger asks “Were state visits fun or were they a nuisance?”

Mrs. Kennedy answers:

“They weren’t a nuisance. I’d say they were really quite a strain.  And then the entertainment you’d have to work on & get a stage but–it was a lot of strain anticipating them.”


Mr. Khrushchev & Mrs. Kennedy enjoy a laugh at the state dinner, JFK Library Photo


       


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