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April 18, 2012


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

The seventh conversation was recorded on June 3, 1964.

Jacqueline Kennedy continues her discussion about JFK & the children.  She says:

“(Jack) would always come out in the garden during….recess in the morning & clap his hands, & all the little things from school would come running.*

Then they’d come over in the evening, just as he was finishing up for the day, & just play around his office.”

Mrs. Kennedy continues….

“The children were never bratty but he liked to have them underfoot, & then he’d take them swimming.  He really would play with them first, even if (there) was a state dinner.

But he just loved to have them around.  And then…he really taught Caroline to swim.”

Arthur Schlesinger asks:

“Were there any books that (JFK) liked reading (to the children)?”

Jacqueline Kennedy responds:

“No…he didn’t like to read books to them much.  He’d rather tell them stories.  But he’d make up these fantastic ones.”

Mr. Schlesinger says:

“Of course, he couldn’t lift (the children)…with the (bad) back).”

Mrs. Kennedy responds:

“He’d get on the floor,  then he could really roll around with them. And….he could lift Caroline up….at least, a little.”

*A footnote in the book says that while living in the White House, Caroline attended a school established by her mother in the solarium.  Most of her fellow students were children of administration officials.

JFK, Caroline & John John, The Oval Office, October 10, 1962, Photo by Cecil Soughton, NARA Image.



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