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MAY 24, 2012


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Chapter 6 of the book by Kenneth P. O’Donnell & David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy.  It is published by Little, Brown & Company.

The title of Chapter 6 is WISCONSIN AND WEST VIRGINIA.

Kenneth O’Donnell says that “most of our imported helpers (Ivy League friends & Boston Irish Catholics) got along famously with the down-to-earth people in West Virginia.”

The Kennedy girls, Ethel, Jean & Joan, were also working in the West Virginia campaign, as was Ted Reardon, Senator Kennedy’s administrative assistant.

Meanwhile, Jacqueline Kennedy, driven by Ed King, was visiting the wives of coal miners & shaking hands on street corners.

But, Kenny tells us that JFK’s “most valuable campaigner” in West Virginia was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr.*

It was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who had pushed NRA legislation giving miners the right to organize & to acquire decent wages for the 1st time.  

FDR Jr. spoke everywhere in the state, always emphasizing JFK’s war record.

At one point, FDR Jr. said as he held two fingers close together:

“My daddy & Jack Kennedy’s daddy were just like that.”

JFK, Kenny writes, turned to Dave Powers & said:

“This is a hard act to follow.”

*Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. (1914-1988) was born in New Brunswick, Canada.  He served as a Naval officer in WWII & was decorated for bravery at Casablanca.  He was a graduate of Harvard & the University of Virginia School of Law.

FDR Jr., Eleanor & FDR III, FDR Library Photo, 1962



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