July 30, 2012
“JOHNNY, I HARDLY KNEW YE” XVII
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report of Chapter 12 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 12 is “Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye”
Kenneth O’Donnell says that after Patrick’s death, JFK sent Jackie on a Mediterranean cruise while he made a tour of 11 Western states promoting conservation.
Kenny points out that 8 of the 11 states he had lost in 1960.
On September 24, 1963, the day he left Washington, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was approved by the U.S. Senate.
The Western tour ended with a stay at Bing Crosby’s estate in Palm Springs.
Kenny explains how this turn of events upset Frank Sinatra because he had been planning to entertain JFK at his home.
Kenny tells us the Secret Service chose Crosby’s home because of security issues, but Peter Lawford* ‘was hysterical’ when he learned of the change.
Lawford called Kenny & said: ‘Don’t you realize Bing Crosby is a Republican?’
Kenny answered: ‘I don’t care if he’s a Red Chinaman–the Secret Service likes his place better than Sinatra’s place & that’s it.’
On October 7, 1963, JFK signed the formal ratification of the NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY in the TREATY ROOM at the White House.
Kenny tells us that this ceremony gave President Kennedy the deepest personal satisfaction in his time as President of the United States.
*Peter Lawford (1923-1984) was born in London where his family had connections to the British aristocracy. He started acting in movies when he was 7 & won acclaim in 1944 for his role in ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’.
He appeared with Frank Sinatra in the musical ‘It Happened on Broadway’ in 1947.
In 1954, Peter Lawford married Patricia Kennedy, JFK’s sister & in 1960 when JFK ran for President, Frank Sinatra dubbed him “the brother-in-Lawford.”