February 20, 2012
JACK KENNEDY, ELUSIVE HERO: LEGACY
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today, on Presidents Day, JFK+50 reports on Chapter 16 of Chris Matthews new book, Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero, published by Simon & Schuster.
The title of Chapter 16, the final chapter of Chris’s book, is LEGACY.
Chris begins this chapter by relating the circumstances involving Jacqueline Kennedy’s meeting in late November 1963 with Life magazine’s Theodore White.
The 4 hour meeting took place at the home of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
During the meeting, Jackie, according to Mr. White, “pushed hard for the idea” of her husband’s presidency being like CAMELOT.
Jackie told Mr. White:
“History is what made Jack. He had that hero, idealistic side (but also a) pragmatic side. If history made Jack that way, made him see heroes, then other little boys will see.”
White’s story, soon be published in LIFE, was, Chris writes, “her gift to (JFK),” along with the “designing & staging (of) a magnificent funeral.”
Chris says that “Jack’s closest friends have helped (him) answer (the question) What was he like?”
Chris quotes Jack’s friend Charlie Bartlett shortly after the assassination:
“(Jack) had uncommon courage, unfailing humor….ever-cautious intelligence, & over all matchless grace. He was our best. We will remember him always with love & sometimes, as the years pass & the story is retold, with a little wonder.”
We hope all visitors to JFK+50 will read “Jack Kennedy, Elusive Hero” & thanks to Chris Matthews for writing this great book.
I must say that personally, however, I cannot apply the word “elusive” to my hero, Jack Kennedy, & cannot imagine my life over the past half century with any other.