February 23, 2012
JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE 1ST CONVERSATION I
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 begins our report on the 1st conversation from Hyperion’s book “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy”.
The 1st conversation was recorded on Monday, March 2, 1964.
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. asks Mrs. Kennedy about the 1956 Democratic Convention in which JFK made a bid for the Vice-Presidential nomination.
Jacqueline Kennedy recalls:
“Life with (Jack) was always so fast. He always talked at home of what he was thinking about….But he’d never sort of plot little goals & tell you when he was aiming for them….”
In terms of her role in JFK’s political life, she says:
“I said (at campaign headquarters) I have an uncle who lives in Nevada (Norman Biltz).*
And nobody ever thought I had any political relatives, but this uncle was a good friend of Pat McCarran (Democratic Senator from Nevada, 1933-1954).**
So we (she & Bobby) went in the little back room & called him up.”
She also gives the reason for her limited political knowledge: She says:
“You musn’t think it bad that I don’t have all of these political memories because I was really living another side of life with him.”
“We’d never had our house until we’d been married four years….you were moving & everything was so fast. We rented a house on P Street (in Georgetown) & then had Caroline & bought our (first) house in 1957.***
*Norman Biltz was a developer & real estate broker who arrived in Lake Tahoe in 1927. He was described as “dark & handsome.” Mr Biltz mailed a leather bound folio called ‘Nevada, the Last Frontier’ to the nation’s richest people & attracted 75 of them to settle in Nevada. Among these were Arthur K. Bourne of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, Major Max Fleishman, a yeast & gin magnet, & Captain George Whittell, a banker.
**Senator McCarran (D-Nevada) was the chief sponsor of the Internal Security Act of 1950 which required the registration of the American Communist Party & the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 which stiffened immigration laws.
***The house they rented was at 3271 P Street NW & the one they bought at 3307 N Street, both in Georgetown.
The latter is described as a 3 story Federal red brick edifice, built in 1811, which Jackie called “my sweet little house (that) leans slightly to one side.”
According to Block Shopper, the property at 3307 N. Street was purchased in 2004 by Vincent J. Griski for the modest sum of $3,350,000. The house has 4096 square feet, four bedrooms & 3 bathrooms.
The Block Shopper website says that the property is now off the market.