February 26, 2012
JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE FIRST CONVERSATION IV
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 concludes our report on the 1st conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life With John F. Kennedy”, published by Hyperion.
The 1st conversation was recorded on March 2, 1964.
Arthur Schlesinger asks Mrs. Kennedy about the relationship, which he describes as “a puzzle,” between Adlai Stevenson & JFK.
Jacqueline recalls that a meeting at the Democratic convention in 1952 between the two politicians did not go well.
“I don’t know whether Stevenson–but I think this about so many people–Jack made them jealous.”
Mrs. Kennedy also names Scotty Reston, New York Times columnist, & Dean Acheson as being jealous of JFK. She says:
“(Jack) incited so many bitter jealousies.”
Mr. Schlesinger comments that “someone once said that Stevenson was a Greek & Kennedy was a Roman.”
Mrs. Kennedy does not agree with that assessment.
“No, I think Kennedy was a Greek & Stevenson was a…….”
Jacqueline does not finish her thought here but much later, after reading an early version of Schlesinger’s “A Thousand Days”, she wrote in a letter to him:
“I don’t know what Stevenson brought to American politics but he certainly showed many weaknesses….but don’t say JFK was a Roman….”
Finally, Mrs. Kennedy summed up Adlai with these words:
“It’s sort of sad, you know. Jack achieved all (Adlai) dreamed of in his life, & it must be sad not to have.”*
*Adlai E. Stevenson, Governor of Illinois 1949-1953, & Democratic nominee for President 1952 & 1956, was born in Los Angeles & grew up in Bloomington, Illinois.
Stevenson attended Choate & Princeton.
In his 2nd unsuccessful bid for the Presidency in 1956, he gave 300 speeches & traveled 55,000 miles.
He called upon the people to support a “New America” based on liberal ideas.
In 1961, JFK appointed Stevenson as Ambassador to the United Nations. It was in that capacity he is best remembered for standing up to the Soviet ambassador during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Adlai Stevenson died on July 14, 1965.