March 15, 2012
JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE FIFTH CONVERSATION III
Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 continues our report on the fifth conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy”, published by Hyperion.
The fifth conversation was recorded on March 24, 1964.
Arthur Schlesinger talks about when the Cuban brigade came to Miami in 1962 (after their release from Castro’s prison). He asks Mrs. Kennedy:
“The President was deeply moved, wasn’t he, at that Miami business?”
“Oh, yes. That was one of the most moving things I’ve ever seen. All those people…..crying & waving, & all the poor brigade sitting around with their bandages & everything.”
Mrs. Kennedy recalls President Kennedy speaking & then her speaking in Spanish.
“You know, a wonderful man that you should speak to sometimes is Donald Barnes. Of all the interpreters Jack ever had, he was always the one with Spanish. He was so head & shoulders above any other.”*
*Donald Barnes (1930-2003) worked for the State Department & was the senior Spanish interpreter.
“Did (JFK) ever talk about the future of Castro & Cuba? What did he think?”
Jacqueline Kennedy answers:
“Gosh, I don’t know what he thought. It was one day in October….he woke up from his nap & said: ‘This has been one of the worst days of my life. Ten things have gone wrong & it’s only 2:30.'”
“One….was some little raid on Cuba (that) had failed. And I sort of said, ‘What’s the point of all these little raids?’ But he didn’t really answer that question.”