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JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE FIFTH CONVERSATION V

March 17, 2012

JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: THE FIFTH CONVERSATION V

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.

Jacqueline Kennedy discusses life with the 35th President of the United States after a hard day at the office.

She says:

“Well, usually, I was so good about not asking questions, but then with all those flames & Diem & everything, the only time I really did, I asked him something and he said, ‘Oh, my God, kid. I’ve had that…one me all day….Don’t remind me of that all over again.'”*

“I just felt so criminal.  But he could make this conscious effort to turn from worry to relative insouciance.”

*Mrs. Kennedy is referring to the self-immolation performed by Buddhist monks of South Vietnam in opposition to the discriminatory policies of President Ngo Dinh Diem.

Jacqueline tells Arthur Schlesinger that the President told her not to ask him about those things but she could ask National Security adviser McGeorge Bundy  to let her see all the cables.

She says she did get the weekly CIA summary, but “just couldn’t bear to read through those anymore.” 

Mrs. Kennedy continues….

“They put me into such a state of depression.  There was never one good thing in them.”

The 1st Lady decided that the best way she could help the President was “by not being a distraction…by making it always a climate of affection & comfort….when he came home.”


The White House, South Portico, Washington, D.C. Photo by John White, 2003.


                    

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