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JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS, SEVENTH CONVERSATION XXIV

April 23, 2012

JACQUELINE KENNEDY, HISTORIC CONVERSATIONS: SEVENTH CONVERSATION XXIV

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today JFK+50 concludes our report on the seventh & final conversation from “Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy,” published by Hyperion.


The seventh conversation was recorded on June 3, 1964.

Arthur Schlesinger says:

“I think (JFK) was planning to go….in the spring to the Far East.”

Jacqueline Kennedy responds:

“It would have been so incredible for him to go to Japan, when you think Eisenhower couldn’t go there.*

*President Eisenhower’s trip to Japan in 1960 was cancelled due to anti-American riots.

I just wish he could have seen more good things come in, that he worked so hard for.  

The tax bill, the civil rights bill, the economy up so high. 

Think of all those businessmen who still say awful things about him, &….the (GNP) has never been so high.”

Mrs. Kennedy continues:

“To go to Japan & to go to Russia.  If he could have just seen all those….& won.  If he could have just won, & he was so praying it would be (Barry) Goldwater** that he’d have to run against.” 

**Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), conservative Republican senator from Arizona & a personal friend of JFK’s, was defeated by LBJ in 1964 by a landslide.

Mr. Schlesinger asks:

“(JFK) would have liked to run against Goldwater?”

Mrs. Kennedy answers:

“It (would have been) just too good to be true.”

Mr. Schlesinger asks:

“Did he look forward to the ’64 campaign?”

Jackie responds:

“Oh, yes.  And I looked forward to it so much.  It was one you could do together.  

He really looked forward to it, & then to winning & then to just sort of solidifying.

Jacqueline Kennedy concludes this final conversation on the topic of JFK’s ability to sleep.

She says:

“(Jack) could always go to sleep….which I thought was so important.  He could just turn (the problems) off.  I always thought any president would become an insomniac.  But Jack had this built-in thing….like soldiers in a foxhole.  When it was time to go to sleep, he just could.  And that that was…..fortunate.”

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