The Reality of What Today Is…

Throughout the Ages: Jackie Kennedy

50 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was shot. But this post isn’t focusing on him, this post is focusing on his wife, the beautiful Jackie Kennedy. I am starting a blog series about role models in my life, and I am starting this series off today with Mrs. Kennedy.

Photo by Richard Avedon
Photo by Richard Avedon

“I said, ‘I want to be in there when he dies’… so Burkeley forced his way into the operating room and said, ‘It’s her prerogative, it’s her prerogative…’ and I got in, there were about forty people there. Dr. Perry wanted to get me out. But I said ‘It’s my husband, his blood, his brains are all over me.'” Jackie Kennedy in The “Camelot” Interview on November 29, 1963.

Jackie Kennedy obviously wasn’t a normal wife. But the way that she carried herself was amazing and admirable. Even with her husband having multiple affairs, she is quoted saying that all she kept yelling to the president after he had been shot was that she loved him.

Jackie was born on July 27, 1929 in Southampton, New York. When she was ten years old, her parents got a divorce causing Jackie to become even more quiet and private than she was previously. When she was 13, her mother got remarried and she gained three more siblings on top of her little sister, Lee. Jackie graduated boarding school in June of 1947. After she graduated boarding school, she attended Vassar College in New York and studied history, literature, art and French. Her last year of college, Jackie transferred to The George Washington University due to the fact of wanting to be closer to her family and home.

One thing that I find quite interesting about Mrs. Kennedy is that she was an inspiring photographer. Her first job as a photographer was at the Washington Times-Herald newspaper. She interviewed Nixon, covered Eisenhower’s inauguration and even covered the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. This was around the time that she met her future husband, Mr. John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The two got married on September 12, 1953 in Newport, Rhode Island.

This lady was one to aspire to be like, and still is. She carried herself with such grace and poise. She put others before herself, like a first lady should. She wanted to be a writer after she and president Kennedy got married, but she put that on hold because John was a senator of Massachusetts. Seven years later John was elected the president of the United States of America.

During the campaign time for this election, Jackie was pregnant with John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. (their second child) and was told by the doctor to stay home. So she did, but she still had an active hand in the campaign. She wrote letters, made calls and did interviews promoting her husband. She even wrote a column for a newspaper titled “Campaign Wife”. She constantly was trying to help her husband, and loved him deeply, clearly.   But, again, there were times that she had to put being the first lady before herself. Put her position in the world before her own personal matters. (Once again, an amazing woman.) The day that her husband was shot, only two hours later she was standing next to Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn into office aboard Air Force One before it took off, still wearing the pink suit she was wearing when her husband was shot thus still having his blood and brain stains dried into her clothing. She didn’t finally change clothes until she landed back in Washington D.C. four and a half hours after the assassination. 

Time line
Made by me.

All in all, Jackie is a women that all women should aspire to be like. I know I do. Was she perfect? No. Did she make mistakes? Of course. But she lived gracefully and she loved her husband for better or for worse. Sound familiar?

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