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Guarding Jackie

This piece by former Secret Service Agent Clint Hill is a must-read:

Being on the first lady’s detail was a lot different from being on the president’s. It was just the two of us, traveling the world together. Mrs. Kennedy was active and energetic — she loved to play tennis, water-ski and ride horses. She had a great sense of humor, and we grew to trust and confide in each other, as close friends do.

In early 1963, Mrs. Kennedy shared with me the happy news that she was pregnant again. She had curtailed her physical activities and had settled into a routine at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Mass., for the last few months of her pregnancy. I was on a rare day off when I got the call that she had gone into early labor. I raced to the hospital at Otis Air Force Base, arriving shortly after she did.

The president, who had been in Washington, arrived soon after she delivered their new baby boy, whom they named Patrick Bouvier Kennedy.

When Patrick died two days later, Mrs. Kennedy was devastated. I felt as if my own son had died, and we grieved together.

More here.

For someone who spent almost all of her adult life in the spotlight it’s amazing that Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy/Onassis is still an enigma.

10 Responses

  1. Here’s an interesting article for JFK conspiracy theorists:

    The Kennedy Assassination: 47 Years Later, What Do We Really Know?

    • Even though I was a kid in another country, and Kennedy was not my president, I remember where I was when I heard the news and the sadness that I felt.

  2. Will never forget that hall passing that day to the last period classes when I was in 8th grade…and the four days that followed.

    The book, “Four Days,” that was put out by one of the weeklies (Life?) is upstairs tucked in with all my Beatles memorabilia.

    Tonight, Lennon NYC is on PBS….the past is bubbling up all over the place…and there’s plenty of interesting detail on the possibility that he was truly assassinated by plan.

    Coast to Coast did a show last night (Sunday 11/21) on a new book by someone who knew Oswald and many other connections back in ’63….It was bigger than Oswald, I truly believe that….

  3. Having a birthday on this anniversary really sucks, Er, is of low quality.

  4. I was a freshman at UT in Austin. My friend and I planned to go downtown after our 1 PM classes to see the President when he got in from Dallas.

    My classroom had a tv because it was set up for beginning foreign languages and we had departmental exams, so most of the modern languages students came down to the first floor of Batts Hall to watch Walter Cronkite as the story developed. Someone from the department office came down and told us we could go home because classes had been cancelled for the rest of the day. Nobody moved, just stayed and watched until Cronkite went off the air.

  5. I was 20 and home from university for Thanksgiving. My dad called from his office to tell me to turn on the TV, there was a rumor that Kennedy and Johnson had been stabbed on a plane.

    Of course in those days the picture came on long before the sound, but as soon as I saw Cronkite’s face I knew something awful had happened.

    I sat in my dad’s recliner all afternoon, watching the coverage, and remember my schoolteacher mother’s ashen face when she got home–early of course, since classes had been let out early.

    I don’t remember crying once in that interminable holiday week, but I’ve more than made up for it since.

  6. Why do you say she is an enigma? What exactly is unclear about her or her life?

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