Eight hundred thousand-that’s roughly the number of condolence letters former first lady Jackie Kennedy amassed in the two months following her husband’s murder. By the two-year anniversary of his death, the quantity had swollen beyond 1.5 million. Incapable of responding to every communication personally, Jackie made certain each was nevertheless granted acknowledgement.
Last week, on November 22, 2013, Americans commemorated the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Fifty years ago today, his traumatized widow Jackie, beckoned Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Theodore White to the family’s Hyannis Port compound for an exclusive interview. Following her husband’s murder, the erstwhile first lady intended to retreat from the public eye. Yet, before she withdrew, Jackie needed to speak to America one final time. She designated White, considered Kennedy-friendly, to be her mouthpiece.
After Jackie’s telephone call, White high-tailed it up north. Anticipating the exposé, his editors at LIFE kept the presses open; it cost $30,000/hour. As The New York Post remarked, to do this for a story that wasn't composed, based on an interview that hadn’t transpired was unheard of. Nevertheless, a heart-to-heart with the slain president’s spouse was the of news story a lifetime!
The History Bitch
Podcaster, tea aficionado, Anglophile, 'Game of Thrones' enthusiast.