Monday, January 16, 2017

Jacqueline 'Jackie' Kennedy

Jacqueline 'Jackie' Kennedy was the First Lady of the United States from 1961, when her husband John F. Kennedy took office, until his assassination in 1963.

Born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, she learned to ride before she could walk and became an accomplished equestrian. As a youngster, she attended private schools, studied ballet, wrote stories and poems and drew illustrations for them. As a student at Vassar she was a member of the art and drama clubs and also wrote for the school newspaper. In her junior year of college Bouvier traveled to France in a study-abroad program through Smith College, where she studied at the University of Grenoble and the Sorbonne in Paris. Upon her return home to the United States she transferred to George Washington University in Washington, D.C. where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literature. During her early years of marriage to John F. Kennedy, she took continued-education classes at Georgetown University.

Upon moving to the White House, Mrs. Kennedy made it her first priority to restore the historical character of the White House and to make the house family friendly by adding a kitchen to the family floor. Prior to the Kennedy administration, furnishings and other items in the White House had been taken by previous presidents and their families, leaving the White House bare of historical pieces. Mrs. Kennedy personally wrote letters to track down many of the missing historic pieces. She also introduced a Congressional bill establishing that White House furnishings would be the property of the Smithsonian rather than for outgoing presidents to take as they wish. She founded the White House Historical Association, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House and created the position of a permanent Curator of the White House. She was the first First Lady to employ a curator.

On November 22, 1963 she was sitting alongside her husband in the back seat of a car in Dallas, Texas as he was assassinated by a lone gunman.

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