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The Enduring Legacy of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Posted by RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX on Tue, Jul 08, 2014 @ 08:00 AM

There are many powerful women in American history who have made game-changing contributions that made way for the cultural values and everyday luxuries that we now take for granted. One of the most prominent names among them is Jacqueline Kennedy. As a worldly young woman, she was the perfect complement to the up and coming leader, John F. Kennedy.

kennedy family

THE KENNEDY FAMILY: JOHN, JACQUELINE, AND BABY CAROLINE DURING A FAMILY VISIT TO HYANNIS PORT

Her prominence began when she was quite young. Born July 28, 1929 as Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, young Jacqueline worked hard to make the most of life. After completing two years at Vassar College, she spent her junior year in France at the University of Grenoble in Grenoble and at the Sorbonne in Paris before graduating from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature in 1951. After graduating, she spent the summer on a trip through Europe with her sister Lee, who had just graduated from high school. Together they published an illustrated book describing their travels. Jacqueline often mentioned this summer abroad as her favorite pastime.

Upon her return from Europe, the young Jacqueline began writing for the Washington Times Herald, using a provocative interview style. Not long thereafter, Jacqueline met John F. Kennedy. At that time U.S. Representative John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy was running for the U.S. Senate. The handsome couple was married in a large, elegant ceremony on September, 12, 1953, in Providence, Rhode Island.

jackie kennedy and baby

FIRST LADY JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY LOVINGLY HOLDING HER SON, JOHN F. KENNEDY, JR.

Jacqueline suffered many losses in her lifetime, particularly with pregnancies. She suffered a miscarriage in 1955 and then delivered a stillborn daughter in 1956 before giving birth to daughter Caroline in 1957, and then son John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1960.  In 1963, son Patrick was born 5.5 weeks premature and tragically died two days later.

Then Senator Kennedy announced his candidacy for President of the United States in January, 1960. Although Jacqueline was an invaluable asset, the difficulties she had faced with pregnancy made it necessary for her to support the campaign from home because she was in the early stages of pregnancy. Jacqueline enthusiastically answered letters, taped TV commercials, gave interviews, and wrote a weekly newspaper column.

jackie painting

THE FIRST LADY WAS A SKILLED ARTIST AND SHARED HER LOVE OF PAINTING WITH LITTLE CAROLINE.

The successes achieved in the Kennedy White House began with the defeat of incumbent Richard Nixon just weeks before the birth of John F. Kennedy, Jr. The young couple began transforming the image of the Presidency, influencing American culture like no one else. While JFK was in office, First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy accomplished the following feats:

  • Transforming White House social events from dry formal meetings to amazing social events featuring cocktails. World class musicians, scientists, authors, and artists enjoyed the company of important dignitaries, foreign, and domestic.

  • Leading the restoration of the White House with the intention of establishing the building as a national monument of historical significance with assistance from leading contributors and decorators.

  • Soliciting donations to finance the restoration of the White House. A guide book documenting the restoration results sold more than 3 million copies, which were applied to additional restoration projects.

  • Initiating the establishment of the White House Historical Association, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, a permanent Curator of the White House, the White House Endowment Trust, and the White House Acquisition Trust.

  • Hosting a televised tour of the White House documenting the improvements made. The tour was broadcast by the three major networks and earned an Emmy Award in 1962 and earned Jacqueline Kennedy an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Trustees Award.

  • Utilizing her foreign language skills to initiate and solidify relationships with foreign leadership.

jackie kenned watercolor original painting 1

THIS OIL PAINTING BY FIRST LADY JACQUELINE KENNEDY WAS DISPLAYED ON AN EASEL IN THE OVAL OFFICE AFTER  SHE SIGNED IT "J TO J" AND PRESENTED IT TO HER HUSBAND, THE PRESIDENT. IT IS A SIGNIFICANT COMPONENT OF THE RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX COLLECTION.

On November 22, 1963, the dream came to an abrupt end with the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas, TX. Despite her devastation, Jacqueline led the organization of JFK’s funeral and burial. Jacqueline Kennedy’s calm demeanor and courage facing the days and months that would follow JFK’s death compounded the admiration of the public in the US and abroad.

kennedy assassination

THE PRESIDENT AND FIRST LADY IN THE PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE ON THE FATEFUL NOVEMBER DAY IN DALLAS

Jacqueline Kennedy continued to use her influence for positive change until Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1968. In an effort to protect her children, she moved abroad and married Aristotle Onassis. This marriage quickly turned out to be one of difficulty. After Aristotle Onassis died in 1975, Jacqueline returned to the United States and worked for many years as a book editor.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis passed away from lymphatic cancer on May 19, 1994, two and a half months before her 65th birthday. Her son, John F. Kennedy Jr, remarked at her funeral that she had a love for words, a love for the bonds of home and family, and a spirit of adventure. The First Lady is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia with President Kennedy, their son Patrick, and their stillborn daughter Arabella.


raleigh degeer amyx
RALEIGH DeGEER AMYX - HISTORIAN AND COLLECTOR

The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx Collection is proud to own a painting actually painted by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as other important personal relics. Many of the museum-quality historical artifacts (over 400), acquired by Raleigh DeGeer Amyx, will be sold in a live auction in Boston, Mass. on September 17th & 18th, 2014 by RRAuction. Interested parties can see the official auction page at the link below:

Click here for the official September 17th & 18th, 2014 auction page

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