1964 Tapes

Research by Steven L. Brawley

Portions of Jackie's 1964 oral history conducted by historian and Kennedy staffer Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.:

  • "But I said: Please, don’t send me away to Camp David, you know, me and the children. Please don’t send me anywhere. If anything happens, we’re all going to say right here with you.”And, you know — and I said, “Even if there’s not room in the bomb shelter in the White House,” which I had seen, I said, “Please, then I just want to be on the lawn when it happens, you know, but I just want to be with you and I want to die with you. And the children do, too, than live without you.”
  • "I was always a liability to him until we got to the White House. And he never asked me to change or said anything about it. Everyone thought I was a snob from Newport who had bouffant hair and had French clothes and hated politics. And then because I was off and having these babies, I wasn't able to campaign, be around him as much as I could have. And he’d get so upset for me when something like that came out. And, sometimes, I would say, Oh, Jack, I wish — I’m so sorry for you that I’m just such a dud.”
  • "And he cared so much. He didn’t care about his 100 days, but all those poor men who you would send off with all their hopes high and promises that we would back them. And there they were, shot down like dogs or going to die in jail. And Bobby came over to see me and said, Please stay very close to Jack. I mean, just be around all afternoon. If I was going to take children out - in other words, don’t leave anywhere, just to sort of comfort him."
  • "I always thought there was one thing merciful about the White House, which made up for the goldfish bowl and the Secret Service and all that, was that it was kind of - you were hermetically sealed or there was something protective against the outside world, I mean, as far as your private life went. And I decided that was the best thing to do. Everyone should be trying to help Jack in whatever way they could. And that was the way I could do it the best, by making it always a climate of affection and comfort and detente when he came home."
  • "Bobby told me this later and I know Jack said it to me sometimes. He said, Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president? He didn't like that idea that Lyndon would go on and be president because he was worried for the country. Bobby told me that he’d had some discussions with him. I forget exactly how they were planning or who they had in mind. It wasn't Bobby, but somebody. Do something to name someone else in ’68."
  • "“I think a woman always adapts, and especially if you’re very young when you get married. You know, you really become the kind of wife you can see that your husband wants….when you live with a man who’s so busy…you don’t just want to question him, question him at the end of the day. So you pick it up by what he’s telling someone else…what he wants to tell you . .though I might have been dying to know.”

Source: Jacqueline Kennedy:Historic Conversations on Life With John F. Kennedy (2011).

Copyright Steven L. Brawley, 2002-2015. All Rights Reserved.