Well, a new blog series for today! In these times when there’s horrible news stories, day after day, I see myself turning to history; because, after all, we need our history. We need in the context of how we think about ourselves, culture, etc. (Funnily enough, I’m English, and today’s post is dedicated to an American First Lady!)
I am a huge fan of Jacqueline Kennedy-with the emphasis on HUGE. I’m not really sure how I was introduced to her-obviously through the pages of a book, but why or how I can no longer recall. But I have come to admire her, simply because of her cultural achievements, writings, career as an editor, and her role in terms of legacy.
Jack Kennedy was elected in the November 1960 election; from January next year, his wife would be First Lady.
Jacqueline set precedent; she adopted her own project-the restoration of the Executive Mansion-with more modern First Ladies adapting their own initiative. (Who removers Ready To Ready, Ready To Learn, and Let Girls Learn?) To restore something as historic as the White House-in spite of potential political controversy such as the Truman Balcony-is no easy feat. But to put a personalised stamp on the interior? Now, that’s quite an achievement. From the White House Tour, broadcasted in 1962, it’s easy to see that Mrs. Kennedy was a scholar. She wasn’t just the merely stylish young wife-she had substance also. And I do think that’s forgotten at times.
(Substance is admirable to me, because it’s not contrived, or necessarily done for the wrong reasons.)
Jackie also achieved in terms of culture-such as by bringing the Mona Lisa to the states, charming Chairman Khrushchev and De Gaulle, saving Lafayette Square, and laying the foundations for a national theatre.
Secondly, she is also my hero, because of her career as an editor. (BOOKS are some things that I ADORE and probably treasure far more than I should!) Here, Mrs. Onassis published distinctive volumes-and a great example would have to be Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk. Books are something of a dying breed-and they were even back during the era Jacqueline was an editor. To edit a book from start to finish, yet to make it distinctive, and put a stamp on history is what I really love. She played a part in the publication of Roots, for instance.
What do you think?