I had the most wonderful Mother/Daughter trip in the city this past weekend. Although I live here (my apartment was just 12 blocks from the hotel!) it’s fun to play tourist once in a while – especially during the holiday season. If you saw my Instagram story or SnapChat (nycgirlinpearls), you know we covered a lot of ground. From seeing all of the holiday decorations uptown to sneaking in a trip to The Whitney, we were almost to tired to do anything else come nightfall. Key word: almost. We thoroughly enjoyed drinking tea and snacking on cotton-candy pink macarons while watching Christmas movies in the hotel room each night. The whole “staycation” was just what I needed to get into the holiday spirit.
During my mom’s visit, we also saw “Jackie,” the new film where Natalie Portman portrays Jackie Kennedy Onassis shortly after JFK’s death and subsequently she reflects on his (and her) legacy.
While the feature was well done, I don’t think it did the real Jackie justice. Oddly enough, the night my mom got in to Manhattan, we found ourselves watching two back-to-back documentaries on the wife of the 35th president (John “Jack” F. Kennedy). I have to admit, I learned quite a bit more than I thought I already knew about the ‘Queen of Camelot.’
- Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929 in Southampton, New York to a Wall Street stockbroker and socialite. She was raised in the Catholic faith, which turned out to be a big selling point to the Kennedy clan…
- After years of her father’s alcoholism and extramarital affairs, her mother divorced married Standard Oil heir Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr. While Bouvier adjusted to her mother’s remarriage, she sometimes felt like an outsider in the WASP social circle of the Auchinclosses, attributing the feeling to her being Catholic as well as being a child of divorce, which was not common in that social group at that time.
- She was an extremely private person.
- She had made her society debut in the summer before entering college, and was dubbed the “debutante of the year.”
- Bouvier enrolled as a student in Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, in the fall of 1947. In addition to being an accomplished student, Jackie participated in the school’s art and drama clubs and wrote for its newspaper.
- It was Jackie who coined the phrase, “Pearls are always appropriate.”
- She studied abroad in Paris for a year and could speak several foreign languages.
- Jackie won a twelve-month junior editorship at Vogue magazine, selected over several hundred of girls from across the country. The position entailed six months working in the magazine’s New York City office and spending the remaining six in Paris. On the first day of her Vogue editorship, Jackie’s managing editor advised her to quit and go back to Washington as the age of 22 she was already considered almost too old to be single in her social circles. Following the advice of her managing editor, Jackie left the editorship and returned to Washington after only one day of work.
- Jackie started her career as a photojournalist in D.C. As the ‘Inquiring Journalist’ for the Washington-Times Herald, she asked people off the street their opinions on everything from feminist issues to personal finance.
- Jackie and then-U.S. Representative John F. Kennedy belonged to the same social circle, and were formally introduced by a mutual friend at a dinner party in May 1952. Kennedy was then busy running for the U.S. Senate but after his election in November, the relationship grew more serious and he proposed marriage to her. Bouvier took some time to accept, as she had been assigned to cover the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in London for The Washington Times-Herald. After a month in Europe, she returned to the United States, accepted the proposal, and resigned from her position at the newspaper. Their engagement was officially announced on June 25, 1953.
- Shortly after their engagement, JFK was elected to the United States Senate and the couple married the following year.
- Jackie and JFK had four children, two of whom died in infancy.
- She launched a massive renovation of the White House and conducted a televised tour that won her a special Emmy award.
- She refused to change out of her pink bloodstained dress on the day JFK was assassinated right next to her while driving through a crowd in Texas. When Lady Bird Johnson asked if she wanted a fresh outfit, Onassis supposedly declined, saying, “Oh no, I want them to see what they’ve done to Jack.” The bloodstained suit is now held in the National Archives, but its matching pillbox hat was lost on the day of the assassination and has never been recovered.
- In an interview with Life Magazine a week after her husband’s death, Onassis described his love for “Camelot,” a musical based on the popular Arthurian novel “The Once and Future King.” She noted that the president enjoyed playing a recording of the musical’s title song, which featured the line, “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment, that was known as Camelot.” After quoting the lyrics, Onassis went on to say, “There will be great presidents again, but there will never be another Camelot.”
Click here to watch the “Jackie” trailer and see below for some classic ‘Jackie O’ style inspiration: