I know my husband was devoted to me. I know he was proud of me. It took a very long time for us to work everything out, but we did, and we were about to have a real life together. I was going to campaign with him. I know I held a very special place for him—a unique place…
— Jacqueline Kennedy
Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy will air tonight at 9 p.m. on TLC.
Mrs. Coretta Scott King being interviewed for 60 Minutes in 1968.
Interviewer: I imagine [Yolanda] must have been a real consolation at the time of the tragedy.
Mrs King: She was, Mike. She was really so much of a consolation to me because of the way she accepted this… She said to me, “Mommy, I’m gonna not cry because my daddy’s not dead… One day I’m gonna see him again”
Yolanda King, who was only 12 years old at the time of her father’s death, passed away in 2007 at the age of 51. She continued her father and mother’s work during her short life by speaking out for justice and equality, especially when it came to gay rights.
The pony was, you know, screwing up the pictures and going in and nuzzling the president. There was a great scene and everybody roaring with laughter.
- Tony Bradley, Kennedy family friend
[After the disaster of the Bay of Pigs,] the brigade prisoners remained in captivity for 20 months, as the United States negotiated a deal with Fidel Castro. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy made personal pleas for contributions from pharmaceutical companies and baby food manufacturers, and Castro eventually settled on $53 million worth of baby food and medicine in exchange for the prisoners.
On December 23, 1962, just two months after the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a plane containing the first group of freed prisoners landed in the United States. A week later, on Saturday, December 29, surviving brigade members gathered for a ceremony in Miami’s Orange Bowl…
- JFK Library
The following is my translation of Mrs. Kennedy’s speech. During her speech, the crowd was cutting her off with applause and words of encouragement. The speech can be found here.
It is an honor for me in being here today among a group of some of the bravest men in the entire world, and to participate in the joy that your family members have to express, which for such a long time lived hopeful, begged, and waited. I feel proud if my son had known your officials. He is much too young to be aware of what has happened here, but I will make sure to tell him the story of our bravery as he grows up. It is my desire and my hope that one day he’ll be a man at least half as brave that have been the members of the Brigade 2506. Good luck!
I think to many of us on here she’s as alive in our hearts as she was before and after Camelot. And I dare to speak on behalf of many of us when I say we see her as our sister, our friend, our idol, or our heroin. Mrs. Kennedy has saved me in many ways. Although I don’t take her into account in every choice I make, I look back at what I’ve lived through and I’m thankful for everything Mrs. Kennedy has taught me. Though I don’t think she would mind me trying to be as fashionable or lady-like, I believe she would have liked me to be my own woman. I believe she would have liked those who admire her to march to the beat of their own drum, yet I think we can’t help to want to be just as elegant, or intelligent, or as radiant as she was.
I remember cutting my hair “À la Mrs. Kennedy” and walking around my freshman year of high school thinking I was the bee’s knees. I look back now and shutter at how ridiculous I must have looked, but I remember how happy I was. Even at the age of 15, I thought that I can achieve such sophistication with my frizzy wanna-be bouffant hair and those fake pink pearls I had bothered my grandma about the entire year.
Besides her simple yet beautiful sense of style, her love for books and history inspired me to value reading and to appreciate figures such as Simon Bolivar and Abraham Lincoln. When I learned that Mrs. Kennedy loved the arts, I remember thinking “Mrs. Kennedy loved the arts, so I’m going to visit The Getty Museum and try to retain as much information as possible.” It’s fair to say I still don’t know anything about art, but I look back at certain phases of my life where Vincent Van Gogh and Salvador Dali were the most interesting and tragic people in my life. I take pride in knowing that Vincent Van Gogh didn’t start painting until his late 20s or that Dali was out of his mind.
I will never forget watching her White House Television Tour and screaming with joy at how she mentioned Colombia, the country my family is from, and how warmly she spoke of the country’s preservation of its history. When I learned about her fluency in several languages, I decided to take on the great task of reading Gabriel García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera all in Spanish. Although I have difficulty reading in this language, I felt accomplished and had Mrs. Kennedy to thank for giving me the idea of reading this beautiful book.
When President Kennedy visited Mexico, it was Mrs. Kennedy who spoke beautifully on how housing, food, and education shouldn’t be a luxury but a right for everyone. President Kennedy, who was never good with foreign languages, simply said a “muchas gracias” and giggled at the end. He took such pride in how cultured she was. If you look back at these speeches, you can see him staring and smiling at her as everyone claps and cheers. When the prisoners were released after the disaster of the Bay of Pigs, it was Mrs. Kennedy who warmed up the spirits of everyone by giving a speech in Spanish. When President Kennedy visited countries such as Venezuela, he’d be welcomed by Communist students holding up signs telling him to get out but to leave Jackie. Even on the other side of the globe, Khrushchev may have not been very pleased with Kennedy during the Vienna Summit but he was surely taken by his beautiful “Jah-kee.” President Kennedy wrote A Nation of Immigrants, but I like to think of Mrs. Kennedy as being the one to truly represent a nation of immigrants. We shouldn’t just value our own history, but every nation’s history, languages, and cultures. She showed me how important it was take pride in my own culture and my native language.
Out of everything Jackie did and all the qualities she possessed, the one I will always take with me and try to apply in my life is the one of a loving, caring, and devoted mother. There’s nothing else in this world that I wish to be alive for other than to see my own children grow up as honest, modest, hardworking and appreciative people. I never valued the thought of motherhood until Mrs. Kennedy came into my life. I suppose anyone can be a mom, but it takes patience and lots of love to be a good one. Jacques-Lowe’s, Cecil Stoughton’s, and Stanley Tretick’s iconic images show not only a devoted wife, or first lady by her husband’s side, but also a warm, affectionate woman with a beautiful spirit and an admirable sense of strength and perseverance during her darkest times. I do not wish to be First Lady, a fashion icon, or an advocate for the music and arts, but I do wish to be a good mother. If do achieve such a thing in my life, I will only hope to possess some of the qualities that makes Jackie so memorable and alive in our hearts today.
Knowing yourself and coming to trust your feelings and your intuition will open up your life to greater possibilities and keep you moving toward your goals. One thing I have learned is that I should trust my ‘gut’ instincts. Ultimately, only we know what is best for us.
― Miranda Kerr
Interviewer: You are the poster girl for what is sexy.
Miranda: That’s… [laughs] That’s flattering.
Interviewer: No, but it’s true! I mean, people look to you and they think, “Well that’s what sexy is.” Or, you know, “She’s a Victoria’s Secret model, she’s super model. I want to look like her.”
Miranda: Do you know what sexy is?
Miranda: Sexy is being comfortable in your own skin, and being authentic, and and not trying to be anything other than yourself.
Interviewer: That’s a very simple and probably profound way of putting it.
President Kennedy and the First Lady at the Chamber of Commerce Breakfast, November 22, 1963.
Footage from Oliver Stone’s JFK