Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy was married to the 35th president of the United States. As First Lady, Jackie portrayed a very regal, celebrity like image. She was seen as a fashion icon, a charming socialite and a woman of great inner strength.
1. Meeting John F. Kennedy
Jackie’s reporting job lead her to be included in the same social circles as many political leaders and political hopefuls. It was in one of these circles that she met John F. Kennedy, her future husband. He was running for a seat in the Senate at the time. They were married just over a year later.
2. Sad Series of Events
Jackie was at her husband’s bedside as he suffered through the pain of a back injury sustained in the war as well as resulting surgeries to attempt to remedy the problem. Jacqueline suffered a miscarriage in 1955 and gave birth to a stillborn baby girl in 1956. These sad events took a toll on her marriage but the couple was able to reconcile and start anew.
3. Campaigning for Her Husband
Naturally, Jackie campaigned alongside her husband throughout his run for President of the United States. She took a very active role in the process, signed autographs and promoted her husband wherever she went, even the grocery store. Upon finding out she was again pregnant she was put on bed rest. Still, she made herself useful to her husband by answering thousands of campaign letters, taping TV commercials, giving interviews both televised and printed and by writing a weekly newspaper column.
4. Youngest First Lady in History
When Kennedy was sworn in as president on January 20, 1961, Jacqueline became, at age 31, one of the youngest First Ladies in history. Jackie was also one of the most popular First Ladies. She was young, attractive, intelligent and cultured. She had expensive taste and a developed style for which she was admired by some and criticized by others.
5. Social Elegance
Jackie’s social skills not only endeared her to the nation, but also proved beneficial for international relations. She arranged for smaller, more intimate tables during White House dinners and used her skill in speaking fluent French to communicate with international leaders.
6. White House Restoration
During her time as First Lady, Jackie was responsible for the White House restoration. Jacqueline took it upon herself to make the White House a national monument that was filled with items of historical significance. She lobbied for the appropriate funds to be allocated to the project and wrote letters requesting donations for historically significant artifacts and pieces of furniture.
7. Popular Among the French
Jackie was popular among the French due to her ability to speak the language fluently. Not only did she meet with world leaders both with and without her husband, but she was also anxious to participate in local activities such as riding a camel.
8. Death of a President
On November 22, 1963, while seated next to her husband in a motorcade, Jackie heard what she thought to be a motorcycle backfiring, and did not realize that it was a gunshot. She then realized that her husband had been shot. Jackie held her husband the whole way to the hospital and only allowed him to be taken from her arms after much persuasion.
9. Retreating to Privacy
After the assassination of her husband, Jacqueline spent the next year away from the public eye. She participated in only a few memorials and dedications for her husband.
10. Fashion Icon
During her husband’s presidency, Jacqueline Kennedy became a symbol of fashion for women all over the world. She set the style for the early sixties with her clean suits, sleeveless A-line dresses and the pillbox hat that she often wore. Following her time in the political spotlight, Jacqueline experimented more with her look. She has been called one of the most influential women in fashion.