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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 17, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm EDT

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time her mother had detested eleanor roosevelt and thought she was named a busybody running around the country until she met her. then she reversed her opinion. over time the barbara bush reversed her opinion but i remember the comment as well . .
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>> this is george w. bush, was eating a pretzel and he started to choke on it, and she said that was payback for his having criticized her cooking. but no, she's not said very much about it. yes? >> we've heard a little bit about nancy reagan's circle of friends but i don't recall ever hearing anything about barbara bush's friends. >> i think she had a fair number who came to the white house, but i think she was very careful about it and kept it very quiet. she certainly has a group of friends that she sat for a long time, and i'm blanking on the
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name of one of them in particular. but they certainly were not, they didn't have the glitz and glamour of any of nancy reagan's friends. but she was supported by numerous friends and family. >> well, once again i thank you very much. it's been my pleasure. [applause] >> myra gutin's biography of the barbara bush is part of the university press of kansas modern first ladies series. for more information visit kansas press >> you're watching the tv on c-span2. 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend. >> up next week in kenya our first lady programming with jacqueline kennedy, barbara perry, former judicial fell at
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the u.s. supreme court recounts the transformative effect mrs. kidd had on the office of the first lady from our renowned celebrity when engagement and the support of cultural institutions. this is about an hour. >> go thank you for so much reporting this series together, for the very nice introduction. thank you to mary and felicia as well. done and i were chatting just beforehand that it's appropriate to talk about jacqueline kennedy at a historical study such as his because his jacqueline kennedy who kicked off the movement to have historical society for our branches of government. so it was the widest at the very first historical society founded by mrs. kennedy in 1961, and then the capitol historical society followed one year later in 1962, and then 1974 the
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supremes as we call them, the u.s. supreme court historic society was founded in 1974. we are grateful to these associations because they are very helpful as you can imagine keeping alive the history of these three very important branches of our government. so welcome to all of you today. i want to begin with a question, two questions, for you. i just go to c-span. they said since this will be informal we don't have to have a microphone i will report -- repeat your answers, but the first question is going to be, if i can get my powerpoint going here, one moment, there we go. what is your first memory of a first lady? and i know some of you so i can call on you if no one is brave enough to raise a hand. i know that you all have memories. tell me, yes. [inaudible] >> eleanor roosevelt when you are a teeny tiny child.
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barely crawling. just an infant but somehow you remember eleanor roosevelt. what do you recall about her? >> impressive speaker. i have to recall looking back, and so to be she came across as rather dowdy but i'm sure at the time she didn't. >> well, we will talk about that and next week i know with marine you will be talked about her book on eleanor roosevelt, and it was my pleasure to serve as a reviewer for the book so you will be in for a real treat to hear marine and hear her book. but keep that thought about the impressive speaking abilities of eleanor roosevelt andover fashion because we will compare and contrast the jacqueline kennedy. of the first ladies, your first impression, your first memory of a first lady. yes? [inaudible]
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>> i was born in washington shortly before the new deal. my mother was a newspaper reporter. she covered eleanor roosevelt. i got invited to the white house. >> we have someone here in the audience who is based in washington at the start of the new deal. her mother covered eleanor roosevelt. this lady was invited to parties with a eleanor roosevelt. this is a wonderful thing about speaking in washington, d.c., because of everyone here has a story, an interesting story. i've given this talk fairly frequently when i was at college, and i asked this very question to reduce the first lady you can remember, and an nice lady in front raised her hand and said mrs. calvin coolidge. and i said we have a winner. no one has topped that for going back any farther. other more recent first ladies in one wants to offer that is your first memory, yes? >> i remember, again, very, very little, five, six years old and
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i remember seeing -- [inaudible] >> we will talk about the looks of the first ladies who proceeded jacqueline kennedy. maybe eisenhower of course was the immediate predecessor to jacqueline kennedy. so it can if we can move on, tell me who's your favorite first lady. if you've already spoke on your not allowed to speak again. this is actually on the supreme court runs its conferences. you're not allowed to get two opinions on k. sure to sign it took everyone has allowed to give one. tell me who your favorite first lady is. yes? [inaudible] >> jacqueline kennedy, a likely suspect since you're here today to hear about jacqueline kennedy. i'm told by don this was one of the largest turnouts or the first three of these industries on first ladies. and i don't doubt it. jacqueline kennedy still has a tremendous hold on the american imagination. others that anyone would like to
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volunteer, other first ladies you would consider your favorite. let's move on then. why is it that jacqueline kennedy maintains the sold on the american imagination? this is what my talk will be about today's all of the slides will illustrate why this is. here are some examples. i won't make you raise your hand to say if you watched qvc for home shopping purchases, and i of course only see it when i'm just racing through channel surfing. i would never stop. but occasionally i do. what catches my eye, when they have the jacqueline kennedy jewelry for sale. wouldn't it be great if we can all afford the actual kind of precious stones and jewelry that she had? these are cost him reproductions of jacqueline kennedy's jewelry. this is a kind of iconography that is available. then just across the bottom here
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today these are some fairly recent books about jacqueline kennedy. there's hardly a year goes by that there are not several new books out on jacqueline kennedy, and the most recent are two that came out at virtually the same time about the times that she spent after her marriage to aristotle on nasa's serve in new york as an editor, as a book editor. and they are referencing jackie spoke of the books that she and did so we get a sense of what she was like in that latter third of her life as she was a senior editor in new york city. all right, now let's talk about why she can have such impact on our imagination 50 years where celebrate and commemorate the 50 years of camelot come of the kennedy administration starting this past january the 50th anniversary of the cold snowy day here in washington, d.c., when president kennedy was in niger the 35th president of the united states. i'd like you to take a look at this definition, this is a
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political science definition of political symbolism. i think this overdraft is one of the symbols of mrs. kennedy. and you mentioned eleanor roosevelt, you mentioned mamie eisenhower. how about bess truman? let's think of those three to jacqueline kennedy. those ladies when he left office were all in their '60s. jacqueline kennedy was 31 when she came to the white house to be first lady. there had not been young children in the white house since the teddy roosevelt era, in the early 1900. and they were not as young as young caroline he was only three when her parents into the white house, and john junior had just been born between the election and inauguration at the time that's ever happened in the history of the presidency and the first ladies. this picture was taken about 1962. can you even imagine mamie eisenhower our best to it on a horse? one of the reasons i can't imagine that is like my own grandmothers who are of that
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generation, i never saw my grandmothers wear trousers. my grandmothers always wore dresses. even just to see a first lady in writing close and to be as athletic as she was an excellent writer and a question, to be up on horseback was just different certainly again from the three predecessor. this was by the way was given to her by the president of pakistan when she made a trip there in 1962. she made a semi-official trip. some of you might recall to pakistan and india in 1962. she was a huge hit there. she love this sort. many of the photographs you see of her from that time on to reboot time the white house and out on her farm that she rented, and then build a farmhouse right at the end of the presidency in northern virginia pics oftentimes when you see writing she is writing this source, a pakistani presidents get to. he was grateful to her. she had to for him an steak
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dinner in the springtime and early summer of 1961 at mount vernon. and, in fact, she had everyone meet and catch about to go down the potomac river, taking evening cruise, arrive at mount vernon. then she had beautiful tents and marquees set up at mount vernon and then had a beautiful outdoor, lovely dinner with music for the president of pakistan and all those invited to the state dinner. it still sets the upper bar for an amazing steak dinners that jacqueline kennedy had. this concept i just want to say one thing about, why is that note how it caps into emotional and moral and psychological feeling. if jacqueline kennedy still in our consciousness, that's why. as she tapped into those elements of our emotion. but when people say, but all the glitter is not gold. camelot, to grab some things
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that were not so good about camelot. note that's very definition of a political symbol. it may not all be true but it has ideas that people want to believe it is true. and certainly many americans want to believe the legend and the mythology of camelot. what were the other symbols that jacqueline kennedy is now famous for, and how did have an impact on her husband's presidency? this photo comes from the summer of 1962. mrs. kennedy is with her husband in mexico on a state visit. notices in the front here. here's president kennedy standing to the back. president kennedy was known not to a facility or a gift for foreign languages. some might say his boston accent made his english a foreign action to some. for those of us in kentucky which took a while to get used to do. i happen to be taught by dominican nuns any catholic grade school who are from boston so i was used to hearing cubar.
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some of you said some the previous first ladies to her, eleanor roosevelt, maybe even mamie eisenhower, bess truman. i would describe him as being rather mainly and their appearance with rather old-fashioned suits or dresses, old-fashioned hats. to get mrs. kennedy. it was not that common for women to wear sleeveless attire in those days to a formal event. and now we take that for granted come and mrs. obama has bought the sleeveless dress back into vogue. but it is jackie kennedy who does that at the beginning. 's note the color. a vibrant bright pink rather than a dark somber suit or a dark somber dress and full sleeves, or a little dowdy have. i would say she could wear this hat to the kentucky derby and be right in style. this gets her husband another boost of symbolism of youth and passion. we also know one of the other
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elements that she is quite famous for, and remembered for is redecorating, restoring the white house. when i was doing my research i called the curator of the white house. and told her i was writing a book on jacqueline kennedy and i was particularly interest in mrs. kennedy's restoration of the white house. that he was hurting and the curator said to me, do you know that restoring the white house is still associate with the name and memory at mrs. kennedy that americans think that no one has ever touched the white house since mrs. kennedy left in 1963. and yet we know that everyone who moves into a new apartment or condo or house does some redecorating. most first ladies have done some redecorated. she undertook this project to restore completed the white house, taken from what she called a rather shabby 1950s not a pine faux colonial look, to a proper appropok, to a proper appropriate look for
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the age in which it was built an initial lib dem. so she established commissions and committees about the art. about antiques, about paintings in the white house. and she made sure that everything that was there as best she and these experts could continue, determined, these are authentic. this is a sad day i have to say in mrs. kennedy's life. this is the red room, and the reason i chose is that was the first from that she completed her restoration but this was a day of her husband's funeral. she insisted that she made those who are coming from afar, those were diplomats, diplomatic corps from abroad, and so she stood with her brother-in-law, senator edward kennedy to her right, and she insisted on greeting everyone who attempt to pay their respects to her husband. on a more gloomy note come again we we remember her for her state entertaining. in the short amount of time she
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was in the white house, only a little over 1000 days, she and her husband through 16 state dinners. in the first term, full four years of the w. bush term, they held i believe it was too. mind you, 9/11 happened during that time, there were security issues, but the bushes, the second bush is from texas were just not as interested in the. they were not as interested in state entertainment. they were not as interested as bringing people from abroad and in getting them in the white house. the kennedys loved that lifestyle. they both came from the northeast. they both had ties to new york city. president can have ties to hollywood going back to his father's day there at the hollywood mogul in the 1920s. so they love the glitter and that putt nosh of entertainment. but they also particularly mrs. kennedy loves the art.
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she would use each of these occasions to bring artists to the white house. so she would bring playwright and she would bring seniors, opera singers, she would bring orchestras, she would have plays that would be done of the white house. is also they reminded her that there was no proper national stage for the arts in washington, d.c.. and you eventually what that leads to. this particular photograph, and you might be able to put under siege is behind, go back, just behind her, go forward, you will see the mona lisa. kind of dark. the end of medic mona lisa. the mona lisa has that mysterious smile. 's mrs. kinney is a bit mysterious to us because she maintain such a tight hold on her privacy. look at other first ladies since, almost all of them have written memoirs. mrs. kennedy never wrote a memoir. think of hillary clinton's
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memoir in which she tells of finding out about her husband infidelities, and in a famous passage she says, i wanted to wring bill's neck. maybe on occasion mrs. kinney wanted to do the same to president kennedy, but if she did she never wrote about it, she never went on oprah to tell about it. she kept these things in her heart. and adds to that mystique. adds to the all right. so it was perfect for her to facilitate the borrowing of the painting of the mona lisa from the french. but also think of this. it's the height of the cold war. we need france as an ally. france and president de gaulle, president of france at the time, could be prickly and it could be difficult to deal with him at times. but notice how mrs. kennedy is standing here next to audrey. you can see her shoulder, this is how mrs. kerry approached men of power. she would tuck her shoulder up underneath there is and she would use that very wispy voice
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that she had and she would whisper. these men which is unloaded their hearts upon her and they would tell her all of the things that they wanted her to know. whether these be matters of state or personal issues. andre moreau was finished of culture in france and he adored mrs. candy and she adored him. so noticed she is standing next to him, not her husband are not even vice president johnson. that was part of her power as well. not just during the cold war but throughout her husband's presidency. we also give her credit for saving lafayette square. imagine standing in this day and age in front of the white house would go back to the north, facing out towards lafayette park. what if we didn't have the beautiful town homes that are there now and completely restored, including dolly madison's home, the town where she lived after husband's
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presidency and into her retirement. imagine if we had high rise, concrete federal office buildings. this is the plan that had been put into motion in the 1950s because the federal government continue to proliferate. as the president eisenhower and president ken had signed off on the plan to raise, to demolish all of the townhomes in lafayette square and use that prime real estate to put up high rise office blocks for the federal bureaucracy. mrs. kennedy got wind of this issue at your husband and said, please don't do that. look at these pictures she is with the architect. look at these beautiful town homes. they can be restored. she then called on john carl warnke, a west coast architect whose particular interest was how to preserve history while adding modern architecture to it. so he suggested putting in low rise office buildings and making
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them a red brick, not bright, got a concrete. but beautiful red colonial looking brick, are laced federal brick that was then go with the beautiful brick sidewalks and pavement throughout lafayette square. the next time you're down in lafayette square or you go by, think of mrs. candy and how she stated that. and in the process, kicked off a movement of historic preservation and the united states. she at one time said i sometimes worry the bomb will hit and upload rate us all here in washington, but it didn't and she saved this beautiful spot for us. that's just in the trendy. we haven't talked about what she did when she went abroad. we only mentioned her semi-official trip by herself and asked a she took her sister when she went to india and pakistan. even in this day and age just imagine what it took for her to pull off a trip both the pakistan and india.
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she did that with great aplomb. her first trip abroad as first lady with her husband in the official state visit was to paris. it was at that time that president kennedy famously said let me introduce myself, i am the man who accompanied jacqueline kennedy to paris and i have enjoyed it. in other words, he again was a bit in the background because she was so beautiful and she spoke perfect french. she had spent her junior year abroad in paris. so she spoke fluent french, and hear the call doesn't look prickly to me. he looks charm. he looks happy. and she's wearing a down. she typically would try to wear american designers when she was in america, and only to see me while he european roots was used as american by the 1960s, and so he was her primary stylist year. but she thought when in paris do as the priest and the french we did and that is why she chose
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this gorgeous down in the bonds you might be up to see she had embroidered flowers, beautiful silk embroidered flowers. this is what she wore to the state dinner at versailles. annex part of the jury, the second leg was even more important in terms of cold war politics. it was important enough to keep de gaulle on our side, but she also met in vienna when her husband went to the summit with khrushchev. president kennedy went into that summit meeting in the summer of 1961 the first time he would meet nikita khrushchev. he thought i'm young, i'm bright am a dynamic, uncharismatic. that's how i won the presidency. i will be able to charm this communist russian peasant with no problem. one problem. he didn't. and cruise ship as the story goes savage to present to the point where the prison came out of the first summit meeting
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action faced. khrushchev took the measure of the man. mrs. kennedy on the other hand is meeting at the same time with mrs. khrushchev, and they're getting along famously. i'm not here to argue that that saved the free world or the that saved us from the bomb being dropped. why did you have some personal diplomacy going on behind the scenes, that certainly helps. here's another point i wish to raise with you. mrs. kennedy is wearing a rather subdued a dark suit, but a love as a pill box hat that she became famous for. look at mrs. khrushchev. picture this. you're a third world country as we called it in those days. you hadn't get aligned with the soviets, with the soviets. and you have to be side am i going to cast our lot with the united states or with the soviet union? based on how the first ladies looked, which one do you pick? it sounds facetious but i think symbolically there's something
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to it. the kennedys looked alive and vibrant and stylish. the soviets did not. next, mrs. kennedy meets with khrushchev himself. now again, this is not an official summit meeting where diplomacy is occurring, but she meet him at the state dinner in vienna. and look at the facial expressions on chairman khrushchev's face. again, president kennedy is in the background. here is mrs. candy in this lovely beaded gown, and apparently she said this to chairman khrushchev when he began to dowser with statistics about how many missiles they had and how many tenants who are producing and how many tractors shape us as we said all mr. chairman, don't barter with statistics and he broke into this wide smile as the "washington post" put the next day, he looked like a russian schoolboys at the start of spring when the ice is melting
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on them poker. she just melted him with her charm. other images of course were of her life as a mother. and how perfect this was at the height of the baby boom. remember the baby boom goes from babies born from 1946-1964. caroline was born in 1967. john junior in 1960. mrs. kinney is part and parcel of the baby boom. this i am convinced is why my mother who is having her own baby boom and our family pack my two older brothers and me in a 1956 chevy, drove us to see senator john f. kennedy come through and give a speech, a camp spain -- campaign speak. she did like to drive downtown and she didn't like crowds. and yet this family, senator
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kenny, mrs. kennedy, caroline at that time, so do my mother, a catholic housewife from louisville, kentucky, to go see her new political hero. and so she would say to me forever what don't you remember, we got to earn and we're right in front of the podium and your brother shook hands with soon-to-be president kinney. and i would say mother, i'm so trying hard to remember but i was four. i remember the blows. i remember the confetti. i remember whenever it rings dropped off and got stuck in a pile of confetti and was founded on the the way out. someone had stepped on it but still i think she was able to bend it back and put it back on her it. but out on sick mother come you turn into a political scientist at the age of four. but i think this is why women in particular, why can't you resonate with them. this photograph was taken from august of 1963. it is another sad time for the family. mrs. kennedy had just lost her
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son patrick would be born prematurely the week before and had died of a lung ailment he lived only two days. she and the president was shattered, as was caroline who was six at the time and she was old enough to understand. she wasn't going to have a baby brother or sister to welcome. young john was a little bit too young to understand that what president kennedy did this weekend, again a week and after patrick died, was come back to washington and bring all the family dogs as well as new puppies just to try to lighten up this. so here they are sitting out on their porch, on the patio at hyannis port. obviously the media played a role in all of us. it wasn't just mrs. kennedy putting out these symbols and images and no one paying attention. think of this. in 1952 when president eisenhower was elected president, 20% of american households had televisions. by 1960 when president kennedy is elected, 80% of american households have televisions.
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they were all black and white remember those days? i would tell this to my student we only had two channels. my students couldn't cover in such a thing. the kennedys were on television a lot. and mrs. kennedy and president kennedy were beautiful on television. they were even more beautiful in the glossy life magazine covers. think about those. practically every week one or more of the kennedys, if this is just president and mrs. kennedy. think of all the brothers and sisters and sisters in law and brothers in law and the nieces and nephews. they were always been portrayed in one way or another. so as a typical of icon, pop-culture icon, they both reflect a time in which they live and they become a lens by which we do that time in which they lived. and since television was coming on the scene, this middle photo is a still from the famous to her that mrs. kennedy gave with
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charles of cbs on valentine's day 1962. she took him through the white house, showed him all the rooms that she had redecorated but without a script. she just went through. she was a reading from cue cards or anything. she had all of this in her brain. she had remembered all of entities, all of the portraits, all of the painters, all of the upholstered, all of the furniture, every story she could tell. she would want an emmy award for that show, and that show was recorded and sent around the world. even to the extent we could get behind the iron curtain, we did. president kenny made a cameo appearance in the last five minutes. he came in to talk to charles and jackie, and he said this white house is a symbol. it's a symbol of american history. and he said when we first became a country 200 years ago, there was a czar in russia. there was an emperor in taking. and he said look how much we
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have grown beyond that. in other words, if you're the third vote and you're still wondering which way to go, take us. pic as. we have great history. with great art. we have great symbolism. and we have a great first lady. sadly, we know how this story ends. on november 22, 1963, interestingly enough can one volunteered to go with her husband to texas. it was a fundraiser trip as well as a trip to try to bring together the two warring factions of the texas democratic party. mrs. kennedy had not gone out on a domestic trip with her husband for his entire presidency. she of course i got abroad within budget not gone on a domestic trip. she, like the mother she particularly didn't like the campaigning. and so she rarely volunteer to go on these trips. this is just those three months after she lost her baby. she and the president, according to all accounts, had grown closer because of the shared
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experience. mrs. kennedy was so distraught and he pressed in the fall of 1963, the president urged her to go abroad. she went on a greek cruise with her sister's boyfriend, aristotle on nasa's. and she came back much more refreshed, much happier. and volunteered to go to dallas with us in there and she years later, or all of the horror that shakespeare is, a blessing that she could be there when the in game. and so just sent our after we know how this story ends, in those six or five seconds in which the shots rang out in the motorcade in dallas, mrs. kennedy lost her husband, her home, and her job. imagine what that must have been like for her. and yet, she was willing at the request of the new president, lyndon johnson, to come out in
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the cabin and stand next to him when he took the oath of office. and again those of you who remember that day, i know have this image burned in your brain. mrs. kennedy refused to change clothes. she was wearing her famous raspberry chanel suit. she is starting out the day with the raspberry matching pill box hat. that had come off in the melee and the chaos, but she refused to take off her bloodstained suit because she kept saying i want him to see what they did to my husband. and even though i was just seven at the time i can remember watching the black and white television in our living room with my family and i can remember that we gasped when she came off the plane and was still wearing that suit. but she refused to take it off. she then became to the mortar in chief for the nation. she had a few moments of shock, again given the horror she had witnessed in dallas, but very quickly she got her wits about her. she asked her husband's family, sargent shriver and some cabinet
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members to start looking into planning the funeral right away. and she asked that it be based on abraham lincoln's the new. she was still thinking of symbolism and history, even in her grief. so here she is coming down the steps of the capital with caroline on one hand and john on the other, the president's brother, bobby, behind her, his sister to bobby's left and peter lawford behind the group. and i can only find in the videos one moment in public where she began to cry softly. and it was when they arrived at the capital with a caisson bearing her husband's casket to the band struck up hail to the chief, and with that very famous preface to the song, she just dropped her head to a just and she began to cry softly. this is the next step that she takes. and image making process. one week after the assassination
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she is in hyannis port with her family for thanksgiving. she calls journalist teddy right to it written bring the famous book the making of the present 1960 come and she asks him to come from new york where he lived to hyannis port to write a story about her husband to put into "life" magazine for that week. and mr. whip had to say we are ready to go to press with that. she said i don't care. stop the presses, don't print it. i need to tell you this story. a nor'easter was developing. teddy white's mother was suffering a heart attack as he left, but he got a chauffeur and he was driven from new york city to cape cod, through a driving nor easter. and he arrived on the scene in hyannis port late in the afternoon and evening and mrs. kennedy begins to tell him the story of what she witnessed in dallas the week before. and she spared no detail. she had to get this offer just.
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and then she said to him, i want my husband to be remembered as follows. he loved the musical camelot, which was a very popular stage play in new york at that time. she said he loved the soundtrack and at night his back would be hurting. it would be cold but we go at we put on the hi-fi, not a stereo, we put on the hi-fi the cast album. and she said i know this is trivial but i can't get this out of my mind. this refrain keeps going over and over in my head. don't let it be forgot that once there was a spot for one brief shining moment known as camelot. and so she is the one who picks the metaphor, who picks that word picture, that image to describe her husband, in presidency. and i would maintain, shining. and so just remind us i have the
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caster of richard burton and julie anderson the broadway show. her very final symbol of that weekend, those three days of the funeral in washington, d.c., in november of 1963 was to ask that arlington on the hillside just down from the custis lee mansion where her husband was buried that there be an eternal flame. she had that idea from the tomb of the unknown soldier in paris where she had studied as a college student. and she thought that would be such an appropriate metaphor going back to the inaugural address what he says the torch has been passed to a new generation. and so you might remember at the funeral she, bobby and teddy all lit best eternal flame. she also been hired jon karl working again to her architect friend, to put together and design this very great psychic connection most of you have been out to arlington cemetery to see. and she also asked and i think
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this into account that she be buried there when she died in 1994 of lymphoma. she didn't ask to be buried in greece. she didn't ask to be buried with aristotle onassis got her second husband are she asked to be buried with her husband, and these other two headstones. and into of the children they lost, patrick and another daughter she lost as a stillborn child in the 1950s. so to help you put this into perspective in terms of what is jacqueline kennedy fall when it comes to literature, about first ladies can you may been here for the first two talks about first lady. you may come next week for eleanor roosevelt. this is what the scholars think about first ladies in the modern era. and by the way, those of us who study first ladies, take eleanor roosevelt and pleasure in the category herself. eleanor roosevelt is unto herself.
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there is no one like her before or after. but for those to come after, i maintain that jacqueline kennedy is a bridge first lady because she bridges the gap between the very traditional ladies of bess truman and a mamie eisenhower come and then a most modern first ladies really starting with lady bird johnson, all of them have had public policy with the exception of pat nixon a pet public policy that they've worked on in the husband's administration. and so if i did a game right now that said name that policy for every first lady, i'm sure one or more of you could say i know exactly what that first lady is famous for. now i ask you though, what about laura bush and currently michelle obama? would you put them in the category of the supportive spouses models wives are would you put them in the second category of more of a presidential partner or spouse to their husband? i would say think about this as
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a semi final point, and that is that i think laura bush had to be the un-hillary. hillary in the minds of the american people seem to go too far on her health care initiative. so that people begin to say wait a minute, she's not elected, not accountable. the we don't like what she's doing we have no way of reaching a. hillary been dialed back a notch and became more of the traditional first lady by being in favor of women's issues like a child advocacy. so i think that suited laura bush's personality and also said the time the terms of what we wanted him to firstly. and i think michelle obama, she is still feeling her way. right now she's acting more the traditional first lady. she is a traditional policy in terms of women's issues, it's about diet and children an exercise in anti-obesity. and she also has two young children that she needs to focus on. so here's my last question for you. what about future first ladies? what model will they use and
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what about when we inevitably have the first, first gentleman? and dawn asked me to say a word about my next project. i writing about another kennedy woman, the president mother, rose kennedy. and i believe she started the entire process of kennedy imagery by creating images herself, of her children to her husband, her family, and her son as president. and so i hope you will look for this in the next couple of years. rose, mother of the kennedy image. there are books available in the back of all of these first ladies about whom you have heard here at the society i would be happy to sign mine for you. and i would just like to say we have about 10 minutes or so if you have questions. please, please feel free to ask. who would like to throw out the first question? >> could you touch upon how she handled or when all this is
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going on as far as scandals with her husband? >> yes, but the question is could i touch upon the so-called scandals or improprieties, particularly of her husband got is that touched on in my book? of course. this is a book of scholarship. it's a book of history. it's a book of facts. and so one cannot ignore that. in fact, what i think she was trying to do with teddy white that week after the assassination was get out in front of those stories. now, there's a whole book called the dark side of camelot written by investigative reporter seymour hersh which came out in the late '90s. and it's about, if one wants chapter and verse of the improprieties, infidelities of the president on the personal side as well as mistakes that he believes he made particularly in foreign policy, be my guest, knock yourself out, read it from cover to cover and you'll see that side, the dark side of camelot. i don't know if mrs. kennedy was
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taking it to mind a week after the assassination how history would you her husband policies, foreign or domestic, but most people think she knew at least to some extent of his infidelities. and his indication that she did. as a i think she was trying to get ahead of that by creating this camelot mythology and legend, if you will. so what i do is i'm focusing more on the images that she is creating. i make the case that, again, symbols are not always true. they tap into ideas people want to believe in is true. and people wanted to believe in camelot. they wanted to believe in this shining golden age that was the kennedy administration. and that she, therefore, succeed in getting out in front of old stories that would come out about her husband's personal life, as well as revisionist history that would come out, and will continue to come out. but i would also say in this
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50th year that we're commemorating the kennedy administration and call it that camelot, we still use that metaphor that she created, i hear of coarse people give both sides of the administration of the good things that they did and the mistakes that they made, and about president kennedy's own personal foibles. but i think by large people still have an interest in his presidency and in her, and you all are testament to that to come out today. yes? >> what do you know or think about the movie that is due out this week called the kennedys? it was thrown out by the history channel because the kennedys objected to it but it is still going -- >> thank you for bringing that up if there is a movie that will be out this coming week, i believe it starts about the third or so of april. it will not be on the history channel because the history channel is committed to telling the truth, and to be as factual as possible. and there were some questions
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about the validity of some of the portrayals of the kennedys and these very foibles, the personal site. because the dark side of camelot, even if on have at it is true, it's pretty bad. but one must ask could all these negative things be true. and what happened with the movie was ted sorensen, president kennedy's famous speechwriter, with whom i met i should say to do an interview about mrs. rose kennedy, i met with them back in june and sadly passed away this october, this past october, ted sorensen when i said, i wanted what the title of my roasting the book was and i said rose, but i can image and he shook his head and said i don't like that word image. because to him he was trying to portray the substance of the kennedy administration both when he worked for senator kennedy, president kennedy and all the years after. he never wanted people to think
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that there was no substance in this town or the image. so i understood why he took issue with that, but he also was leading the charge against this upcoming movie because he believed it was filled with inaccuracies. and so i guess it's like anything that is in the media, whether a television show, a movie made for television, books, the of scholarship or journalistic quality, it's all up to us to decide based on her own reading and our own understanding of the record how much is too. but what we should say is, this is not a golden portrayal of the kennedy administration. in other words, in other words, it contains negatives as well as some of the positives here i back spent if i can find on my new digital service from comcast. i was just saying, came up with my friends and i said that money is coming up when we're talking about it and i said i'm pretty sure i saw the chance when i
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first got my upgrade package but it seems to have disappeared. i will probably be on the phone. if nothing else, i am a scholar of the kennedys as the i will watch in case i get questions like this out on the stump. i'm sensing our probably say the same thing about as i say about the book, dark side of camelot, which is it even has the bad things are true that's pretty bad. but it's us how we want to bring the balance of our view of the kennedy administration first to me, policy, foreign and domestic, and then second, the personal site. i would you say that if we qualify every president who had an extramarital affair, we're going to be down to a low number of men, anyway, who qualify for the white house. i think there was another question, was there, back your? >> i just want to throw in a few more words about eleanor roosevelt. >> i will say, i know you had a chance next week if you want to
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compare her to mrs. kennedy, let's do. [inaudible] your statement about children in the white house. for the twos -- for the first two years she had grandchildren in the white house. >> she had two grandchildren. i should also say to you that i had the pleasure this past december of dying in the hotel george, and those with a colleague and i said do you see that gentlemen who came in, and he suggested and i said that looks like one of franklin roosevelt's grandchildren and my friend quite understand the second how would you know what one of franklin delano roosevelt grandchildren look like? and i said i seen this one on c-span. i saw him on c-span2 years ago. so my colleague was too embarrassed to go up to this man. i of course sure no embarrassment or shame go up to this man who's having dinner,
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turn that it was his daughter and i said are you franklin delano results grandson, and he said yes, i am. he said how did you know because and i said i saw you on c-span2 years ago. he was on the democratic committee that was trying to determine whether mrs. clinton, or barack obama would get which of the delegates as they got towards and closer to the democratic convention. so they are around and we can still see them today. but indeed the franklin roosevelt had a number of young grandchildren in the white house, which is wonderful. and i'm sure the american people love seeing it. it's not quite the same as the first couple having their children. there's just something that is begotten about that, especially if there are two young beguiling children as there are in the white house. and as they were in the kennedy years. you also may of heard the story that because mrs. kennedy was so concerned about privacy, her own and her children, that she would draw lines about when the children and how the children could be photographed.
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but famously when she would leave the white house as she often did, although to go out to northern virginia or to go abroad without the president or without her children sometimes, president kennedy would go to his press secretary and say it's time to get pictures of the children. and so some of those most wonderfully compelling photographs that we have of president kerry in the oval office, clapping at the children dancing around him on the carpet, those are often taken when mrs. kennedy was a way. i think we have time for one more question. yasser spit can you talk a little bit about her understanding of her image and how that would play out during the own asses marriage? >> absolute. a little bit about how mrs. kennedy's image played out when she remarried, and she married of course aristotle on dos -- aristotle onassis. remember the timing of that for her and the country.
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her brother-in-law bobby whom she had grown so close in those intervening five years from when her own husband died, and bobby who had become a surrogate father to caroline and john was himself struck down by an assassin in june 1968. and mrs. kennedy supposedly commented, our country is just going crazy. and if they're killing kennedys, my children might be next. so she was obviously looking for safety and security, which aristotle onassis represented by having his own island off the coast of greece which he could take her and the children, not to mention his own yacht, and not mention millions and millions of dollars. because even though we think of the kennedys as being wealthy and mrs. kennedy had been left fairly well off by her husband will, it was not necessarily enough to support her in the way she had grown accustomed. so she was obviously looking for some financial security also. i think what you are probably driving at is what she did take
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a hit. her image took a hit, for two reasons. one is that aristotle onassis was used as a rather unscrupulous businessman. and number two, he didn't look like president kennedy. so if you put yourself out as the queen of camelot and then generate a troll, i'm just saying, people take that personally. and i can remember my mother and others saying, how could she -- after she was married to a handsome president kennedy, how could she married aristotle onassis? but in his defense i should say that about, i was a about 10 years ago, made a little less when i was first writing this book, mrs. kennedy sister appeared on larry king, and he asked her, he said what was it that your sister saw and aristotle onassis? and she said i had been interested in mr. onassis.
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and he said you just have to understand he was so charismatic and the way he would move through a room or out in public. and she said he moved gracefully. there was something compelling about him in addition to money apparently. that both the bouvier sisters were drawn to. but you're actually right to infer that mrs. kennedy's image to take a hit. she dropped in some of the polls where people were asked who is your most admired american woman. she tended to drop in those years. that she went back up after he died and after she continued to live this lifestyle in new york of a rather quiet life working as a book at it but working historic preservation. example, for grand central station she worked for that. so she went up in the polls towards the time that she died in 1994. she was well up in that top 10 category of most admired women. so her image came back, if you
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will come in her final years. so, do we have time for one more? we can take one more. [inaudible] >> i did not get a chance to ask leave as well as an uncertainty comment on the on the larry king show when i saw today. my sense was that perhaps things were winding down with that romance, and mrs. kennedy took over what that had wound down. but have to say i don't know the exact answer to your question. it's an intriguing want to be sure. so with that, thank you all so much for your attention today and for your wonderful questions. [applause] >> this book is part of the university press of kansas modern first lady series.
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>> captain sullenberger is an author of "highest duty." captain sullenberger, what is highest duty? >> it's to do the very best we can to take care of each other. and as a captain of course the passengers are my first responsibility. but my book is more than just about the event of january 15, 2009 with the hudson river money. it's even more about my life and the preparation for a. i had to have a survey of my life of all the important events of people who were with me that day that helped me with a lifetime experiences to solve a problem i'd never seen before along with my crew. and so i think finding one's passion early in life, being diligent and willing to work hard and expert at it leads to a purposeful life, full of passion. and i think that's what helped me more than anything else that day over the river. >> what led you to writing the book? was it the landing in the hudson
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river? >> absolutely that was certainly a big part of it. i think much of the book was already in the. it's my life story, but that was the impetus. is a store that need to be told that i want to make sure that i could tell it through my eyes. >> we were, half of the passing of the of that landing, and everybody exiting the plane at this point. what was your thought on impact? >> i'll tell you a quick story about what happened immediately after the landing. my first officer that day and i had never landed an airliner into a river before so we didn't know quite what to expect. and i didn't know how successful i would be in making the touchdown, gentle enough to keep the airplane impacted i was confident i could but i didn't know how hard it would be since we had no thrust to make a more gradual approach to the water to act we landed, and stopped in the water right before i open the cockpit door and commanded the evacuation, my first officer and i turned which is in the
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most amazing coincidence at the same time and also same words said, that wasn't as bad as i thought. so that was our first reaction. >> what do airlines look for in airline pilots that they seem to have this columnist? >> well, what we exhibited that day, what we force ourselves was a practiced calm that professionals learn. it's worth having the discipline to compartmentalize and focus on the task at hand, even though your body normative reaction is to respond with a spike in blood pressure and in polls. and a narrowing of your perception because this intense sudden life-threatening stress but as we did our job despite it. >> in your view not as retarded you as a captain, has the airline industry secure in the united states speak what you mean in terms of our security from threats of?
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>> in anyway. >> or financial? >> no, more a threat, more air traffic, et cetera. >> i think that we're working very hard to manage all this risk, both in terms of the safety in the system and air traffic control, and also in terms of our security. but there's always more to be done and we're always trying to find new ways to learn from our expenses and do it better in the future. that's a big part of what i'm trying to do not, try to be an advocate with the highest professional standards and by profession and the highest level of safety for passengers. >> how are you doing that? >> by speaking out. this is give me a greater chance of a greater voice to think i cared about my entire life. first officer is also doing that. and in terms of trying to do our best to fix the system. we are not done yet. >> sully sullenberger, "highest


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