Rare Facts You Didn’t Know About Jackie Kennedy
Jackie Kennedy, born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, was the First Lady and wife during John F. Kennedy’s term as President of the United States. While she may not have been the president during her stay in the White House, Mrs. Kennedy’s life before was just as interesting as her husband.
Here’s a couple of interesting facts you may not have known about Jacqueline Lee Kennedy Onassis:
1. She Worked as a Reporter and Photographer
Jackie Kennedy received her education from three different institutions: Vassar University (USA), Sorbonne University (France), and George Washington University (USA).
After receiving her Ivy League education, Kennedy signed on with the Washington Times-Herald in 1952. As a reporter, the questions varied: “Do you approve of joint bank accounts?”; “Do you think a wife should let her husband think he’s smarter than she is?”
One of the most interesting things during her career as a reporter was interviewing Richard Nixon. We all know how his campaign did against JFK.
2. She Was Briefly Engaged to Another Man Before Marrying John F. Kennedy
Like most people, Jacqueline exchanged vows with someone else before marrying the person she’d spend her life with. Her marriage was announced in the Washington Times-Herald in January 1952. The paper stated his name was John Husted, Wall Street banker, World War II veteran, and a Yale graduate.
It wasn’t too long after she said “I do,” expressing disinterest at the prospect of being a simple housewife. Just two month later in March, the wedding was called off.
She began dating JFK after a dinner party when he was still just a U.S. congressman. They married the following year in September 1953.
3. She Was Both Admired and Criticized for Her Fashionable Clothing
Becoming a trendsetter is no easy task, especially for someone in the 1960s. But Mrs. Kennedy did just that, even getting a nickname for her choice of fashion: the “Jackie look.” Department stores had a tough time creating and selling imitations of the high-class outfits worn by the former First Lady.
During JFK’s 1960 presidential campaign, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis caught flak because of her penchant for fine French clothing. Her wardrobe gave the impression she lost touch with the lower class. Joseph Kennedy took care of things by signing on Oleg Cassini, and American-based designer, to make her special outfits. He earned the moniker “Secretary of Style” for his work with the First Lady’s wardrobe.
4. She Launched a Massive Renovation of the White House
Jackie Kennedy didn’t just gain notoriety for her style, but for also for the creation of the Fine Arts Committee for the White House. She thought the White House needed a little facelift, so he gained the support of private donors and amassed furniture tied to major historical events.
The renovations to the White House were so significant that Charles Collingwood hosted a televised tour on CBS-TV.
5. She Opened a School in the White House
Like any normal parent, Jackie hoped to shield her two children from the media’s eye. The flak she caught from the free press for her daughter’s trips into the city gave Kennedy Onassis a push to turn the third-floor solarium into a functioning nursery school, which later became a kindergarten with ten students taught by professional teachers.
6. She Spoke Multiple Languages
Whatever business you happen to be in, it is always a good idea to learn another language or two. Onassis had no problem grasping the French, Spanish, and Italian languages thanks to schooling and the occasional holiday.
During her husband’s campaign run, she had no problem winning the hearts of voters in both Louisiana (French) and Texas (Spanish).
Her skill as a linguist almost landed her a job as the ambassador to Mexico.
7. She Refused to Change Her Bloodstained Pink Dress on the day of the JFK Assassination
It was in 1963 on November 22 that her husband was shot and killed while sitting beside her. During the swearing in of the next president, Lyndon Johnson, the blood-soaked dress what was she decided to attend it in.
Rumor has it that Onassis said the following to Johnson’s wife after suggesting a change of clothing: “Oh no, I want them to see what they’ve done to Jack.”
If you were ever curious about the dress, it can be viewed in the National Archives minus the pillbox hat. To this day, it remains missing.