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The Marriage of John and Jaqueline Kennedy

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The Marriage of John and Jacqueline Kennedy.

THESIS: Although the relationship of John and Jacqueline Kennedy evolved from

friendship to love, their marriage was filled with tragedy, shame, and change.

I. The relationship of John and Jacqueline Kennedy evolved from friendship to


A. They met at a dinner party thrown by Charles and Martha Bartlett.

B. Their marriage was called "the wedding of the year."

II. Their marriage had many tragedies.

A. Although three children survived birth, Jackie had many unsuccessful


B. President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas while riding in a


III. Their marriage was filled with shame.

A. Jack had an irresistible urge to women.

B. Jack had innumerable conversations with a Judith Campbell, a woman with

mob connections.

IV. Their marriage was filled with change.

A. Life was different for the Kennedy's in the White House.

B. Jackie did a complete renovation of the White House.

C. Life changed drastically for Jackie after the assassination of her


Although the relationship of John and Jacqueline Kennedy evolved from

friendship to love, their marriage was filled with tragedy, shame and change. The

life of the first family is highly publicized but many of the happenings of the

Kennedy family were not meant to be up for public scrutiny. During the time that

Kennedy was in office there were many political as well as personal events that

went on in his life. Love, tragedy, shame, and change were just some of the

feelings and occurrences that went on inside the White House.

Jacqueline began her journalism career working for the Washington

Times-Herald where she was soon promoted to "Inquiring Cameragirl." This was

how she first got to talk to Senator John F. Kennedy. She interviewed him for her

column a few times and attended a dinner party thrown by Charles and Martha

Bartlett where Jack also attended. The Bartlett's invited Jack, Jackie and a few

other couples so it would not look too contrived. Martha pushed Jack and Jackie

together on the couch, served them cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and let them drink

their heads off. Charles Bartlett says that he had nothing to do with it, his wife

was the only matchmaker involved in this scheme. This was not the only time that

they met at the Bartlett's home. When they started dating regularly they

sometimes met there for a game of bridge, Checkers, or Monopoly.

Jack telephoned Jackie in London one day and proposed marriage. The

engagement was announced in June 24, 1953 and the wedding was set for

September 12, 1953. (Davis 316) Joe Kennedy made sure that the wedding was

well publicized as the "Wedding of the Year." (Mills 108)(Davis 189) Police

estimated that around three thousand onlookers watched as Mr. and Mrs. John F.

Kennedy emerged from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Newport for the first time

and posed for the Associated Press, United Press, New York Times, Boston Globe,

Washington Post, and even Life magazine. The reception was held at Hammersmith

Farm and around 1,200 guests sat at tables on the lawn and ate creamed chicken.

Guests danced on the terrace to music played by Meyer Davis and at one point

cleared the floor and watched the newlywed couple dance to "I Married an Angel"

and "No Other Love." Jackie presented her bridesmaids with monogrammed silver

picture frames and Jack gave his ushers Brooks Brothers umbrellas. (Anthony 81)

Along with Jackie's two children that survived infancy, she had several other

pregnancies that ended in tragedy. The Kennedy's first pregnancy in 1956 ended in

miscarriage. Jack's bad back problems had been flaring up so Jackie played

round-the-clock nurse to him, she changed his dressings several times a day, put on

his socks and slippers, played games with him and helped him in and out of bed.

She exhausted herself doing this and, so caused the miscarriage. On November

27, 1957, Jackie gave birth to her first child. Named Caroline Bouvier Kennedy,

this perfectly healthy baby girl was delivered by Cesarean section and weighed

seven pounds and two ounces. During the end of Jackie's



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