Appreciating all that makes America special

Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy,

Jackie Kennedy experienced two unsuccessful pregnancies before giving birth to Caroline, making this birth even more joyful. Uploaded by

It’s not that I don’t recognize her marriage to Aristotle Onassis; of course I do. It’s just that her position on this list is primarily due to her style and grace as the wife of John Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. She set the standard for modern First Ladies, a standard some have foolishly try to say the current First Lady has matched. Please.

Jackie Kennedy,

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Jacqueline Bouvier moved among all the right people during her formative years and as an eligible bachelorette in Washington society. She and John met at a dinner party in 1952 and were married the following year. She couldn’t actively participate in her husband’s 1960 presidential campaign due to pregnancy, and John Jr. was born just after that election nail biter.

Much of what we remember about Jackie came during those few short years in the White House, which she famously had restored. She was dismayed that the mansion reflected so little of its history, and endeavored to make it beautiful and practical. I can still remember the television special in which she took viewers on a tour of the White House. During that special she said, “I just feel that everything in the White House should be the best—the entertainment that’s given here. If it’s an American company you can help, I like to do that. If not—just as long as it’s the best.”

Her public life ended tragically, of course, and the images of her in Dallas and at Lyndon Johnson’s swearing-in ceremony aboard Air Force One are some of the most iconic of the era. She married Onassis five years later, which came as a shock, and she maintained a low profile for the rest of her life.

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