BOSTON (AP) – Some of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s personal papers, including notes from her televised White House tour 50 years ago, are now public for the first time.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Monday released the first part of a collection her children donated to the library, detailing her efforts to restore the White House in a manner that preserved the nation’s history.
The papers show script changes for the first lady’s Feb. 14, 1962, televised tour that library officials said drew 80 million viewers after syndication. Notes demonstrate Jackie Kennedy’s attention to detail, breaking down script changes by page and line.
“All this superb furniture was accepted by the Eisenhowers, we just added the wallpaper,” was a line she added for the Diplomatic Reception Room tour.
Library Director Tom Putnam said in a statement that the papers show the range of Kennedy’s understanding of art, history and public diplomacy. The opening of the papers comes after the library’s September release of her 1964 oral history interviews.
The collection includes a tentative schedule for the first lady’s June 1961 trip to Paris with her husband. It was an itinerary detailed down to 10-minute increments in some parts and included plans to spend time with French President Charles de Gaulle’s wife, dine at Versailles, attend the ballet and perhaps even meet with the media.
“Press tea for 25 women reporters (?)” her schedule suggested for one Paris afternoon.
The papers also include a hairstyle sketch for the Paris trip, a glimpse at the attention to personal style paid by a woman who became a fashion icon. The papers also show that the first lady was hands-on when it came to interior design. Included in the collection along with fabric samples are sketches she drew that led to the curtain design for the Oval Room.
Also included is a short 1962 speech she made in Spanish in Miami to Cuban exiles who fought Fidel Castro’s regime, telling them she would share the story of their courage with her son when he grew up.
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