5 myths about Jackie Kennedy

5 myths about Jackie Kennedy

[Ed. note: You’re not gonna say she was actually a dude, are you?]

1. She grew up an heiress.

Certainly she was born to a wealthy family and had a privileged upbringing. Her father, John V. Bouvier III, was an investment banking scion, and her mother, Janet Lee, was the daughter of a construction tycoon who built some of the most distinguished apartment houses on Park Avenue in New York. But her father lost most of his money in the Great Depression, her parents divorced bitterly, and she later said that when she was in boarding school, she was sometimes nervous that her father would not be able to pay her tuition bills.

2. As first lady, she was a stranger to hard work.

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As Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of JFK’s vice president, said: Jackie “was a worker, which I don’t think was always quite recognized.” Her restoration of the White House was not some minor exercise in redecoration. When she toured the mansion after JFK’s election in 1960, she was astonished to find that the state rooms looked like the lobby of a prosaic Statler Hotel, which to her meant dreariness. That was not an accident; after the White House was gutted and rebuilt with an interior steel frame during Harry Truman’s second term, Truman had saved money by having the New York department store B. Altman furnish the mansion’s main floor.

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