Why Jackie?

First Lady Jacqueline “Jackie” Bouvier Kennedy was- and in many ways, still is- an American icon.


Stoughton, Cecil W. “Kennedys Arrive at Dallas.” Public Domain. November 22, 1963, accessed December 6, 2017.

As the even younger wife of America’s youngest-elected president during the age of television, the spotlight on Kennedy in the early 1960s was considerable. The First Lady and her famous husband, President John F. Kennedy (JFK), experienced a level of publicity never before endured by an American head of state and his family.

Mrs. Kennedy’s famous quote from the day of her husband’s inauguration perfectly sums up what it is like to receive so much attention from the press and public: “I felt as though I had just turned in to a piece of public property. It’s frightening to lose your anonymity at 31.”

However, from her prominent position in both print and televised media, she set the standard to which all First Ladies have since been compared. Since her tenure in the White House, all presidential wives have shared in the media spotlight.

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Rowe, Abbie. “The Kennedys at the White House.” Creative Commons, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. February 4, 1961, accessed December 6 2017.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s image in the media as both a traditional and modern woman and public response to this portrayal- as exemplified by the 1962 program “A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy- personified American femininity in the early 1960s.

To read about 1960s media, visit The Importance of Media.

To discover more about how the media portrayed Jacqueline Kennedy, explore the pages within the Jacqueline as a Persona menu.

To watch the historic program “A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy,” or learn about Kennedy’s image within it, click on The White House Tour.

To see source information or find out more about the researcher behind this project, go to About.

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