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Jacqueline Bouvier and John F. Kennedy Marriage Profile

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Photo: Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

President and Mrs. Kennedy on January 20, 1962 at the National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston
The courtship and marriage of a young sophisticated society beauty and Washington's most eligible bachelor made headlines in the 1950s. The same couple, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier, made headlines again in the 1960s as America's First Couple.
Fast Marriage Facts - John and Jackie
Met: 1951.
Married: September 12, 1953.
Marriage Ended: November 22, 1963 when John died.
First Marriage: Yes.

Did You Know?
Jackie gave John a poem she wrote on their first wedding anniversary.

Born:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Brookline, Massachusetts on May 29, 1917.

Jacqueline "Jackie" Lee Bouvier: July 28, 1929 at Southampton, New York.

Died:

John: President John F. Kennedy died from an assassin's bullet on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas at the age of 46. The assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald. Jackie made John's funeral arrangements based on Lincoln's funeral.

Jackie: Jacqueline Kennedy died at her home in New York, New York on May 19, 1994 at the age of 64, from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She was buried next to President Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.

How John and Jackie Met:

Most books about the Kennedys report that John and Jackie were introduced by a mutual friend, Charles Bartlett, at a small dinner party at Bartlett's home in Georgetown in May 1951. Charles Bartlett was the Washington correspondent for the Chattanooga Times.
Jack: "I leaned across the asparagus and asked for a date."
Source: Wendy H. Goldberg and Betty Goodwin. Marry Me! Courtships and Proposals of Legendary Couples. pg. 62.

Jackie: "It was a very spasmodic courtship. We didn't see each other for six months, because I went to Europe again and Jack began his summer and fall campaigning in Massachusetts. Then came six months when we were both back. Jack was in Congress, and I was in my last year of George Washington University. But it was still spasmodic because he spent half of each week in Massachusetts."
Source: Wendy H. Goldberg and Betty Goodwin. Marry Me! Courtships and Proposals of Legendary Couples. pg. 62.

Carl Anthony: "Contrary to the now-entrenched legend of a dinner party introduction, they had first met on a train speeding up the eastern seaboard in 1949. College junior Jackie Bouvier, scribbling a letter to a Newport friend, unwittingly recorded their first meeting. Her description of him would be a blueprint for their marriage -- he was, she wrote, a charming, confident, and handsome but insistent flirt to whom she responded with indifferent amusement, yet absolute attraction."
Source: Carl Sferrazza Anthony. The Kennedy White House: Family Life and Pictures, 1961-1963. pg. 147.

When Jackie returned from England after Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, Jack proposed on June 24, 1953 with an engagement ring from Van Cleef & Arpels that had a square-cut 2.88 carat diamond and a 2.84 carat emerald with tapered baguettes. They quickly announced their engagement on June 25th.

Wedding Date and Information:

With approximately 800 guests present, John (36) and Jackie (24) were married on September 12, 1953 in Newport, Rhode Island at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church. Their wedding officiant was Archbishop Richard Cushing of Boston. John and Jackie received a special blessing from Pope Pius XII. Robert Kennedy was best man, Lee Bouvier Canfield, sister of Jackie, was matron of honor. Jackie's step-father, Hugh D. Auchincloss, walked her down the aisle.
Jackie wore a "demure pearl choker, her grandmother's lace veil, a tiara of orange blossoms and a gown stitched from fifty yards of cream faille. Holding fast to bridal tradition of wearing something borrowed and something blue, she clutched her mother's lace handkerchief and wore a blue garter. Jack wore a morning suit."
Source: Wendy H. Goldberg and Betty Goodwin. Marry Me! Courtships and Proposals of Legendary Couples. pg. 63.

"Jacqueline wore a choker of pearls and a diamond bracelet that was a gift from the groom. The bride’s bouquet was of pink and white spray orchids and gardenias."
Source: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

There were approximately 1200-1700 guests at the reception at Jackie's parents' home, Hammersmith Farm, a 300-acre estate on Narragansett Bay. Guests were served a luncheon of fruit cup, creamed chicken, and ice cream. Their five-tier wedding cake was four feet tall. The Meyer Davis Society Band played at the reception.
More Kennedy-Bouvier Wedding Details
Kennedy-Bouvier Wedding Photos
Kennedy-Bouvier Wedding Video

Jackie and John honeymooned at the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan, then spent two weeks in Acapulco, Mexico before going to a hillside suite at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California.

For their first wedding anniversary, Jackie gave John a poem that she wrote.

Children:

Prior to having Caroline and John, Jackie had the sadness of a miscarriage in 1955 and the stillbirth of a daughter in August 1956.
  • Caroline Bouvier Kennedy: Born on November 27, 1957 in New York, New York. Caroline married Edwin Schlossberg on July 19, 1986.
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr: Born on November 25, 1960. John married Carolyn Jeanne Bessette in 1996. They both died on July 16, 1999 in a plane crash.
  • Patrick Bouvier Kennedy: Born on August 7, 1963. Died August 9, 1963.

Residences:

Their first home was in Georgetown, District of Columbia. Listing of JFK Residences

Video: April 3, 1957 - Jacqueline Kennedy on ''Home'' hosted by Arlene Francis. Includes a tour of their Georgetown home.

Occupations:

John: 35th President of the U.S, Senator, Congressman, author. His book, Profiles in Courage won the Pulitzer Prize in history. During WWII, John served in the U.S. Navy.

Jackie: Book publishing, editor.

Issues in Jackie and John Kennedy's Marriage:

The marriage of John and Jackie Kennedy was strained "by her extravagant spending and refusal to attend official events that bored her, and by his relationships with other women."
Source: Beatrice Gormley. First Ladies: Women Who Called the White House Home. pg. 80.

Other Marriages:

Jackie married Aristotle Onassis in October 1968. Their wedding was on his private island, Skorpios. Onassis died in March 1975.

Quotes About the Marriage of John and Jackie Kennedy:

Jacqueline during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962: "If anything happens, we're all going to stay right here with you," she remembers telling her husband. "Even if there's not room in the bomb shelter in the White House. ... I just want to be with you, and I want to die with you, and the children do, too – than live without you."
Source: "Jacqueline Kennedy Book Reveals Another Side of Former First Lady." HuffingtonPost.com. 9/12/2011.
Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life With John F. Kennedy 9/2011
by Caroline Kennedy, Michael Beschloss
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Jack: "I'd known a lot of attractive women in my lifetime ... but of them all there was only one I could have married -- and I married her."
Source: Carl Sferrazza Anthony. The Kennedy White House: Family Life and Pictures, 1961-1963. pg. 147.

More Quotes About the Marriage of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier

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