Tuesday, February 8, 2011

America's Queen

~ Jacqueline  Bouvier Kennedy~
~September 12, 1953~
~Jackie's Billowing White Veil~
~Her veil  of rosepoint lace belonged to her maternal grandmother~
~Reception at Hammersmith Farm, Newport, Rhode Island~
~On the Shore of Beautiful Narragansett Bay~

In our country, the Kennedy Family is about as close to royalty as we have.  Oh, I realize that not everyone would agree with me but over the past sixteen years, I have been collecting books on the Presidents of the United States and President and Mrs. Kennedy, for me, always rise to the top.  Many of these books on the Presidents,  I have found inexpensively at antique shops  and also some were given as gifts or  I've purchased a few than were meaningful.  Our family truly enjoys history!  When our children were growing up in our home, our vacations every other year, were centered around places of history and importance to our nation, The United States.  We traveled to Washington, D.C. on several occasions and always stopped at historical homes, parks, museums, and even on our wedding anniversary one year, we took everyone to Williamsburg, Virginia.  

During this time, we visited Newport, Rhode Island for a convention and part of the trip included a tour and dinner at Hammersmith Farm in Newport.  This was one of the childhood homes of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and so began my journey collecting books about the Kennedy's and over the years, it is evident to me, even though difficulties may have been a part of their marriage their love story is special and sweet and a part of our nation's wonderful legacy.  For sure, Jackie was beautiful and one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century.  She was a devoted wife and mother, First Lady, preservationist, and accomplished editor. As a couple they shared a love of history and the arts and a devotion to their children.  She was a profoundly private person yet acting as a generous patron of the arts and she touched all our lives during that time. Many beautiful furnishings in The White House mansion today  are there because she was particularly concerned with authentic restoration of the White House to reflect the times and tastes of the families who have lived there.  She established a Fine Arts Committee to acquire historical furnishings and works of art, and sponsored the creation of the White House Historical Association.

The pictures above are beautiful and unforgettable of a hopeful bride!  "When one is chosen by destiny, the path ahead is often fraught with challenges and complexities almost mythic in nature and size."  Jean Mills

She first met John Kennedy at a party in Washington D.C. in May of 1951, but it wasn't until the summer of 1952 when they met again that their romance began.  Their wedding took place on September 12, 1953  at St. Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode Island and became an extremely important social occasion and many felt it was "The Wedding of the Year."  I'm sure it was!!!  In the book, America's Queen by Sarah Bradford, she says that "Jackie was romantically in love with her husband" and wrote a poem expressing this love in detail and gave it to him on their honeymoon.Their love and marriage produced two beautiful children and the rest is history!  

I have a deep admiration for Caroline Kennedy and her endeavors to continue to write, with integrity and purpose about the lives of her parents.  A legacy is something all of us will leave one day to our children, grandchildren, and those we are blessed to know and share our lives with while on this earth.  Prayer is a good way to begin each day because it takes the focus off of our own life and places our focus on our Creator who has given us this day to live and to make a difference in history, even in small ways.  It is exciting to know and understand that only God knows our destiny!  Let us begin today to live our lives in such a way that the ones behind us will be blessed because of the way in which we choose to live our lives!  

Books on the Kennedy's
America's Queen by Sarah Bradford
Moments with Jackie by Jean Mills
JFK Remembered by Jacques Lowe
Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years
First Mothers by Bonnie Angelo
A Family Christmas by Caroline Kennedy
The White House by The White House Historical Association

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