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I want to die with you:- Jackie Kennedy w/o John f Kennedy

September 12, 2011
‘I want to die with you,’ Jackie Kennedy told husband during Cuban missile crisis.

In the early days of the Cuban missile crisis, before the world knew that the cold war seemed to be sliding toward nuclear conflict, President John F. Kennedy telephoned his wife, Jacqueline, at their weekend house in Virginia. From his voice, she would say later, she could tell that something was wrong.

Why don’t you come back to Washington? he asked, without explanation.
“From then on, it seemed there was no waking or sleeping,” Mrs. Kennedy recalls in an oral history scheduled to be released Wednesday, 47 years after the interviews were conducted.

When she learned that the Soviets were installing missiles in Cuba aimed at American cities, she begged her husband not to send her away.“If anything happens, we’re all going to stay right here with you,” she says she told him in October 1962. “I just want to be with you, and I want to die with you, and the children do, too — than live without you.”

The seven-part interview conducted in early 1964 — one of only three that Mrs. Kennedy gave after Mr. Kennedy’s assassination — is being published by Hyperion as a book (“Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy”) and an audio recording.

In it, the young widow speaks with Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., the historian and Kennedy aide, about her husband’s presidency, their marriage and her role in his political life. They do not discuss his death.  The eight and a half hours of interviews had been kept private at the request of Mrs. Kennedy, who never spoke publicly about those years again before she died in 1994.

The transcript and recording, obtained by The New York Times, offer an extraordinary immersion in the thoughts and feelings of one of the most enigmatic figures of the second half of the 20th century — the woman who, as much as anyone, helped shape a heroic narrative of the Kennedy years.


By Janny Scott

Photos: Kennedy’s legacy

 Kennedy greets residents of Baltimore on May 13, 1960. Kennedy won Maryland in the 1960 election with 54 percent of the vote. (AP)

 Kennedy addresses his supporters at the 1960 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. Defeating Lyndon Johnson, Adlai Stevenson and other rivals, Kennedy was nominated as the Democratic Party’s choice for president.

 Jacqueline Kennedy greets her husband following his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1961. Kennedy became America’s youngest president. In his inauguration speech he urged Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

 Cold War heats up:-Kennedy meets with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev during the Vienna summit at the U.S. Embassy in Austria on June 3, 1961.

 Cuban Missle Crisis:- Kennedy addresses the nation on Oct. 24, 1962 about the Cuban Missile Crisis. The President announced that days earlier, the United States discovered Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba.

 Kennedy works in the Oval Office while his son, two-year-old John Jr., plays under his desk on October 15, 1963.

  President Kennedy was the fourth president to be assassinated. He and his wife travel in the motorcade in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963. Moments later, Kennedy would be fatally shot in the head by a gunman.
 

Jacqueline Kennedy stands by Vice President Johnson as he takes the oath of office from federal judge Sarah Hughes (left), on Air Force One  just two hours after President Kennedy was shot. Johnson would aim to continue programs of the Kennedy administration.

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