An American icon: Jackie Kennedy

Cuban exiles gathered to honor him during a ceremony after he negotiated a prisoner
release, yet in order to communicate, he needed her. He brought her to the stand to speak words of inspiration and gratitude.

In December 1962, the surviving exiles were greeted in Miami by President John F.
Kennedy and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

“I feel proud that my son has known the officers,” said the first lady to a crowd in Miami in perfect Spanish. “It is my wish and my hope that someday he may be a man at least half as brave as the members of Brigade 2506.”

Jacqueline Kennedy, idolized by many American women, was highly educated, a leader who carried herself with poise and when she spoke, she spoke words of wisdom.

“She may have been living in JFK’s shadow,” said Brooke Anderson, co-host for The Insider on CBS. “But she herself had a powerful voice.”

Despite her husband’s strong presence in the political world, her compassionate nature for many topics made her relatable and recognizable to many.

“I would say Jackie Kennedy was a highly intelligent, aristocratic woman. By being a
very strong woman, I think Jackie had influence over other women,” said Malindsey Nobles, a child and adolescent studies major.

Her influence on women was particularly influenced by how she presented herself in the public eye and most notably, what she was wearing while doing so.

“She was a fashion icon and women all over the world admired her for being such a trend
setter,” Anderson said.

Many remember the iconic image of Kennedy boarding a plane with her husband and waving her white-gloved hand to a crowd in her legendary pink Chanel suit complete with a pillbox hat and a stunning set of sunglasses.

She brought a sense of style to the White House by appearing on the political scene wearing some of the world’s best designers, which led her to be named in the International Best Dressed List in December 1964.

If she wasn’t impressing fashionistas all over the world, she was being recognized for promoting the arts, restoring the White House and putting in hard efforts with the GoodWill.

She also played a major role in her husband’s campaign by writing a weekly syndicated news column called the “Campaign Wife,” answering newsletters and doing interviews.

“I think she accomplished a lot while JFK was in presidency,” said Claudia Cruz, a biology major. “One of Jackie Kennedy’s accomplishments was being able to establish the John F. Kennedy Library at Harvard University and also helping to start a campaign to save New York’s Grand Central Station.”

On top of her incomparable appearance and list of achievements, the first lady also raised five children with John, maintaining a maternal role in the household.

“I find it amazing how she worked so hard yet presented herself with such grace, in
addition to her being such a caring mother and wife,” Anderson said.

Americans everywhere adored her, and while many languished over her husband’s death in 1963, there remained high regard to what she was doing, wearing and what kind of mother she was to her children.

“She will always be remembered for her compassion, in addition to her classic and
effortless style,” Anderson said. “Her look was incredibly beautiful and timeless, and can still be worn even today.”

ABC aired Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words Sept. 13, which was a two-hour special containing never-before-heard interviews of Kennedy shortly after the assassination of John. The special averaged over 8 million viewers, proving her history continues to affect and intrigue the hearts of many.

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