JFK library opens 1st batch of Jackie's papers

Story highlights

  • Documents feature "Jackie's" role in restoring the White House
  • A televised tour of the presidential mansion aired February 14, 1962
  • A small portion of the documents were posted online
Dinner invitations, decorating notes and a congratulatory telegram were among the first batch of personal papers from former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis released Monday.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library opened the collection to researchers on the eve of the 50th anniversary of a televised tour of the White House that the then-first lady led. The tour drew an audience of 80 million viewers in 1962, as a restoration of the presidential mansion she oversaw neared completion, and won an honorary Emmy award.
"Students, scholars, and the general public continue to be fascinated by Jacqueline Kennedy and the pivotal role she played in our nation's history," Kennedy Library Director Tom Putnam said in a statement announcing the release. "These new documents demonstrate her work as first lady, her legendary attention to detail and the incredible range of her understanding of art, history and public diplomacy."
Documents posted online include a transcript of brief remarks she made to Cuban dissidents captured during the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion on their return home to Florida; photos of fabric swatches Mrs. Kennedy considered during the restoration of the White House; and telegram from a Fort Worth, Texas, man congratulating her on the televised tour, identifying himself as "a Republican, Joseph L. Tonetti."
The Kennedys' children donated the papers to the library after her death in 1994.