Jacqueline Kennedy returns to the cinema thanks to Natalie Portman

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, well known as Jackie, was the wife of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th US president, First Lady from 20 January 1961 to 22 November 1963, the date of the assassination of her husband. Widow, then married the greek ship owner Aristotle Onassis.

The November 21, 1963 Jacqueline and John left the military air base of Andrews, before they stopped in San Antonio, and then went to Houston for a visit to NASA. Their last stop that day was in Forth Worth. The next day, the two flew to Dallas airport. A short drive would take them to the Trademart where it was expected that the president held a speech. Jackie was sitting in the presidential limousine beside her husband when he was shot and fatally wounded in the head in Dealey Plaza.

Jacqueline Kennedy

Vice President Johnson and his wife followed in another car of the parade. After the President was shot, Jacqueline embraced John saying “I love you so much Jack.” She arranged to make summon a priest to get him absolution and extreme unction. After the death of her husband refused to remove blood stains from her clothing and protested because they had washed the blood from his face and hands and fragments of brain haired. She continued to wear the famous pink dress with which she stars with Lyndon Johnson during the oath for the appointment of the new President. Jacqueline told Lady Bird Johnson, “I want them to see what they did to John.” The courage and the composure shown in the aftermath of the assassination of her husband brought her enormous admiration.

Jacqueline Kennedy, holding their children by the hand, followed him on foot the coffin of her husband from the White House to the Cathedral of St. Matthew and lit the eternal flame on his grave in Arlington National Cemetery. The London Evening Standard wrote: “Jacqueline Kennedy has given the American people one thing that had always lacked: majesty.”

Later Jacqueline led a mourning than a year, during which she made public appearances, decided to sell the house in Virginia where she intended to spend with her husband thereafter the assignment presidential and bought a luxury apartment on Fifth Avenue in New York in order to have more privacy.

Worthily she honored the memory of her husband by going to his grave in numerous public and private occasions and participating in commemorative events. In Boston built the John F. Kennedy Library, which was inaugurated in 1979 by Jimmy Carter.

Jacqueline was also very close to his brother Robert during his presidential campaign, dispensing advice and appearing in many public occasions, but June 6, 1968 Robert was also assassinated. At this point Jacqueline, fearing that all Kennedy could somehow be “targeted”, she decided to leave the United States and, after only four months, October 20, 1968, she married the greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis (who already knew from years, knowledge which had given rise to rumors of their possible, never allowed and never proven, the previous affair), that she broke the long love affair with opera singer Maria Callas.

Natalie Portman


With the second marriage, Jacqueline lost the protection of the US Secret Service, but ended up in the arms of a man who had enough money and power to ensure their safety and social status she was used to. The marital relationship was meticulously regulated by a pre-marriage contract, drawn up by the law firms of the spouses confidence. It had planned everything from the minimum number of weekends that the couple had to spend together each year, what percentage of the husband’s assets would be affected by way of “food”, in case of divorce, commensurate with the number of years that would be the marriage lasted. It is of a very widespread practice in high American society.

The marriage of Jacqueline and the owner apparently did not work well: the couple rarely spent their time together more than guaranteed by contract and Jacqueline came to devote herself to traveling and shopping. Despite Onassis he was fine with stepchildren Caroline and John (his son Alexander gave the young John the first flying lessons, and ironically both are dead after plane crashes), the daughter of Christina Onassis never tied it with Jacqueline.

When Onassis died, March 15, 1975, the widow could not receive a large inheritance, but the Greek law imposed a ceiling on the amount that a foreign national could inherit, and that opened dispute between her and Christina ended with her to accept a final settlement of $ 26 million. Marrying Onassis, she had converted to the Greek Orthodox Church. As a result, according to the code of canon law then in force, she was made two excommunications: as schismatic, and as a “concubine” because Onassis was divorced.

Nevertheless, every year regularly presented to the commissioning of the anniversary of her husband and approached the Eucharist. That her behavior (even reprehensible from the point of view of the Orthodox Church, which sometimes admits Catholics to their sacraments, but never allows its followers, especially if they are new converts, receive the sacraments in other churches) and lack of public reactions about the church authorities, provoked protests from many who, in his own canonical status, you saw deny the sacraments. Again remained a widow, she was reconciled with the Catholic Church.

The life of Jacqueline Kennedy inspired a film, titled Jackie, which is starring Natalie Portman. The film, directed by Pablo Larraín,  follows the story of Jacqueline Kennedy in the days when she had been first lady in the White House and her life after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, which occurred in 1963 in Dallas, Texas.