“All these people come to see the White House and they see practically nothing that dates back before 1948,” Mrs. Kennedy said in a September 1, 1961 interview with Hugh Sidey of Life magazine. “Everything in the White House must have a reason for being there. It would be sacrilege merely to ‘redecorate’ it – a word I hate. It must be restored – and that has nothing to do with decoration. That is a question of scholarship.” – The John F. Kennedy Library
On Valentine’s Day in 1962, First Lady Jackie Kennedy, in a television first to specifically try to reach out to women, offered a partial tour of the White House and the renovations in the works.
The John F. Kennedy Library has released Mrs. Kennedy’s papers, donated by Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, Jr., with the press kit very interesting, which you can download if you’re curious.
Leave it to Charlie Rose, heading up CBS TV’s new morning show, to have something so classy on Valentine’s Day.
The interview above, conducted by CBS, was Mrs. Kennedy’s Valentine to America.
Early in 1962, as the restoration project neared completion, Mrs. Kennedy agreed to conduct a televised tour of the Executive Mansion for CBS Television. First broadcast on February 14, 1962 and eventually syndicated worldwide, a record audience of 80 million viewers tuned in to hear the first lady as she guided them through the White House and its newly restored rooms. Archival material featured in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis collection, including correspondence between CBS producers and the White House, Mrs. Kennedy’s original notes on historical details of each room, and several reworked drafts of the script, provide a behind-the-scenes look into the lengthy preparations that were made by the First Lady and her staff leading up to the tour.
Oh, and one last item, Jackie Kennedy won an Emmy for the CBS production, which had Hollywood written all over it.