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Spending time with your future in-laws in their home can be intimidating. But if we were in then-23-year-old Jackie Kennedy’s shoes, we would’ve been utterly intimidated. A new account of Jackie’s time spent with the Kennedy family at their Hyannis Port compound is shedding light on the early days of her romance with John F. Kennedy, and there’s one detail about her time in Hyannis Port we cannot stop thinking about.
In her new biography White House by the Sea: A Century of the Kennedys at Hyannis Port, writer Kate Storey relates Jackie’s first time in Hyannis Port. Following her engagement to JFK, Jackie went to the noted family home on the coast of Massachusetts. The couple spent time with Jack’s mother Rose, who was immediately taken with Jackie, per Storey’s biography. Jackie also spent time “getting used to things,” Storey writes, per an excerpt from Vanity Fair. “She tried to make herself comfortable in Rose and Joe’s home. Quiet and observant, she seemed to be soaking in the house. Jack smiled when she came downstairs more dressed up than anyone else.”
Days were spent on the water and photographers hounded the young couple. But through it all Jackie seemed as poised as ever. By the time her trip to Hyannis Port came to an end, the future First Lady of the United States wrote a thoughtful note to Jack’s mother. “She thanked Rose for the hospitality she’d shown her that weekend. But then she started to think about what it was going to be like to be a part of the big family she’d just gotten to know,” Storey writes.
“‘It seems to me that very few people have been able to create what you have—a family built on love and loyalty and gaiety,’ Jackie wrote. ‘If I can even come close to building that with Jack I will be very happy.’” Despite the knowledge of how the story ends, during their time as a young family in the White House, JFK and Jackie made a Camelot of their own; a pristine model of 1960s glamour, elegance, and culture. Who would have considered it may have started all the way back to that influential trip to Hyannis Port.
Before you go, click here to see Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff’s big blended family.
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