Mrs. Kennedy Speaks Following JFK's Death

Less than two months after her husband was killed, Mrs. Kennedy made a newsreel tape, thanking the American people for all their expressions of sympathy after JFK's death. 

The tape was played in movie theaters, before the feature film was shown, and is now maintained in the National Archives.

Hereafter is the full text of her statement:

I want to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of messages - nearly 800,000 in all - which my children and I have received over the past few weeks. The knowledge of the affection in which my husband was held by all of you has sustained me and the warmth of these tributes is something I shall never forget. Whenever I can bear to, I read them. 

All his bright light gone from the world. All of you who have written to me know how much we all loved him and that he returned that love in full measure.

It is my greatest wish that all of these letters be acknowledged. They will be, but it will take a long time to do so. But I know you will understand. Each and every message is to be treasured. Not only for my children, but so that future generations will know how much our country and people in other nations thought of him.

The letters will be placed with his papers in the library to be erected in his memory along the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts. I hope that in years to come, many of you and your children will be able to visit the Kennedy Library. It will be, we hope, not only a memorial to President Kennedy but a living center of study of the times in which he lived and a center for young people and scholars from all over the world.

May I thank you again. On behalf of my children and of the President's family for the comfort the letters have brought us all. Thank you.

All of the letters were eventually acknowledged.  It took the First Lady about ten years to accomplish her goal.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Dec 06, 2019

Media Credits

Historical newsreel footage, online courtesy National Archives.





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