Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Star-Spangled Tea Party

Last month, the activities director at Shorepointe Assisted Living Facility contacted me about doing a presentation at their monthly tea on Sunday, July 26th.  She wanted to know what my topic would be so she could post it in the monthly calendar and newsletter.  

July is a patriotic month, so I decided to speak about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis since her birthday is July 28th [two days after my presentation].  Also because she was the wife of the 35th President of the United States, and one of her greatest public accomplishments was restoring the White House to a museum of American history and culture.

If she were alive today she'd soon be celebrating her 86th birthday, but she's been deceased for 21 years, passing away two months shy of her 65th birthday.

[Internet Photos]

There are SO many articles and books written about her that I've had to cloister myself for days researching her life, and I've only covered a fraction of what's been written.   

She's rated #3 in greatest American First Ladies [after Eleanor Roosevelt and Abigail Adams], and #1 for America's most loved First Lady.  She also has the distinction of setting the bar for stylish First Ladies.  Ironically, she never liked the term 'First Lady' saying it reminded her of a race horse!

Tea was used to help elect her husband, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, to both the Senate and the Presidency.

~ Below Jackie is pictured with her mother, Janet Lee Bouvier Auchincloss ~

Tea parties were a means of raising donations for Jackie's White House restoration project.

~ As a style icon Jackie made the pillbox hat popular ~

Below Jackie wears her famous pink Chanel suit with matching pillbox hat personally requested by her husband on their visit to Dallas, Texas the day he was assassinated.  He said she looked "smashing" in the suit, which sadly became symbolic of that dreadful day.

Today, the blood-stained suit is in the National Archives building in Maryland, arriving in a box with a handwritten note from Jackie's mother on her personal stationery that read: "Jackie's suit and bag - worn November 22nd, 1963."  The suit was never cleaned.

The public hasn't seen it since the assassination, and won't for another 90 years.  In 2003, nine years after her mother's death, Caroline Kennedy gave the suit as a gift to the people of the United States with the condition that it wouldn't be put on display until 2103.  And even then, the Kennedy family will have to be consulted before any attempt is made to display it.

The archives has the suit stored in a windowless vault, in an acid-free container, where the air is repeatedly changed at a temperature of 65-68 degrees to properly maintain the wool and cloth.

On a lighter subject... I recently purchased a patriotic apron on E-bay that came with a matching quilted oven mitt and potholder.  My intent was to add it to my apron collection because I didn't have one with matching kitchen accessories.  I've decided, however, to wear the apron as part of my outfit when I speak this Sunday to help carry out the 'star-spangled' theme.

I'll report back how the tea party goes.  Little will be said about the assassination to keep things on the lighter side.  I must confess gloominess hovered as I researched Jackie's life, and read the many tragedies and disappointments she endured throughout her lifetime.


  1. This post was an interesting look back at recent history. Enjoyed the photos with the tea parties!

  2. She was a beautiful lady and unfortunately, had much tragedy in her life. But how much fun would it have been to attend one of those tea parties!

  3. I've never seen all these great photos of her at tea! Sounds like you do have plenty of "happy" that you can focus on in your talk about her, and of course I think her status as a style icon will always be with us.


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