On February 14, 1962, 50 years ago today, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave America a Valentine, a Valentine that endures today and will continue to endure for generations to come.
Mrs. Kennedy and Charles Collingwood of CBS walked 56 million Americans through the newly refurbished White House. It was the first ever televised tour of the Presidential Mansion by a First Lady. There has not been a tour of its magnitude since.
Mrs. Kennedy wore a red bouclé suit by Chez Ninon, a model of a Marc Bohan for Christian Dior. The shape, the fit, the detail - are what we all refer to as iconic 'Jackie style'.
The project she spearheaded, with the support of the of the Fine Arts Committee, was an enormous undertaking that required planning, networking, fundraising, arm twisting, and chutzpah. She was 31 when she took on the project, the third youngest First Lady at that time, a young mother.
With the help of Henry Dupont, Jayne Wrightsman, Rachel Lambert Mellon, and others, paintings, furniture, decorative objects, and cash began to find their way into the coffers of Mrs. Kennedy's storage rooms. Her dream was to make Americans proud of THEIR house, making it a true expression of American history, the American presidency and the American people for everyone that passes through its doors, from foreign leaders to school children.
Her desire for authenticity, accuracy, scholarship, and a tasteful and beautiful national home for all Americans, made the White House what it is today.