Jackie Kennedy and the Modern Presidency

JFK: Fact and Fable is an exclusive original CuriosityStream documentary that explains how television made John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy the ultimate celebrity during his presidency, yet the JFK we remember is actually the one his wife, Jackie, created after his death.

jackie-kennedy

You’ve heard the phrase: “Behind every successful man, there is a woman.”  In no case is this more true than in the story of John F. Kennedy’s presidency and legacy, the topic of our exclusive original documentary, JFK: Fact and Fable.

If you think you know what to expect, guess again.  The JFK we remember is the one that Jackie Kennedy created.  While she was always pictured by her husband’s side, few people know how much of an impact she made on her own.  From the Oval Office to the Rose Garden to Air Force One, Jackie’s stamp was on everything, and still remains today.  Have you ever noticed how the presidential seal appears whenever the president speaks?  That’s thanks to Jackie.  How did welcoming ceremonies for foreign leaders go from simple airport greetings to elaborate hosted events at the White House?  Jackie again.  And just hours after JFK’s death, still in a blood-splattered dress and carrying the grief of a world in shock, Jackie directed that his funeral reproduce the rites of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral a century earlier.  That decision would forever link JFK to Lincoln.

“He so wanted to be a great president – I think he still can be.” – Jackie Kennedy

Jack and Jackie were both obsessed by the judgements of history.  Two weeks after Jack’s death, Jackie famously stated, “He so wanted to be a great president – I think he still can be.”  She devoted the rest of her life to making him just that.  Today, JFK still remains the most popular U.S. president among those who have no living memory of him.

Watch the trailer below and to learn more about JFK and the influence Jackie had,  revisit our original JFK quiz and stream JFK: Fact and Fable in its entirety, only on CuriosityStream.

Michael Hammerstrom
Michael Hammerstrom is the Manager of Marketing and Engagement at CuriosityStream, the world's premiere nonfiction streaming service. He previously led national community engagement efforts for PBS, focusing on K-12 education, as well as for the national nonprofit KaBOOM!, mobilizing high need communities to build playgrounds through competitive grants and grassroots fundraising. He holds a BFA in Theatre and Liberal Arts from The Boston Conservatory and started his career performing and teaching children's theatre.
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