Mrs. Kennedy’s Thoughts Were on Lincoln

The author who brought the world The Day Lincoln Was Shot also wrote The Day Kennedy Was Shot.  I read the latter book again not too long ago. I was surprised at how often the author-Jim Bishop- mentioned Lincoln. Really, it shouldn’t be that surprising. The assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy are often compared to each other. At any rate, he contends that during what had to be a nightmare for Jacqueline Kennedy, she had her thoughts on Abraham Lincoln. I’ve heard that before-from other sources. I’ve included a  quote from the book that was interesting:

“The Johnsons, anxious to show a smooth continuity in the transfer of government, desired the two families to appear as one. At least, the Johnsons felt, the former rapport between the two groups could be maintained. They were wrong. After the swearing in, Mrs. Kennedy did not return to the private stateroom of the First Lady. She returned to the casket, and those of the Kennedy camp who wished to sit the vigil, remained at her side.

No mean word was uttered; no gauntlet was thrown. Glancing at the bronze box, Mrs. Kennedy began to think of Abraham Lincoln. The buoyant, youthful, sophisticated John F. Kennedy became fused in the shadow of death with the weary, cavernous man who had sealed the fractures in the union with the blood of it’s best boys. He, too, had had his Johnson; he, too, died on a Friday; he, too, had been sitting with his wife; he, too, had been shot in the back of the head; in death he, too, had turned over the affairs of the nation to a man who was earthy, a vindictive Southerner who was politically alienated from his area.” (pps 326-327).

I heard it said that shortly after the murder of JFK, Jackie Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, still very much in grief, drove to the Lincoln Memorial during a particular evening. There they sat on the steps of that great place, and pondered their loss.  Under the watching eyes of the first President who was killed by an assassin, they looked for meaning  in John Kennedy’s death. I think they were at the right place. I don’t know if they found what they were looking for. I don’t know if Jackie found the solace she must have been seeking-but her thoughts were on Lincoln-and that must have brought some comfort to her dark night of the soul.

 Mail this post

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply