A Tour of the White House With Mrs. John F. Kennedy | Chicago Reader

A Tour of the White House With Mrs. John F. Kennedy

Screening as part of the Field Museum's exhibit “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years,” this 1962 TV documentary is a fascinating compendium of presidential history that has since become history itself. The first lady had supervised a yearlong project to redecorate the White House with historical paintings and antique furniture owned by previous residents, and this unprecedented broadcast, watched by hundreds of millions worldwide, silenced most of her detractors by reminding people that knowledge of the country's history could be a source of strength in chaotic times. Seen all these years later, Kennedy may seem like an insipid Stepford wife, but her poised performance was a remarkable balancing act at the time, stressing her domestic role but also revealing her formidable education and sharp administrative skills. Franklin Schaffner (Patton, Planet of the Apes) directed. 55 min.

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