Jackie Kennedy audio tapes released
Former first lady opens up about Cuban missile crisis, assassination of JFK
ABC News has broadcast newly released audio tapes of former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, made just months after the assassination of her husband in 1963.
In the interviews with a White House historian, John F. Kennedy's wife pleaded with him to allow her and their children stay with him in event of a nuclear war, around the time of the Cuban missile crisis.
According to Sky News, she told JFK:
Please don't send me anywhere. If anything happens, we're all going to stay right here with you. I just want to be on the lawn when it happens – you know – but I just want to be with you, and I want to die with you, and the children do too – than live without you.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who died in 1994, describes civil rights leader Martin Luther King as "a terrible man" – and is scathing about JFK's vice-president Lyndon Johnson and other world leaders.
In the tapes, which were recorded by White House aide Arthur Schlesinger just four months after JFK was shot dead in Dallas, Jackie Kennedy recalls how her husband joked about the threat of assassination.
Transcripts of the eight hours of tapes are being released in a book Wednesday entitled: Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy.
She agreed to the interviews, recorded in the Kennedys' Washington home, on the condition that they not be released until long after her death.
The Christian Science Monitor says the former first lady has remained one of the more mysterious figures of the 1960s because not much was known about her thoughts and feelings – until now.
It reports that the interviews “are often interrupted by sounds of clinking ice, matches being struck, or sounds Kennedy children Caroline and John Jr. coming and going out of the room."
In a foreword to the book, Caroline said she was inspired to release the tapes by the 50th anniversary of her father’s presidency, adding that it was important the public knew her mother’s version of historical events, and the people involved.
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.