Caroline Kennedy on JFK's secret recordingsJul 22, 2022
Fifty years ago, President Kennedy asked the CIA to install
secretrecording devices in the Oval Office. Many of his conversations with cabinet members and heads of state appear for the first time in a new book called Listening to John F. Kennedy's Secret White House Recordings. Caroline the president's daughter wrote the foreword to the book and we recently talked about the tapes and listened to some of them including a letter
kennedydictated to his wife about their daughter yes jackie i divide this letter into two parts one written in block letters. handwritten on the other hand, I have written a part to give you the news of my visit to Newport.
I went there last Friday afternoon and a line looked so beautiful it was a big hit on the beach and seemed to love the water. through your mind knowing that it's a father talking about his love for his daughter, oh, that's great, the scene he's describing is very familiar, so it's very nice to be able to place the two of us. In that scene, what did you learn about listening to your father? Well, I think I got a much greater appreciation for him at work in the first place. touching i mean i feel so lucky that there are so many
recordingsof him and it all gives me a way to learn or connect with him you said something interesting it's true no kid really knows what their parents do so here you are at the moment his death five happening at six what do you think he did?
When did you find out that he was President of the United States? did you ever know? well I don't know I guess he became president when I was three years old it was just you know where we lived that I did and I remember dancing he would clap and my brother and I would dance and and I remember you know it was a great pleasure to go and see him in your office something very serious things happened in the Oval Office of course one of them was a Cuban Missile Crisis quite possible the Russians will shoot them when they board and we would have to fire back and have a big killing I think we would want Two or three things first I think we want to have some control the cameras bought these boats so we don't have a lot of people taking a lot of photos which in the press could be yes with an arson killer all one photo taken Ali on the boat yes they all advocate having the second camera antelope far enough over the ship but where should they shoot and if they order to go through three or four steps like asking to stop they keep asking you to have your crew ón come up on deck so they don't take three damage so we have this I think mate you were surprised at how detailed it was.
I think that really came through in a lot of these conversations. Her attention to detail and that was something I'd always heard about from my mom, but I mean she was really paying attention to every bit of a lot of surprise to you things about her attention to D, well you just have an incredible memory and incredible curiosity. Look at the country today, there are so many people who don't know the history or have a clue about the history of civil rights and here is your father talking very passionately about a young black student who had been admitted to the University of Mississippi. protesting because they didn't want james meredith there and your dad was talking to the governor about you gotta get order up there that's what we love they have please i don't teach you even ask for a source of movement how can i ? remove it, governor, when there is a riot in the street, you can leave that building and something happened to it, like in the tubulin, in those conditions, you could bring order there, then we can do something.
The Americans around him were linearization well we have to get someone up now to bring order up and stop the shooting and shooting then when you and I were on the phone about Meredith first we have to bring order he is really angry and me and I know that tone of voice from my aunts and uncles and I think they know that civil rights really went from being a major but not a hot topic at the start of his presidency to the biggest domestic crisis of the 20th century and the moral issue of our time, what do you think he would have thought of Barack Obama?
Well, I think one of the things that I think they both shared was just bringing a new generation into the democratic process and I think that's really a significant achievement and legacy and we don't even know what all the people that Barack Obama inspired are going to contribute, Yeah, do you ever get overwhelmed by your legacy because you know that when people think of Kennedy, they think of Camelot, they think of your mother? they think of your father they think of your brother and now you know of course we have you or ever overwhelmed by now of course we have you do you know what Carolina meant to you I know you are ever overwhelmed by the legacy of that or going through something that you know it's just not fair well I'm so proud of my family and I mean my parents I can't imagine having better parents and a more wonderful brother so I feel so lucky that those are my family and I wish they were here, but my own family, my children, my husband, are really my actual family, so we don't really think, but you guys don't really think about bigger entities right now, it's just us. true it's just us true 50 years later the Kennedy family is still very much in the news sometimes good sometimes bad and I wonder what your first reaction is when you get a call saying another Kennedy story is coming What is your first reaction? lemme see if i can guess what it is what reactions lemme see if i can guess who it is alright i have to say i know you're a team member maria i'm arnold i just did a 60 minute interview where he talks about your life and the end of your marriage, what are they? his thoughts on that thing him talking about i don't have any thoughts to share on that you know what she said she said i actually have a lot of thoughts i'm just not going to share them with cbs this morning what i totally understand you know anybody who's a team member from Maria I just wish Arnold would stop talking as a feeling that I understand that she is still incredibly very reserved and level headed yeah yeah and what a treasure that she has the tapes and shares them. we yes very nice
If you have any copyright issue, please Contact