"I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris"
President Kennedy's remarks at a news conference held at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, first page, June 2, 1961. At the top of the page, the President scribbled the words to introduce himself: "I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris . . ."
The Kennedys captivated the French people. On May 31, 1961, when the couple arrived in the French capital for a three-day State visit, nearly half a million people lined the streets of Paris to catch a glimpse.
Over the next two days of the visit, as the President went from meeting to meeting, Mrs. Kennedy maintained a schedule of her own events. Already admired for her style and beauty, she bedazzled the public with her knowledge and affinity for the French language, culture, and history. She was a particular sensation, and the President delighted in her success.
"Suddenly, everything that had been a liability before—your hair, that you spoke French, you didn't just adore to campaign . . . everyone thought I was a snob and hated politics . . . And when we got in the White House all the things that I had always done, suddenly became wonderful. . . and I was so happy for Jack, especially now that it was only three years together that he could be proud of me then. Because you know, it made him so happy—it made me so happy. So those were our happiest years."
- Jacqueline Kennedy