Throwback Thursday: Happy Birthday, Jackie Kennedy!

To celebrate, we present five tidbits about the former first lady.

Photo by Toni Frissell via Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Photo by Toni Frissell via Wikimedia/Creative Commons

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was born as Jacqueline Bouvier on July 28, 1929, in Southampton, New York. Soon after, as a toddler, she became an excellent equestrian. Years later, she’d wow the country—and the world—with the same grace, courage, and style she evidently possessed so early on.

Her marriage to Brookline’s boy wonder, her vacations in Hyannis Port, and many other of her life experiences in New England and beyond were all carefully documented by photographers. While her Cape Cod photos produce a particular breed of nostalgia for Bostonians, all of the snapshots of Jackie’s life have kept her memory alive and well.

On what would have been her 87th birthday, we’ve compiled a few tidbits about the woman who captured and continues to capture the hearts of Americans.

1. She started out as a newspaper reporter.

Although she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French literature, Jackie was always a writer. During her senior year of college she won a Vogue essay contest and was offered an internship with the magazine. The story goes she quit on her first day, and instead took her first job as an “Inquiring Photographer” with the Washington-Times Herald, where she completed man-on-the-street interviews and took photographs. Not long after, she met junior senator John F. Kennedy while working for the paper.

2. John F. Kennedy is said to have proposed to Jackie in Parker’s Restaurant at the Omni Parker House.

The Washington Post seems to disprove this, citing the proposal spot as a restaurant in Georgetown, but the Omni Parker House attempts to cling to the title. The hotel’s website asserts that JFK proposed to Jackie Bouvier at Table 40 in Parker’s Restaurant. The Parker House backs it up by listing a few other notable JFK events that took place there, like when he announced his bid for Congress.

3. She also dabbled in poetry.

A lifelong writer (she worked as an editor at both Viking and Doubleday in her later years) and all-around creative spirit, Jackie also composed poems. For her first anniversary with JFK, she wrote him a poem called “Meanwhile in Massachusetts.” It begins:

Meanwhile in Massachusetts Jack Kennedy dreamed

Walking the shore by the Cape Cod Sea
Of all the things he was going to be.

4. She’d been proposed to once before.

A year before JFK’s proposal, a man named John Husted was prepared to marry Jackie. At 22 years old, Jackie called off the marriage with the Yale grad three months after his proposal, reportedly rejecting the idea of becoming a housewife.

5. Jackie was fluent in multiple languages.

Jackie studied abroad in France during college, kickstarting a love affair with Europe. In addition to French, Jackie picked up Spanish and Italian, and spoke them fluently. During JFK’s campaign, she spoke French to voters in Louisiana and Spanish to ones in Texas. Here, listen to Jackie speak about the campaign entirely in Spanish.