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Rare Jacqueline Kennedy Tapes Released

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. — Jacqueline Kennedy sat down with former White House aide Arthur Schlesinger Jr. just months after the death of her husband.Kennedy recorded the tapes just four months after President John F. Kennedy’s assasination, and at her request, they have remained sealed until after her death.The Monday before his death, John F. Kennedy was in Miami.”He gave a talk at the airport. He said he’d be back, he’d be campaigning here in the year to come. Sadly, a few days later…” said historian Dr. Paul George.John F. Kennedy loved South Florida and owned a home in Palm Beach.”Kennedy would come down all the time he would golf, he played tennis, he would walk along the beach and when he married Jackie he became part of that whole scene,” George added.In the tapes, Jackie Kennedy talks about the fears she felt during the Cuban Missle Crisis.”I said, ‘Please, Don, send me to Camp David. Please don’t send me and the children away if anything happens. We are going to stay right here with you and I want to die with you and the children do, too, not without you,’” she said.Soon after that crisis was averted, the first family went to Palm Beach to spend the holidays.One of the most memorable moments involving the Kennedys and Miami came just days later.George told Local 10 News, “They came down to Miami to greet these Bay of Pig prisoners who had just been released from being a year and a half in Castro’s jails.”He continued, “They had about 35,000 people there in the south side of the Orange Bowl. John Kennedy handed them a flag and said, ‘Someday may this flag be flying in a free Havana.’ Jackie Kennedy spoke to them in Spanish. She greeted them, offered her commiseration, offered her hopes to them in fluent Spanish.”Earlier in the year, the first lady also spoke Spanish in front of a crowd in Venezuela.But during her speech at the Orange Bowl, George said she won over South Florida.”She was so flawless the way she kind of just stepped into this thing and just became part of them. John Kennedy couldn’t speak Spanish, but she could, and so she had no reservations at all; she just started talking. She had a lot of emotion and a lot of compassion, and I think they really embraced her.”ABC’s 2 hour special “Jacqueline Kennedy, In Her Own Words” airs Tuesday at 9 p.m.

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