From the archive: looking back at the tragedies of the Kennedys, 1974

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The Observer Magazine of 10 March 1974 featured a precise moving relationship by Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy of immoderate of the tragedies that befell the Kennedys, serialised from her memoir Times to Remember.

After her hubby Joe’s debilitating stroke, she recalled a luncheon betwixt him and Herbert Hoover – ‘Joe, who cannot speak, and Mr Hoover, who cannot hear’ – successful New York, 1962. ‘And truthful poignant, inexpressibly sad, erstwhile each of them from clip to clip done the repast wept silently.’

In 1957, Joe had predicted ‘that immoderate time 1 of our sons would beryllium president, different would beryllium lawyer general, and different would beryllium a US legislator – each this simultaneously’. Prescient yes, but it spoke much to ‘the expansive plan helium had for his sons’.

In retrospect, wrote Rose, ‘we entered a aureate time’ – until that fateful time successful Dallas. ‘Friday 22 November 1963 began arsenic 1 of those cleanable precocious autumn days astatine the Cape,’ she recalled, and had headed disconnected to the play people aft breakfast. She was having a nap aft luncheon erstwhile she heard her niece Ann’s vigor ‘blaring truthful loudly successful her country down the hallway that I got up and went to archer her to delight to tune it down’. But it was to perceive a quality bulletin ‘that on the way successful Dallas idiosyncratic had taken immoderate shots astatine the president and helium had been wounded… And past soon the quality came done that Jack was gone’.

The household kept his decease from Joe until the adjacent day. ‘Joe not lone took the tragic quality bravely, but seemed to privation to comfortableness their children. The doc had already fixed him a sedative, and soon helium went backmost to sleep.’

In 1968, Rose’s lad Bobby was assassinated, too. ‘It seemed intolerable that the aforesaid benignant of catastrophe could befall our household doubly successful 5 years,’ she wrote. ‘If I had work thing of the benignant successful fabrication I would person enactment it speech arsenic incredible.’