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American Royalty - Kennedy Family

American Royalty - Kennedy Family
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  Jeremic 1 Julija Jeremic PhD Biljana Radic-Bojanic Academic Writing 20.12.2014. American Royalty  –   Kennedy Family “The Kennedy clan is undoubtledly America‟s most celebrated political family. With a mystique that rivals the royal families of Europe, the Kennedys have long been quintessential symbols of American power and privilege. They have also been the All-American  personification of style and glamor.” ( Odone, 21 ) Since 1960s and until today, the Kennedys are one of the few, if not the only American family that is somehow never forgotten and constantly talked about. No doubt, they left their prints on the American history and American  people as well. What makes people keeping up with the Kennedys? Is it their looks, their wealth, their appearance, their heritage or their constant public and political exposure? This  paper will try to explore what is it that makes the Kennedys American royalty. 1.Getting to know the Kennedy family and their history “Sixty years after newspapers praised Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy‟s brood as “America‟s best known large family” and almost forty years after Joe‟s second son became  president of the United States, Americans remain fixed on their “loyal family”.” ( Troy, 630 ) Kennedys are a catholic family of Irish descent that first came to America with the Great Migration in 1850s. First of the Kennedys to set foot on the American soil was Patrick Kennedy, the great-grandfather of JFK. However, the first of them to become widely known, and often referred to as „the Kennedy P atriarch ‟ , was his son Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. He was  Jeremic 2 the US Ambassador to United Kingdom, a successful businessman and the father of 9. Although he made his fortune as a stock market investor, it was not until the end of the Prohibition that Kennedys became extremely wealthy family. Hyannis Port, Massachusetts was, and is still known as their family residency. As mentioned above, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and his wife Rose had 9 kids, including late President John F. Kennedy and Senators Bobby and Ted Kennedy. They were regarded as a politically active prestigious Massachusetts‟ family, and Patriarch seemed to always had the presidency in mind but not for the son that actually became President. His hopes and dreams were invested in his oldest son Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. who was unfortunately killed in action during the WWII. After the death of first- born son, Patriarch had no choice but to prepare the next in line, John F. Kennedy, for the  presidency. After becoming the youngest President of the United States in the history, at the age of 43, American people automatically fall in love with him and his very glamorous yet very ordinary family. What made this family so unique and appealing is the way they always stud by one another, and put family first, no matter what. This was proven when the President appointed his younger brother Robert F. Kennedy as the US Attorney General, what caused a lot of reactions among people. Robert, after the assassination of JFK, started his own political fight which ended the same way his brother‟s did, with the assassin‟s bullet.  If not for the tragic end of his young life, Bobby was thought of having a very good chance of winning the  presidency. Their younger brother Edward, commonly known as Ted, was yet another member of Kennedy family that was politically active. But Ted ,known as the long time Senator, never succeeded in fulfilling his older brother‟s shoes. The Kennedy men were not only very educated, successful and charming, but they were also very family oriented. Mostly familiar for this was Bobby, with his 11 children. Picture widely associated with the Kennedys is the one of them, along with their children, playing the game of football on the  Jeremic 3 lawn of their Cape Code home. It seems as though this custom still runs in the family, nearly a hundred years later. As one of the contemporary Kennedys said few years age “It is a big family, there is always goin g to be a few little problems along the way.”, and there always were. It seems as though  bad luck, or commonl y known as the “Kennedy curse” follows the Kennedy clan. From the murders and unexpected deaths to the drug abuse, regularly followed with numerous love affairs, the Kennedys seem to provide the scripts for Hollywood best-sellers. It all started with Rosemary Kennedy , JFK‟s sister, and her lobotomy  which instead of helping her actually deteriorated her state and caused her lifetime spent in an institution. Next was the war death of Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., and few years after that another sibling, Kathleen Kennedy, died in the  plane crash in France. Furthermore, Jackie Kennedy gave birth to a stillborn baby before her husband‟s presidency, and du ring his mandate they lost a baby boy only two days after his  birth. Then followed the assassinations, the one of JFK in 1963, and five years later the one of Bobby Kennedy during his presidential campaign. Just a year later, their younger brother Ted was involved in a car accident which caused the death of his passenger. In an interview following the accident, Ted stated that he wondered “whether some awful curse did actually hang over all the Kennedys.” Few years later, Ted‟s son lost his leg due to bone cancer and Bobby‟s son died of a drug overdose. Later on, a member of Kennedy family was charged with the rape of a young woman, and another one died in the skiing accident. Then followed the shocking death of JFK Jr. and his wife in an airplane crash. This caused people believing in „Kennedy curse‟ more than ever, since he was only 38 years old and it seemed that a bright future was ahead of him, both personally and professionally. The most recent event connected with the „Kennedy curse‟ is the suicide of    the wife of Bobby‟s son, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Curse or no curse, it seems like the Kennedys have bad luck but even that doesn‟t stop them from being America‟s favorite family. “Drink, drags and women: the flaws have resurfaced so  Jeremic 4 consistently in each new generation that they seem part of the genetic make-up. Yet despite  presidential promiscuity, date-rape allegations, Chappaquiddick and at least one death from drug overdose, the clouds never quite dim the glamour and charm of Joseph‟s descendants. Their big money, powerful office and good looks have been perfect paparazzi fodder; this in turn has ensured, in a nation hooked on celebrity, their A-list status. ” ( Odone, 21 ) 2. Remembering Camelot “They look like a couple of gorgeous, dressed -up kids, who happened to have been chosen to run the world. “I mean you did again feel like two children”, Jacqueline Kennedy remembers of the morning after her husband‟s inauguration.” ( Cheever, 11 ) John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier belonged to the same social circles which led to their acquaintance in 1952. Just a year after they got married and their wedding was thought to be the event of the season, with over 1000 rumored guests. In 1960 John announced his presidential candidacy and Jackie announced her second pregnancy, following a miscarriage, a stillborn baby and a birth of daughter Caroline. Although at home rest, Jackie was active in her husband‟s campaign, she gave interviews, wrote letters and made rare  personal appearances. Finally in 1961, their White House fairytale began. John was 43 and considered to be America‟s youngest President ever, and Jackie was only 31 years old. Both of them young, and with little kids they seemed like an ordinary American family. It was very rare for the American people to fall completely in love with their First family, and this was the case with the Kennedys. He was young and he did not only had the looks, he also had the  brains. He was very accessible to people, they both were, and people appreciated that. But Jackie, she was something special, “she smoothed the rough Kennedy edges” ( Sidey, 36  ) She had a true royal appeal, always dressed in high fashion with her recognizable hairstyle and her tender voice, always shining, always smiling. Sometimes she seemed to receive more  Jeremic 5 attention than the President himself, so during one of their journeys to Paris he introduced himself to the crowd as “the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris”. They seemed like a perfect couple to run The Free World, but their Camelot days were sometimes not so perfect. Soon enough, the rumors about his alleged affairs surfaced and they had to convince people in the reality of their love story, more than ever. As if that was not enough, their son Patrick was born and lived less than two days. Although that was a horrible thing to happen to a parent, it seemed as though it brought them closer. They seemed closer than ever, holding hands while leaving the hospital was the proof of it, because they were almost never intimate in public. “How enduring their new closeness would have been is impossible to know. Barely three months after Patrick‟s death, the President Kennedy and his wife Jackie climbed into an open Lincoln Continental limousine for a ride through Dealey Plaza in Dallas.” (  Levingston ) It was November 22, 1963, the day that changed not only the Kennedy family but American people as well. Their Camelot fairytale was ended with just one shot. At first, people were left speechless and no one could understand why would someone want a man like John F. Kennedy dead? Jackie Kennedy left Dallas a widow and a single mother. “She came out of Parkland Memorial Hospital after the most terrifying public tragedy in history, pink suit splattered with her husband‟s bloo d, her hand resting on the garish coffin where his shattered body lay. She walked that way down an ugly loading ramp with her back straight and her chin up, carrying immeasurable grief. She never yielded.” ( Sidey, 36  ) It was in the days following Kennedy‟s  death that Camelot was shining more than ever. The nation was mourning not only the loss of their President, but also “the loss of a promised world of global peace and prosperity.” (  Brigance, 2 ) Few days later the American people were given a chance to say their goodbyes and so was Jackie, hidden beneath a black veil, holding hands with her children, and little John John saluted his father for the last time. Not long after the assassination Jackie Kennedy was interviewed by a journalist and family friend and it was
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