Kennedy family

Happy Birthday Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

I would like to wish a wonderful woman a happy 87th birthday. She is not alive today, and had (sadly) died 4 years before I was born, but that doesn’t trivialize her life’s legacy. In fact, it only garners more respect, admiration, and awe from me.

Jackie was an icon both in fashion and politics. She was an essential link to the White House in the early years of the 1960’s, contributing to her husband and his administration more than the public would know at the time: the restoration and preservation of the White House, her billingual skills, her charm and her wit, and her intelligence. She was an irreplacable part of the Kennedy family’s legacy as well as History itself.

After the tragic death of John F. Kennedy, she soldiered through, refusing to let it overshadow her and her family’s lives, and impeccably raising John Jr. and Caroline Kennedy for the rest of their childhood.

She has had her faults and flaws just like everyone else; she was no more perfect than the rest of us. It could be argued that she had the most to lose from JFK’s death than any one of us. But she has not been, and will not be defined by it.

Instead, she will be the woman known as the Queen of Camelot, who had coined the very name of the ancient Fairytale kingdom in honor of her husband’s (all-too-short) legacy. She has been the woman that survived the day of November 22nd, 1963, and lived to tell the tale. And she is, last but certainly not least, the woman that has given to the people as much as they have given to her.


Mondays are better when it’s National Puppy Day.

Puppies of the Ford family dog Liberty play on the White House lawn.  

Puppies of Kennedy family dogs Pushinka and Charlie. 6/18/63.

George Bush walks with Millie and her puppies on the White House lawn. 4/20/89.

Lyndon B. Johnson shows puppies (sired by Him) to Courtney Valenti.  1/5/66.

Susan, Mrs. Ford, and Gerald Ford with Liberty and puppies. 9/16/75.

White House puppies!


President John F. Kennedy was born on this day in 1917–

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, made the following entry on a notecard, when her second child was born: 

John Fitzgerald Kennedy 
Born Brookline, Mass. (83 Beals Street) May 29, 1917 

In all, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy would have nine children, four boys and five girls. She kept notecards for each of them in a small wooden file box and made a point of writing down everything from a doctor’s visit to the shoe size they had at a particular age.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was named in honor of Rose’s father, John Francis Fitzgerald, the Boston Mayor popularly known as Honey Fitz. Before long, family and friends called this small blue-eyed baby Jack. Read More

Photos: Senator John F. Kennedy in his Senate Office.  August, 1959; Rose Kennedy and her children, circa 1923. L-R: Rose Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy, Rosemary Kennedy (seated in foreground), John F. Kennedy, and Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. 

-from the JFK Library

The American Red Cross was founded on this day – May 21, 1881.

On the founding anniversary of the American Red Cross, here’s Kathleen Kennedy in her A.R.C. uniform from World War II. The photo was taken in London, circa 1943.

Kathleen was the second daughter and fourth child of Joseph and Rose Kennedy.

While in college, Kathleen Kennedy began volunteering for the Red Cross in New York in the summer of 1940.  After working for the Times-Herald newspaper, she rejoined the war effort by volunteering again for the Red Cross, this time in London. Read More

-From the JFK Library

Our gratitude goes out to all the volunteers and relief workers of the Red Cross in Oklahoma today, and across the world everyday.


Happy 98th Birthday John Fitzgerald Kennedy! (May 29, 1917)

We celebrate the past to awaken the future.”

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

Ted and his son Ted Jr. during vacation in 1973. Ted Jr. told the story behind this picture during his father’s funeral. 

“When I was 12 years old I was diagnosed with bone cancer and a few months after I lost my leg, there was a heavy snowfall over my childhood home outside of Washington D.C. My father went to the garage to get the old Flexible Flyer and asked me if I wanted to go sledding down the steep driveway. And I was trying to get used to my new artificial leg and the hill was covered with ice and snow and it wasn’t easy for me to walk. And the hill was very slick and as I struggled to walk, I slipped and I fell on the ice and I started to cry and I said "I can’t do this.” I said, “I’ll never be able to climb up that hill.” And he lifted me in his strong, gentle arms and said something I will never forget. He said “I know you can do it, there is nothing you can’t do. We’re going to climb that hill together, even if it takes us all day.

Sure enough, he held me around my waist and we slowly made it to the top, and, you know, at age 12 losing a leg pretty much seems like the end of the world, but as I climbed onto his back and we flew down the hill that day I knew he was right. I knew I was going to be OK. You see, my father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable and it is what we do with that loss, our ability to transform it into a positive event, that is one of my father’s greatest lessons. He taught me that nothing is impossible.” - Ted Kennedy Jr. 


Beloved nanny who was a witness to history as she helped raise ELEVEN Kennedy children is laid to rest at 105

Ena Bernard worked for the Bobby and Ethel Kennedy family for 44 years, raising their 11 children, Ena Bernard passed away July 23 at age 105. Ethel Kennedy and eight of her children attended Ena’s funeral in Florida on Thursday.

Robert and Ethel Kennedy hired Ena Bernard in 1951 to care for their newborn daughter Kathleen. But over the next 44 years, Ena’s job would grow to include raising all 11 children in the growing Kennedy brood and staying on as a member of the family long after the youngest child was out of the house.

Ms Bernard died last week at the age of 105 at her home in Sunrise, Florida. 85-year-old Ethel and all but one of her living children - Joe, Bobby, Kathleen, Kerry, Christopher, Maxwell, Douglas and Rory - attended her funeral Thursday.

At the funeral, Ena’s only child Josefina ‘Fina’ Harvin and three of the Kennedy children gave eulogies.

'Really I am not the one most qualified [to give the eulogy],’ Harvin said. 'The Kennedy family are the ones most qualified because she was with them for 44 years. My mom was with the Kennedys for so long, we became like an intertwined family.’

Josefina joined her mother in the U.S. when she was a teenager and lived with the Kennedys when she wasn’t at school.
When she arrived in the U.S., Josefina was embraced by the clan as one of their own, she told MailOnline.

Josefina recalls a rather protective Bobby Kennedy giving her a stern talking to when she came home at 3am after cotillion.

As she was walking up the stairs to her mothers quarters at Hickory Hill, Bobby emerged from the den asking: 'What time is this for a young lady to come back home?’ She explained that her mother had given her permission to stay out late. 'I don’t care,’ he replied. 'Your father is not here and I am your father away from home.’

But he also helped her transition to her new life in America, once calling up Otis Air National Guard Base to secure a date for Josefina. She can’t remember his name, only that he was from Chico, California.

Ethel Kennedy was also a mother figure to young Josefina, who gave Josefina her first job helping out her mother for 25 dollars a week. It was enough money then for her to start her first bank account.

In her early years, Josefina wouldn’t make eye contact with any of the Kennedys, believing that was the way she was supposed to interact with her employers. Ethel called her out for the habit, telling her: 'No. You’re in America. When someone speaks to you, you look them in the eyes.’

They treated Josefina with respect, even inviting her to the dinner table when they had Al Gore over as a guest.

Perks of the job: During her time with the Kennedys, Ena met many important people such as Bill Clinton Josefina thanked the family in the Sun Sentinel for the way they treated her mother, in a time when the help were still treated 'like a piece of furniture’ by the wealthy. She recalled how Bobby and Ethel always introduced her mother to guests.

The letter reads: 'To Ena, whose love and guidance taught me most of the rules of the house, both at home and in Congress’
At the funeral, the Kennedy children spoke about their memories of Ena and the affect she had on their lives.

Maxwell remembered how he would pray every night that God wouldn’t take her away because when the kids would get too wild she would tell them: 'You children are going to kill me. And then what’s going to happen to Fina?’

Kerry remembers Ena threatening a 'pow-pow’ or hit across the head, but said that it was always an empty gesture. 'She never raised a hand to us,’ she said. 'Instead she prodded us along with joy and humor.

'I don’t know what I would without the love and care Ena gave me,’ Douglas said. 'Her love is as close to God’s love as I think I will ever experience.’

Bobby thanked Ena’s family for 'loaning her to us’ for over 40 years.

'We were so lucky to have her in our lives,’ he said. 'The best proof that God loves the Kennedy family is that he gave us Ena for all those years.’

Ena worked as a nanny for a prominent family in Costa Rica before moving to the U.S. When she moved, she left behind her only-daughter Josefina until she could could afford to move her.
The Kennedys were one of two families she was sent to interview with when she first moved.

Over the years, where the Kennedys went - Ena went. That meant trips to Cape Cod in the summer, Palm Beach for Easter and her own room at the family’s homestead Hickory Hill in McLean, Virginia.

Part of the family: Ena would stay with the family for over 44 years - long after the youngest child Rory left the house. She had her own room at the family’s homestead of Hickory Hill in McLean, Virginia

Ena was there when Bobby was sworn in as attorney general in January 1961. After the ceremony she went with the six oldest children to take a tour of the White House and shrieked in surprise as Bobby slid down a bannister, all six children following behind.

'Oh Mr. Kennedy!’ Ena shouted. 'Sliding down the bannister at the White House! Imagine that! I can’t believe it! Mr. Kennedy, you’ll never grow up!’

During her time with the family, she met the likes of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and the Pope.

Most importantly, Ena was there after Bobby was assassinated - helping a grieving Ethel move on and care for the children without a father.

'After our father died, my mother had to play both roles,’ Chris Kennedy told the Los Angeles Times. 'Ena backfilled and was always loving and supportive.’

The family’s devotion for their beloved nanny never waned. The children would introduce their boyfriends and girlfriends to Ena, asking for her approval. They would bring over newborn children like they would for a grandmother.

When she turned 100 in June 2008, the Kennedys attended Ena’s party at the Signature Grand in Davie, Florida. The even gave her a little award which read: 'For Ena, who captured the hearts of the whole family and whose 50 years of giving Pow-Pow has made us all better.’ She leaves behind six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and nine 'adopted’ Kennedy children.

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