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The impact of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy on the nation’s capital

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  1. Introduction: Jacqueline Kennedy's view of Washington DC
  2. Changing the White House
    1. The restoration of the White House
    2. Acquiring works of art
    3. The other White House projects
  3. Influencing the Washingtonian daily life
    1. Avoiding destruction promoting construction
    2. The development of culture in the capital
  4. Conclusion: Jacqueline Kennedy's Legacy
  5. Bibliography

When John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected President in 1960, he was the youngest President in the history of the United States. Deciding to bring a new style, a new look and a new vitality to the White House, he had a major asset: his wife. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was only thirty-one, but she was to profoundly influence American taste. Behind the shy and smiling First Lady was hidden and determined woman, with a strong sense of art and history.
Jacqueline Kennedy knew Washington DC very well. By 1960, she had already lived there for eighteen years. Her family had a house in Merrywood, Virginia, and she had lived in Washington as a photographer and a columnist ? the ?Inquiring Camera Girl? ? for the Washington Times-Herald. She met John F. Kennedy in this professional context. She wanted to transform Washington DC into a model for other American cities, a cultural as well as political capital, like Paris or London. She felt that arts sounded like a ?dead European language? for the American people, whereas she saw Europe as the ?fountainhead of culture and style? .
She was willing to make the White House become the first house of the United States . The restoration of the Executive Mansion was her main achievement. She also wanted to introduce style and history in everyday American life by carefully choosing her wardrobe and by promoting art and entertainment in the Nation's Capital.

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