Letters To Jackie
  • Letters To Jackie

    "Letters to Jackie," a documentary based on a book by the same name, includes 20 celebrities reading the condolence letters Americans wrote to Jacqueline Kennedy after President Kennedy was assassinated. Here is one of more than 1.5 million letters the first lady recieved. "Letters to Jackie" opens the AFI Docs Film Festival in Washington, D.C., on June 19.
    Letters To Jackie
  • Letters To Jackie

    On Jan. 14, 1964, less than two months after President Kennedy was assassinated, Jackie Kennedy made a newsreel, thanking the American people for their letters. "It is my greatest wish that all these letters be acknowledged," she said. Given the volume, many letters were destroyed, but more than 200,000 have been archived in the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston.
    Letters To Jackie
  • Letters To Jackie

    President Kennedy riding through Dallas in a motorcade, moments before he was shot on Nov. 22, 1963. "Letters to Jackie" retraces JFK's role in the civil rights movement, and captures the public outpouring of grief after his death. Kennedy was shot on a Friday. By Monday, 45,000 condolence letters had been delivered to the White House. Within two months, that number rose to 800,000.
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  • Letters To Jackie

    For the book "Letters to Jackie: Condolences From a Grieving Nation," author Ellen Fitzpatrick combed through 15,000 letters at the Kennedy Library and selected 250 for her book.
    Letters To Jackie
  • Letters To Jackie

    Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Bill Couturie approached Fitzpatrick about turning the book into a documentary. Working together, they chose 20 letters from the roughly 210 that made it into "Letters to Jackie." "I see [the documentary] ... as a people's history about the Kennedy presidency through letters," Couturie said.
    Letters To Jackie
  • Letters To Jackie

    The letters provide a snapshot of what many in the country were feeling at a brief moment in time. Many mention the civil rights struggle. "It was [Mississippi Gov. George Wallace's] incredible racism that forced [Kennedy's] hand, not the good voice of Dr. King but the evil voice of Gov. Wallace," Couturie said.
    Letters To Jackie
  • Letters To Jackie

    Many Academy-award winning actors were cast to read the letters for the documentary. Couturie said he chose specific actors to read specific letters, depending on their age, sex and accent. Oscar winner Chris Cooper read the George Davis letter, shown here. Couturie said he loved that letter because it was "heartfelt" and "punctures" the Deep South, anti-integration stereotype.
    Letters To Jackie
  • Letters To Jackie

    One of the condolence letters that touched both Couturie and Fitzpatrick was the "I am but a humble postman" letter by Henry Gonzales of El Paso, Texas. In it, Gonzales, a Mexican immigrant, identifies with the affluent Kennedys by comparing their two families. To tell his story in the documentary, Couturie used Gonzales' family home movies that "perfectly mirror" Kennedy family home movies.
    Letters To Jackie
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