Move to New York
After leaving the White House Jackie decided to stay in the Washington, D.C., area and bought a large Colonial-style house for $175,000. The grace under pressure Jackie exhibited in the after-math of the assassination solidified her popularity and made her an international icon. According to polls taken at the time, Jacqueline Kennedy was the most admired person in the world. But with the admiration came notoriety — and a loss of privacy. Tour buses made regular stops at the house so their passengers could take photos, hoping for a glimpse of Jackie or her children. Some were bold enough to ring the doorbell. Others set up picnic tables across the street and peered through binoculars. The relentless attention finally became too much to bear. In July 1964, just four months after moving in, it was announced that Jackie was selling the Georgetown house as well as the Wexford estate and moving to New York City.
A New Residence
Jackie let go of both Mary Gallagher and Providencia Paredes, who went to work for Bobby Kennedy. She hired longtime friend Nancy Tuckerman and press secretary Pam Turnure to staff the New York office. After the announcement, Jackie returned to the Washington house just two more times. Her life in the nation's capital was over.
THEY SAID …
“Going back to our childhood days, she always loved New York and everything about it — the museums, the park, the people. She was always drawn back to New York. She chose to bring her children up in the city.”
— Nancy Tuckerman
Jackie bought a fifteen-room apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue for $250,000. She had a spectacular view of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Central Park. Her sister lived nearby, but most important for Jackie was that living in a wealthy area inhabited by the social elite meant she wouldn't be gawked at. She intended to blend into her well-heeled surroundings and find a measure of privacy. Bobby Kennedy, who had become her closest companion, bought an apartment at United Nations Plaza. While many assumed it was to be close to Jackie and the children, it was primarily because Bobby was planning a run for the Senate and needed to establish New York residency.
SHE SAID …
“It is nearly a year since he has been gone. He was so full of love and life…. ‘Now I think I should have known he was magic all along. I did know it — but I should have guessed it could not last. So now he is a legend when he would have preferred to be a man.’”— Jacqueline Kennedy, quoting Guinevere from Camelot
While the increased anonymity of Manhattan comforted Jackie, she still struggled with the loss of her husband. She spent 1964 in mourning. Caroline once mentioned to her schoolteacher that her mother cried a lot of the time. It was impossible for Jackie to get away from the assassination, and that was particularly difficult for her. In March she testified before the Warren Commission, and throughout the year magazines and newspapers ran countless articles about it. As November approached Jackie canceled her newspapers.
To mark the anniversary of his death, Jackie agreed to cooperate with Look magazine on a memorial issue. She posed for pictures with her children and wrote a tribute to her late husband for the issue. She worked with the editors on layout and helped select photos of Jack to accompany quotations she had picked out. But as the end of 1964 neared, it appeared Jackie was as emotionally raw as she had been in the days following Jack's death. She wondered how she would ever be normal again.