Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on differences between men

So now, in one of the last nights I will spend in the White House, in one of the last letters I will write on this paper at the White House, I would like to write you my message.

I send it only because I know how much my husband cared about peace, and how the relation between you and him was central to his care in his mind. He used to quote your words in some of his speeches–“In the next war the survivors will envy the dead.”

You and he were adversaries, but you were allied in a determination that the world should not be blown up. You respected each other and could deal with each other. I know that President Johnson will make every effort to establish the same relationship with you.

The danger which troubled my husband was that war might be started not so much by the big men as by the little ones.

While big men know the needs for self-control and restraint–little men are sometimes moved more by fear and pride. If only in the future the big men can make the little ones sit down and talk, before they start to fight.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in a letter to Nikita Khruschev on December 1st, 1963. Cited in the conclusion of William Manchester‘s serial “The Death of a President,” published in Look magazine, March 7, 1967, p. 66. Available in William Manchester’s The Death of a President: November 20-November 25, 1963, p. 653. Also available in Kati Marton‘s Hidden Power: Presidential marriages that shaped our recent history, p. 134.

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"So now, in one of the last nights I will spend in the White House"