During her tenure as First Lady of the United States, the Fireplace Kennedy undertook the restoration of the White House in 1961, a project that turned it into a real “showcase” for American presidential history. At the end of the project, she shared her work with the American public through a TV show at the renovated White House, which was so successful that it was awarded an Emmy Award.
The news for its restoration White House of Kennedy began to spread as soon as the project began. In fact, an article in Life magazine on September 1, 1961, further examined her work. However, through television, Kennedy was able to give the first television tour of the White House, which allowed her to share many of the details of the restoration with a large American audience.
On February 14, 1962, the White House television tour with Jackie Kennedy aired on CBS and NBC, and the show was watched by approximately 56 million viewers – and aired in countries that were among the United States’s major rivals during the Cold War. During her tenure, Kennedy showed the depth of her knowledge of many works and pieces in the White House (giving her the opportunity to thank many important donors), while President Kennedy also made a brief appearance on camera.
Overall, the restoration of the White House was a public triumph, and the project was almost completed on November 22, 1963, when the President Kennedy and the first lady’s stay in the White House ended. Although her work was incomplete, Kennedy had already done enough to build a lasting legacy. Subsequent presidents and their families have made changes to the White House, but through them all, the home maintains a connection to the past that Kennedy helped forge.