Jackie Kennedy was prepared to die during the tense days of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, according to revelations in a new book by the former first lady’s Secret Service bodyguard.
When he offered to hide Kennedy and her children, John and Caroline, during the nuclear standoff between the Soviet Union and the US, Kennedy declined.
When Hill offered to hide Kennedy and her children during the nuclear standoff between the Soviet Union and the US, Kennedy declined. Getty Images
Jackie Kennedy and her daughter seen walking into W. Averell Harriman’s home on December 6, 1963.
Hill, along with former President John F. Kennedy, Charles Spalding, and others during a hike along the Sunshine Parkway in Florida in 1963.
¬© 2011 Mark Shaw / mptvimages
Instead, the First Lady said “she would take John and Caroline and walk on the law like brave soldiers and face the same fate of every other American,” Clint Hill, 90, wrote in a tweet commemorating the sixtieth anniversary this week of the crisis that saw the world on the verge of nuclear war.
Hill, who has worked as a Secret Service agent for five presidents, tells that story and others in his new memoir, “My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy,” part of which was recently excerpted in People Magazine.
A picture of former President John F. Kennedy moments after his assassination, with Mrs. Kennedy leaning over his body on Nov. 22, 1963.
Mike Wallace (right) interviews former agent Hill in October 1975.
Hill, who has written other books about his time in the White House, notes his torment in not being able to save President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas.
“Guilt and anguish consumed me,” writes Hill, who was 31 at the time. “All I could think about was Dallas. I was running as fast as I could, my arm reaching for the handholds on the trunk but it was like my legs were in quicksand. Mrs. Kennedy climbing out of the back seat, her terrified eyes looking but not seeing me like I wasn’t there.”