First ladies: When Mamie Eisenhower took Jackie Kennedy on a tour of the White House (1960)

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First ladies When Mamie Eisenhower took Jackie Kennedy on a tour of White House (1960)

Mrs Eisenhower takes future first lady Mrs Kennedy on a tour of the White House (1960)

Lowell Sun (Lowell, Mass.) December 10, 1960

Mrs Mamie Eisenhower, who will move out of the White House January 20, yesterday gave a friendly one-hour tour to the new tenant, Mrs John F Kennedy;

Like their husbands at a meeting earlier in the week, the ladies seemed to get along famously.

Jacqueline Kennedy made her surprise visit to the White House to size up possible redecorating just hours after leaving Georgetown University hospital with her new son [John F Kennedy, Jr]. But it was necessary because she left shortly afterward for Florida where she will remain until a few weeks before the inauguration.

The 31-year-old future first lady praised Mrs Eisenhower as “very gracious.” She said Mrs Eisenhower offered her the use of a wheelchair for the tour. She declined and walked most of the way.

Jackie and Mamie at the White House
SURPRISE VISIT — The next first lady, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, posed Friday with Mrs. Mamie Eisenhower at the foot of steps leading to the South Portico of the White House. They spent more than an hour together.

ALSO SEE: Queen Elizabeth sends President Eisenhower her drop scones recipe (1960)


Mamie takes Jackie Kennedy on a tour of the White House

From the Charlotte Observer (North Carolina) December 10, 1960

WASHINGTON — Mrs John F Kennedy got her first official look Friday at her new home — the White House—and held a lengthy and homey chat with Mrs Mamie Eisenhower.

Mrs. Kennedy, who will have $25,000 at her disposal to re-do the living quarters, was given a personal tour by Mrs. Eisenhower of the 30 rooms on the second and third floor of the executive mansion.

Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy, who gave Cesarean birth to a son Nov. 25, left Georgetown Hospital in a wheelchair less than two hours before she visited the White House. But she was walking under her own power on her visit to the executive mansion.

She stayed at the White House talking with Mrs. Eisenhower and looking over the living quarters for little more than an hour. The two ladies were alone during the entire tour. Their husbands got together at the White House Tuesday for three hours.

Mrs. Eisenhower offered Mrs. Kennedy coffee. But the First Lady-to-he declined, saying it was so close to lunch time.

ALSO SEE: When JFK & Jackie got married: The elegant Bouvier-Kennedy wedding (1953)

Jackie Kennedy Mamie Eisenhower First Lady-To-Be Visits White House

If Jackie Kennedy follows the precedent set by other first ladies, she undoubtedly will do some redecorating with the $25,000 Congress provides for such a purpose.

The surprise visit was announced by White House associate press secretary Mrs Ann Wheaton a few minutes after Mrs. Kennedy arrived around noon.

Mrs Eisenhower had announced recently she would extend to Mrs. Kennedy the same courtesy Mrs Truman had extended to her eight years ago — a pre-inaugural tour of the executive mansion’s rooms and housekeeping facilities.

MORE: President Eisenhower had no idea how to use a rotary-dial telephone, even though he was given the 50 millionth phone

“She thought she would like to stop by before going to Palm Beach,” Mrs. Weaton said.

Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Eisenhower showed the same friendliness that marked their husbands’ visit with each other earlier this week. The two women were smiling as they walked out into the brilliant sunshine, where photographers were waiting to take their pictures after the tour-and-chat.

Mrs Eisenhower was slightly to the front as they emerged from the door, but dropped back to walk with Mrs. Kennedy out on the driveway.

Mrs Eisenhower and Mrs. Kennedy smiled at the photographers and at one another as they posed. Mrs. Eisenhower finally called a halt with the comment, “I think that’s enough.”

First official White House photograph of Mrs. John F. Kennedy
First official White House photograph of Mrs. John F. Kennedy

Someone asked if the two women discussed the matter of a nursery at the White House. Mrs Kennedy smilingly replied, “no, don’t ask such silly questions.”

Upon leaving, Jacqueline told the outgoing first lady, “Thank you so much for all you’ve done. You don’t know how I appreciate it.”

Mrs Eisenhower, who was given a similar tour by Mrs Harry S Truman in 1952, replied, “I was very happy to do it. You have a nice time going south.”

ALSO SEE: The assassination of President Kennedy: News reports, photos & more from when JFK was killed in Dallas (1963)

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