Happier than expected? (wireimage.com) “To Have a Home Here…” In June of 1961, following her famous visit to Paris with President Kennedy and further itinerary to Vienna and London, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and her sister Lee Radziwill made their first visit to the nation of Greece. The Kennedys with the Karamanlises, April 1961. Jackie became especially excited about the visit after her conversations with Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis and his wife during a luncheon she and President Kennedy hosted for them on April 1 and she learned about just how much ancient history was still to be found in evidence there. A wonder of the world, it was at the ruins of the Acropolis where the American First Lady voiced her support for the return of the Elgin marbles to Greece. The experience, however, far exceeded her expectations. There was a call on the Greek royal family, like the one she’d just had with the British royal family. There was water-skiing and swimming while luxuriating on a private yacht, as pleasurable an experience as those she’d relish on taly’s Amalfi coast. Jackie Kennedy took in a performance of Sophocles’s Electra in the ancient theater at Epidaurus. Greece, however, especially moved Jackie Kennedy not because of the expected welcome of ceremonial flourish by the Greek government for her as an official but rather the unexpected embrace by the Greek people of her as a person. She arrived there with an impressive knowledge of its traditions but left with an emotional grasp of how entirely integrated those were in the daily lives of even the village peasants she encountered. The more ancient ruins she visited and classical plays she attended, the more spontaneously she would taste its food specialties and dance barefoot to its music at a street festival. When it was over, she declared to a gathering of Greek reporter with conviction, “I want to return and bring my children here.” She added, with conviction, “I want to have a home here someday.” Seven years and four months later, she got one. She could never have imagined then, however, the circumstances under
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