President of the Day

Handy History, 2nd Ed.
ISBN: 9781578591701

Which presidency was called "Camelot"?

  • His wife originated the term.
  • His wife wanted people to remember his term as happy.
  • He earned the title posthumously.
  • He was assassinated in November 1963.

The Kennedy Presidency

The term was actually assigned by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (1929-1994). Shortly after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated (November 22, 1963), the former First Lady was talking with a journalist when she described her husband's presidency as an American Camelot, and she asked that his memory be preserved. Camelot refers, of course, to the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and has come to refer to a place or time of idyllic happiness. John Fitzgerald Kennedy's widow, who had with fortitude and grace guided her family and the country through the sorrow and anguish of the president's funeral, quite naturally held sway over the American public. So when she suggested that the shining moments of her husband's presidency were reminiscent of the legends of Camelot, journalists picked up on it. Despite subsequent revelations that there were difficulties in the Kennedy marriage, public opinion polls indicate that the image of Camelot--albeit somewhat tarnished--has prevailed.

From The Handy History Answer Book by Rebecca Ferguson, (c) 2005 Visible Ink Press(R) More than a thousand questions explore a cast of thousands, including Socrates, an early advocate of the question-and-answer format.

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