On January 20th, Jane Pickens Theater will begin showing JACKIE starring Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, the First Lady famously tied to the City-by-the-Sea. Portman has been nominated for multiple awards for her intimate portrayal of Jackie in the difficult days immediately following her husband’s assassination.
JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of “Camelot” that they created and loved so well.
Though Jackie’s ties to Newport aren’t explored in the film, Newport held an important place in Jackie’s life story as the place she spent her childhood summers and married JFK in 1953.
Here are seven Newport locations in town with special ties to Jackie. Do you of any others? Let us know in the comments! For JACKIE show times at JPT and to purchase tickets, click here.
Hammersmith Farm at 225 Harrison Avenue was Jackie’s childhood home and the location of the reception for her 1953 wedding to then Senator John F. Kennedy.
Here they enjoyed a five tier wedding cake and stood in a receiving line for 3 hours to greet 1,300 wedding guests.
The 28-room Victorian mansion was built in 1887 for John W. Auchincloss, the great-grandfather of Hugh D. Auchincloss (1897–1976), Jackie’s stepfather. During JFK’s presidency, it was referred to as the “Summer White House.”
Jackie’s stepfather, Hugh Dudley Auchincloss Jr., was born at Hammersmith farm and the Auchincloss family continued to own the outbuildings, known as “The Palace,” the “The Windmill” and “The Castle” well after his death in 1976. Before he passed away in 2015, Jackie’s stepbrother Hugh “Yusha” Auchincloss III told Washington Life that The Windmill was actually designed by Jackie.
St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church
On September 12, 1953 Jackie, then 24 years old, married John F. Kennedy at St. Mary’s Church on William Street.
From the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum website:
“Jacqueline Bouvier’s ivory silk wedding gown required 50 yards of ivory silk taffeta and took more than two months to make. It was the creation of Ann Lowe, an African-American dress-maker born in Grayton, Alabama, who had designed gowns for the matrons of high society families including the du Pont, Lodge, and Auchincloss families…The bride wore her grandmother’s heirloom rosepoint lace veil, attached to her hair with a small tiara of lace and traditional orange blossoms. She also wore a single strand of family pearls, a diamond leaf pin, which was a wedding present from Ambassador and Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, and a diamond bracelet the groom had presented to her the evening before the wedding. She carried a bouquet of white and pink spray orchids and gardenias.”
More than 750 guests filled St. Mary’s to watch the pair exchange wedding vows in a ceremony presided over by Archbishop Richard Cushing. Following the 40-minute ceremony at which a papal blessing was read, the couple met a crowd of 3,000 well-wishers as they made their way by motorcycle escort to the Auchincloss estate, Hammersmith Farm.
According to St. Mary’s website, Jackie and JFK attended Sunday mass at St. Mary’s Church until tragedy struck ten years after their wedding. During his presidency, they were known to sit in the tenth pew.
The church’s organ was recently restored to its appearance during the Kennedy’s wedding during a project last year.
The day before her wedding day in 1953, Jacqueline Bouvier purportedly went here to visit friends and read a book in the sunroom. Sadly, the house at 479 Bellevue Avenue was destroyed in a three-alarm fire in February last year.
Table 40 at White Horse Tavern
Rumor has it that upstairs at the White Horse Tavern, the table in the little alcove beside the bar – aka Table 40 – was Jackie’s favorite spot.
While in Newport, the Kennedys, often accompanied by the Bradlees and the Pells, lunched aboard the 93-foot yacht Honey Fitz — named for the president’s maternal grandfather — while cruising around Narragansett Bay. The vessel was protected by Secret Service speedboats and the Coast Guard.
Jack and Jackie also watched the America’s Cup Races while in Newport.
Jackie and JFK attended the America’s Cup dinner at The Breakers on September 14, 1962 to honor the America’s Cup crews. The dinner was hosted by Australian Ambassador to the United States Sir Howard Beale, KBE.
Newport Country Club
During their trips to Newport, Jackie and Jack would golf with friends at Newport Country Club.
In September 1963, the Kennedys celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary with family and friends in Newport, which included playing golf at Newport Country Club. It would be JFK’s last summer in Newport.
Watch footage of JFK’s last summer in Newport here.