Her legendary beauty, her iconic style, her role in history are all that we know. But we never heard Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis speak about her years in the White House—until now.
Jackie's famous breathy voice can be heard on recordings that will air next week in a two-hour ABC News special. They were released by her daughter, Caroline Kennedy.
On the recordings, Jackie said, "It's funny, I used to worry about going into the White House. And then once you got in it, I mean you were just so happy for him. Then you found out that it was really the happiest time of my life. It was when we were the closest."
The tapes were recorded in 1964, the year after JFK's assassination, right around the time when Jackie moved to a building on New York's Fifth Avenue. She sat for seven interviews with historian and family friend Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., but the tapes were considered so sensitive Jackie ordered that they be locked away.
They weren't supposed to be released until next week, but INSIDE EDITION found the book, Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, and the CD's for sale at a bookstore in Manhattan.
On the tapes Jackie talks freely about her private life. She talks about JFK's health, saying, "Oh, once I asked him—I think this is rather touching—if he could have one wish, what would it be, and he said, 'I wish I had had more good times.' I suppose what he meant was that he had been in pain so much."
Jackie reveals her feelings about the leading figures of her time, including the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whom she actually calls "tricky" and a "phony" because he was caught cheating on his wife. She said King had also mocked her husband's funeral.
"Things about they almost dropped the coffin. I just can't see a picture of Martin Luther King without thinking, you know, that man's terrible," Jackie continued.
And Jackie says her husband feared what would happen to the country if his Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, ever succeeded him.
"Jack said it to me sometimes, he said, 'Oh God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon was president?' "
Laurence Leamer, author of The Kennedy Women, told INSIDE EDITION, "There's this endless fascination with the Kennedys even now, although it seemed there wasn't much more to be said. And here is the First Lady herself giving us her record in her own words that we can listen to and read if you want. It's an extraordinary document, no question about it."
You can even hear young Caroline and her brother Jon-Jon playing. At one point, Schlesinger asks JFK, Jr., who was only three years old, if he knows what happened to his father. You can hear the little boy's poignant reply.
Schlesinger asked, "John, what happened to your father?"
"Well, he's gone to heaven," said JFK, Jr.