On this day in history, September 12, 1953, John F. Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier in Newport, Rhode Island

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier were married on this day in history on September 12, 1953 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island, in the presence of more than 800 guests.

Presented by her stepfather, Hugh D. Auchincloss, the bride wore an ivory silk floss dress with a portrait neckline, fitted bodice, and a billowing skirt decorated with more than 50 yards of flounces, according to John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Library and Museum.

Bourvier’s veil, first worn by her grandmother, was draped with a tiara made of lace and orange blossoms, and she also wore a pearl choker and a diamond bracelet that was a gift from Kennedy.

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“The bride’s bouquet consisted of pink and white orchids and gardenias,” the same source said.

The wedding was performed by Archbishop Cushing, a friend of the Kennedy family, and assisted by four other priests, including the former president of Notre Dame. Before the Mass, a special blessing from Pope Pius XII. was read out, said the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

In this Feb. 27, 1959, file photo, Sen. John F. Kennedy, D-Mass., is seen in his office in Washington. Monday, May 29, 2017, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kennedy, who later became the 35th President of the United States. (AP Photo, File)

At a dinner party in Georgetown, Jacqueline Bouvier met a handsome senator from Massachusetts: John F. Kennedy. The couple dated for the next two years. In May 1953, Kennedy proposed. (AP)

The reception was held on the terrace of the 300-acre seafront Hammersmith Farm estate in Auchincloss for more than 1,200 guests, multiple sources said.

According to Biography.com, the couple danced to “I Married an Angel” for the first time and cut a three-foot-tall wedding cake.

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Life magazine published wedding photos a few weeks after the wedding, and one guest was quoted as saying the event was “just like a coronation,” the same source said.

One guest was quoted as saying the wedding was “like a coronation.”

“In a way, this person was right – the wedding was a first step on the path that led Jackie and John to the White House,” explained Biography.com.

On June 24, 1953, Bouvier and Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy publicly announced their engagement.

Jackie Kennedy in her wedding dress marries JFK

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier were married on September 12, 1953 at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island. (Getty Images)

According to several sources, Kennedy became the 35th president and Jackie became one of the most popular first ladies to ever grace the White House.

Bouvier Kennedy was born into a prominent New York family in 1929 and graduated from George Washington University in Washington, DC in 1951


She returned to the United States in the fall and began her first job as an “inquiring camera girl” at the Washington Times-Herald.

“Their job was to roam the streets of Washington, D.C., asking strangers questions and then photographing them for publication,” History.com explained.

A young Jackie Kennedy

The first official White House photograph of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Washington, DC, 1961. (Mark Shaw/Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

Shortly thereafter, at a dinner party in Georgetown, she met a handsome senator from Massachusetts – John F. Kennedy. The couple dated for the next two years.

In May 1953, Kennedy suggested giving Jackie a 2.88-carat diamond and emerald ring from Van Cleef and Arpels, the same source cited.

After their wedding in 1953, the Kennedys settled in Washington, D.C., where Kennedy continued his political career. Seven years later, he defeated Richard M. Nixon in the presidential election, History.com reported.

JFK and Jacqueline Bouvier

John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier cut their wedding cake after their wedding in Newport, Rhode Island. John Kennedy was a U.S. senator from Massachusetts at the time. Robert Kennedy left. (Getty Images)

John and Jackie Kennedy had their first child, Caroline, in 1957; John Jr. was born two weeks after his father won the presidency.

A third child, Patrick, died two days after his birth in August 1963, according to the University of Virginia Miller Center.

Shortly after noon on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas.

A close-up shot of President JFK and Jackie Kennedy looking away from the camera in formal wear

President and Mrs. Kennedy are shown on the White House lawn as they witnessed part of the Black Watch Royal Highland Regiment’s performance. The Kennedys invited 1,700 children from child care centers to watch the program. (Getty Images)

The first lady rarely accompanied her husband on political outings, but she was by his side along with Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife on a 10-mile motorcade through the streets of downtown Dallas, according to History.com.

As their vehicle passed the Texas School Book Depository Building at 12:30 p.m., Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired three shots from the sixth floor, fatally wounding President Kennedy and seriously wounding Governor Connally. Kennedy was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, the same source reported.

The president was 46.


In the fall of 1963, President John F. Kennedy and his political advisors were preparing for the next presidential campaign.

Although he had not officially announced his candidacy, it was clear that Kennedy would run and he seemed confident about his chances for re-election, as noted by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The First Lady wanted her husband’s gravesite to be generally accessible to the American public.

When JFK died, there was another image that would prove indelible: Mrs. Kennedy whispering to John Jr. that he be sure to give a military salute as the casket carrying the president passed, according to the Miller Center at the U of Virginia.

JFK was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

At the time of Kennedy’s death, it was assumed that he would be buried in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he was born and raised.

eternal flame John F. Kennedy

Eternal flame burns at the grave of assassinated President John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. (Lee Lockwood/Getty Images)

However, according to Arlington National Cemetery, the first lady wanted her husband’s gravesite to be generally accessible to the American public.

The original location was on a sloping hill between Arlington House and the Lincoln Memorial.


Due to the large crowds, cemetery officials and some members of the Kennedy family decided that a more suitable location should be constructed, and the new location was completed on July 20, 1967.

An eternal flame lit by Mrs. Kennedy burns in the center of a five-foot-tall circular granite stone at the head of the grave, the same source says.


Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was buried next to President Kennedy on May 23, 1994.

Rick Schindler

Rick Schindler is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Rick Schindler joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: RickSchindler@worldtimetodays.com.

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