Jackie Kennedy was prepared to die during the tense days of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, according to revelations in a new book by the former first lady’s Secret Service bodyguard.
When he offered to hide Kennedy and her children, John and Caroline, during the nuclear standoff between the Soviet Union and the US, Kennedy declined.
Instead, the First Lady said “she would take John and Caroline and walk on the law like brave soldiers and face the same fate of every other American,” Clint Hill, 90, wrote in a tweet commemorating the sixtieth anniversary this week of the crisis that saw the world on the verge of nuclear war.
Hill, who has worked as a Secret Service agent for five presidents, tells that story and others in his new memoir, “My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy,” part of which was recently excerpted in People Magazine.
Hill, who has written other books about his time in the White House, notes his torment in not being able to save President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas.
“Guilt and anguish consumed me,” writes Hill, who was 31 at the time. “All I could think about was Dallas. I was running as fast as I could, my arm reaching for the handholds on the trunk but it was like my legs were in quicksand. Mrs. Kennedy climbing out of the back seat, her terrified eyes looking but not seeing me like I wasn’t there.”