The Kennedys have long been one of the most fascinating and influential families in American history.
Tonight, Redwood City gets to host one of them.
The , in partnership with Cargill and , will play host to Caroline Kennedy tonight.
Tied to the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, the Kennedy family has recently released a collection of recordings of an intimate interview with Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, entitled “Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy.” The recordings are accompanied by transcripts and forewords by Caroline.
Kepler’s website says, “Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy’s voice has been absent from the numerous books written about her, John F. Kennedy’s presidency, and their life together. Now, in seven never-before-heard interviews conducted in 1964 with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., this extraordinary woman gives us her story in her own words.”
The website further describes the nature of the interview with Jacqueline:
“In early March of 1964, still deeply grieving the loss of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy sat down with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. to record seven interviews totaling eight and a half hours. These previously sealed tapes provide a fresh narrative of John Kennedy's life as a senator, presidential candidate, president, and Mrs. Kennedy's experience during those years, providing details of their private conversations, her role in his political life, and her thoughtful and original views about the cast of characters who surrounded them both.”
T.J. Stiles, who won a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for his novel The First Tycoon: the Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, will introduce Caroline at tonight's event.
Eric Lochtefeld, owner of the Fox Theatre, said, Caroline’s appearance at the Fox tonight could not have been possible without the generous support of both Cargill and Kepler’s Books. He added, he could not be more excited to play host to her tonight.
“This is pretty darn special. Her mother and father are considered to be two of the greatest Americans in our history, so to have her here is incredible, and it’s great for the Bay Area,” he said. “And, I’m very excited to have it be a sellout as well. It’s pretty exciting to see the Fox completely full.”
That’s 1,348 seats, he added.
Jill Singleton of Cargill said the company is proud to be partnering with the Fox on its new speaker series.
“We’re trying to support the Fox Theatre and its owners, and having a wonderful venue in downtown Redwood City,” she said.
Singleton said, Cargill first decided to come on board after Fox expressed interest in starting a speaker series at the theatre, but ran into obstacles.
“[Cargill] had decided to sponsor a lecture series, and Eric went out looking for motivational speakers—particularly speakers who could address young audiences,” Singleton explained. “But the speaker fees were just prohibitive.”
Then, Eric met the owner of Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, which hosts frequent author events. Singleton explained, sometimes Kepler’s gets a really big author that wants to make an appearance, and draws such huge crowds that the store can’t accommodate it.
“So, Kepler’s and Fox got together on that. And then, our sponsorship is essentially what opened the doors at the Fox,” she said.
Pam Grange, events manager for Kepler's in Menlo Park, said the Fox Theatre team has been great to work with.
"They’re fabulous to work with, it’s a really wonderful arrangement," she said. "We’re thrilled to be the only West Coast location to be hosting her; the only appearances she's making are one in Washington, one in New York, one in Boston, one in Chicago, and this one."
The three-way partnership has proved to be genius, Singleton and Lochtefeld agree.
“Kepler’s and Fox get a great venue to accommodate the biggest authors, and we’re just delighted to help bring speakers of high value and high caliber to Redwood City,” she added. “Fox is really an ideal venue, and we’re just really happy to support such a program downtown.”
“It’s really a win-win-win,” Lochtefeld said.
Tonight’s event with Caroline Kennedy is sold out, but be sure to visit Patch tomorrow for exclusive, up-close coverage of her appearance.