Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Etiquette, Fox-Hunts and First Ladies

Jacqueline Kennedy was arguably one of the most glamorous of Presidents’ wives in the history of the United States. The humorous tone of the article could never be taken again with regard to security of First Family members, after John F. Kennedy’s unimaginable assassination in 1963. 

Mrs. Kennedy’s Fox-Hunts Could Present Problems For Secret Service

If the future First Lady, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, is serious about riding to hounds with the fox hunters of Virginia after she recovers from the birth of her second child, it could produce some interesting possibilities. After the inauguration. Mrs. Kennedy will be accompanied wherever she goes by Secret Service agents. This raises the intriguing possibility of Secret Service Chief U.E. Baughman having to go before the House Appropriations Committee to ask money for proper hunting attire, horses and possibly some instruction on the elaborate etiquette of the Virginia hunt country. Wall there be a horse for the pool photographers, another for press association reporters? Will the Secret Service equip their horses with short-wave radios? Or just imagine the plight of the agent who must write a detailed report on the movement of each member of the Presidential family. These reports are masterpieces of understatement and police blotters. Come springtime, Chief Baughman might find himself reading something like this:

“From Agent Black to supervising agent in charge; 5-15-01 departed house with First Lady by motor for Golden Acres Farm at 2 p. m. Destination meeting place of Orange County hunt. Arrived farm 2:18 p.m. “First Lady rode own mount on Undesigned borrowed horse named Lightning. First Lady and horse jumped stone fences at 2 34. 2:45 and 2:57 p. m. (Locations A. B. and C. in attached diagram). Just after passing position C. Undersigned detected unidentified animal (four-footed, rushing at First Lady’s horse. Perceived animal to be a skunk and disposed of same with revolver, caliber .38 serial 234516. Identification of animal defective. Informed by other hunt participants it was fox. 
“Hunt participants spoke at some length on this subject. En route back to staging area, Golden Acres Farm, horse assigned to Undersigned attempted to jump stone fence, position A. without authority, causing Undersigned to detach himself unexpectedly. First lady returned home accompanied by another agent while Undersigned taken to Orange County (Va.) hospital to have leg left, set and placed in cast. Attached documents: (1) Request for sick leave. (2) Request for transfer.” – From “Washington Backstairs with the President-elect” By White House Reporter, Merriman Smith, 1960

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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