Year
1953
Month Day
September 12

John F. Kennedy marries Jacqueline Bouvier in Newport, Rhode Island

Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy, the future 35th president of the United States, marries Jacqueline Bouvier in Newport, Rhode Island on September 12, 1953. Seven years later, the couple would become the youngest president and first lady in American history.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was born into a prominent New York family in 1929 and grew into an avid horsewoman and reader. In 1951, after graduating from George Washington University, Jackie, as she was called, took a tour of Europe. That fall, she returned to the U.S. to begin her first job as the Washington Times-Herald’s “Inquiring Camera Girl.” Shortly afterward, she met a young, handsome senator from Massachusetts named John Kennedy at a dinner party in Georgetown. They dated over the next two years, during which time Jackie mused at the idea that she might actually marry a man who was allergic to horses, something she never thought she would have considered. In 1953, the two were engaged, when Kennedy gave Jackie a 2.88-carat diamond-and-emerald ring from Van Cleef and Arpels.

“Jack,” as Kennedy was called, and Jackie married on September 12, 1953, at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island. Jackie wore an ivory silk gown made by Ann Lowe, an African-American designer. The Catholic mass was attended by 750 guests and an additional 450 people joined the wedding reception at Hammersmith Farm. The couple danced to the Meyer Davis Orchestra’s version of “I Married an Angel.” Davis also performed at Jackie’s parents’ wedding and at Kennedy’s inaugural ball.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

New floating bridge opens in Seattle; I-90 stretches from coast to coast

On September 12, 1993, the rebuilt Lacey V. Murrow Bridge over Lake Washington opens in Seattle. The new bridge, which was actually the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 (the westbound lanes cross the lake on a separate bridge), connects the city and its eastern suburbs. It ...read more

Nikita Khrushchev elected Soviet leader

Six months after the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev succeeds him with his election as first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Born into a Ukrainian peasant family in 1894, Khrushchev worked as a mine mechanic before joining the Soviet ...read more

Violence erupts in Boston over desegregation busing

In Boston, Massachusetts, opposition to court-ordered school “busing” turns violent on the opening day of classes. School buses carrying African American children were pelted with eggs, bricks, and bottles, and police in combat gear fought to control angry white protesters ...read more

Lascaux cave paintings discovered

Near Montignac, France, a collection of prehistoric cave paintings are discovered by four teenagers who stumbled upon the ancient artwork after following their dog down a narrow entrance into a cavern. The 15,000- to 17,000-year-old paintings, consisting mostly of animal ...read more

The Laconia is sunk

A German U-boat sinks a British troop ship, the Laconia, killing more than 1,400 men on September 12, 1942. The commander of the German sub, Capt. Werner Hartenstein, realizing that Italians POWs were among the passengers, strove to aid in ...read more

Sugar Ray Robinson wins back belt

On September 12, 1951, former middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Randy Turpin to win back the belt in front of 61,370 spectators at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Robinson, a New York City native, had lost the belt to Turpin two months prior in Turpin’s native ...read more

Hopalong Cassidy rides off into his last sunset

After nearly 40 years of riding across millions of American TV and movie screens, the cowboy actor William Boyd, best known for his role as Hopalong Cassidy, dies on September 12, 1972 at the age of 77. Boyd’s greatest achievement was to be the first cowboy actor to make the ...read more

Singer-songwriter Barry White is born

Born in Galveston, Texas, on September 12, 1944, Barry White—or “the Maestro”—went on to stunningly successful career as a pop singer that spanned five decades, and made him a star of the disco era. Having written several new songs and recorded his vocals for demo purposes only, ...read more

Poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning elope

Elizabeth Barrett elopes with Robert Browing on September 12, 1846. Barrett was already a respected poet who had published literary criticism and Greek translations in addition to poetry. Her first volume of poetry, The Seraphim and Other Poems, appeared in 1838, followed by ...read more

First season of “Entourage”—a TV show about life in Hollywood—comes to an end

On September 12, 2004, the first season of the television comedy series Entourage, about a hot young actor in Hollywood and the posse of people surrounding him, comes to an end on HBO. Entourage, which debuted on July 18, 2004, starred Adrian Grenier as the up-and-coming movie ...read more

Hurricane Gilbert slams Jamaica

Hurricane Gilbert slams into Jamaica, killing hundreds of people, on September 12, 1988. The storm went on to cause death and destruction in Mexico and spur a batch of tornadoes in Texas. On September 10, Gilbert attained hurricane status west of the Dominican Republic. ...read more