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Flashback: First Lady Jackie Kennedy on Caroline Kennedy’s Future

America’s new ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy took center stage this week as President Obama made the first state visit to the country by a U.S. president in nearly two decades.

Five months into her tenure, Ambassador Kennedy told NBC’s Chuck Todd that she’s getting accustomed to her new, very prominent role as America’s representative in Japan. Before her appointment, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy had traditionally craved privacy and avoided politics and the public eye, except for her active support of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential candidacy and short-lived interest in running for the Senate herself in 2009.

A look back into NBC’s archives shows the extent that Caroline Kennedy’s famous parents worried about her privacy even before she was too young to do so herself. Fifty-three years ago this month, young mother and new First Lady Jackie Kennedy told NBC News that her greatest anxiety was the effect her husband’s election would have on her small children.

In an interview just a few months into the Kennedy presidency, Mrs. Kennedy spoke with NBC’s Sander Vanocur about the unprecedented attention focused on America’s glamorous first couple, which she said she didn’t mind for herself but was “very hard” for her young children. She worried in particular about three year old Caroline, who would soon have to go to school.

Mrs. Kennedy maintained throughout the interview that she felt the responsibility of being First Lady very deeply, but that her role as a wife and mother was more important. Of the future Ambassador’s life, she concluded: “She must do all the normal things she’d do normally”.

You can watch clips from the historic 1961 interview below, courtesy of NBCUniversal Archives.

First Lady Jackie Kennedy on daughter Caroline’s privacy in 1961 2:56