As America's First Lady from 1961 to 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy impacted American society. With her beauty, cultivated taste and style, she broadened the role of First Lady. Not only did Mrs. Kennedy help her husband, John F. Kennedy, gain presidential votes, she made significant contributions to the cultural and historical restoration of the White House, and was a popular ambassador around the world. In January 1960, John F. Kennedy launched his eleven-month cross-country campaign for the presidency.
A few weeks into the campaign, Mrs. Kennedy became pregnant and had to stay home under her doctor's supervision. There she answered campaign mail, taped TV commercials, gave interviews, and wrote "Campaign Wife," a syndicated column carried in newspapers throughout the U.S. At age 31, Jacqueline Kennedy became the third youngest First Lady in our history and the first to be a mother of an infant in the White House since the turn of the century. .
As First Lady, Mrs. Kennedy's first major project was the historical restoration of the White House. She created a White House Fine Arts Committee, composed of experts in historic preservation and decorative arts, to direct the work. Mrs. Kennedy and her committee solicited donations of period furniture and artwork, some of which had been part of the White House collection. They found items that had belonged to Presidents Washington, Lincoln, and Madison. Mrs. Kennedy established the White House Historical Association to fund the restoration project and took an active role in publishing the first official White House guidebook. Together with the newly appointed White House Curator, Mrs. Kennedy approved the guidebook's text, chose the photographs, and designed the book's layout. She conducted an historic televised tour of the White House for CBS Television in February 1962. A record audience of fifty-six million viewers watched as Mrs. Kennedy spoke about the White House and its history as she guided them through its beautifully restored rooms.