Hyannisport, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Seventy-tw0 years ago today, September 29, 1942, Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy wrote a letter to Clare Booth Luce*, playwright and friend of the Kennedy family, thanking her for sending him a good luck coin.
Lt. Kennedy received the coin, which had been owned by Clare Booth Luce's mother, just one day before he departed for duty in the South Pacific.
In his letter, Lt. Kennedy wrote that he planned to clip the coin to his military dog tags and added...
"Good luck is a commodity in rather large demand these days and I feel you have given me a particularly potent bit of it."
In a conversation with Arthur Schlesinger recorded in 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy was asked...
"Clare Luce wrote very favorable pieces about you, remember?"
"Yeah, but (she) had come to lunch with Jack once in the White House (but) she wanted to see him in his office. And apparently, all through that lunch, Mrs. Luce....just....lit into him and told him all these things."
"(Jack finally said) 'I'm sorry, Mrs. Luce, but unfortunately you're not in a position to do anything about these things, and I am.' And that's how it ended. Then she went back to Arizona and made little mosaic tables...."
*Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987), an American playwright, journalist, editor of Vanity Fair, and Republican congresswoman from Connecticut, was born in New York City.
She was a critic of FDR's foreign policy, supported Eisenhower in 1952 and was named U.S. ambassador to Italy. In 1964, she supported Barry Goldwater.
Clare and Henry Luce
"Jacqueline Kennedy, Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy," published by Hyperion.
By tradition, St. Christopher's medals are worn by travelers for protection. The phrase in Spanish "Si en San Cristobal confias de accidente no moriras" says "If you trust St. Christopher, you won't die in an accident."
According to sources, President Kennedy wore a St. Christopher medal but on the morning of November 22, 1963, he left it hanging in the shower of his hotel suite bathroom at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth.