Wednesday, January 11, 2017


JFK+50:  Volume 7, No. 2186


Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) JFK+50 begins the year 2017 with a review of "Jackie" starring Natalie Portman.  "Jackie" is a Fox Searchlight Pictures film directed by Pablo Larrain.

The screenplay was written by Noah Oppenheim.  Released on December 2, 2016, the movie has an "R" rating and lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Moving forward in the film to a scene in the Oval Office at the White House. Jackie is wearing a new black dress.  It is morning and  although the sun is shining through the drawn curtains, the office is dim... surrounded by the Resolute* desk, the same one that John John liked to crawl under...the coconut JFK used to write a message leading to the rescue of his PT109 after its sinking in the South Pacific in WWII...the model of the ship Danmark**...and the famous Kennedy rocker....

Mrs. Kennedy runs her hand across the new red carpet and says...

"It's perfect."

Bill Walton responds...

"We installed it while you were away (in Texas).  I thought it would be a nice surprise for you and the President."

Jackie replies...

"Who knows if he would have cared?"


The refurbishing of the Oval Office as well as other offices in the West Wing would not have surprised President Kennedy.  He commented before leaving for Texas, "When we return, we will have new offices."

During JFK's presidency, the Oval Office had basically a green color scheme. The carpet and the curtains were green.  JFK's call director telephone and his desk lamp were green.  

The new color scheme was red and white.  The carpet was red and the curtains were white with red trim.  The green telephone and lamp were not changed. The movie did not get the lamp right.  They had what looked to be a gooseneck with double supports, while JFK's was a single solid posted lamp.

Photos of JFK's remodeled and original Oval Office can be seen below.  The White House Museum website describes the original carpet as "FDR's blue-gray rug."

*The First Lady brought the desk out of mothballs and had it placed in the Oval Office at the beginning of JFK's presidency.  The desk was a gift from Queen Victoria of Great Britain to President Rutherford B. Hayes on November 23, 1880.  It was built from the timbers of the British Arctic exploration ship "Resolute".

**Danmark was a full-rigged ship owned by the Danish Maritime Authority & launched in 1932.  It was offered to the U.S. as a training vessel during WWII.


"Jackie-Screenplay," by Script Pipeline,

"Oval Office History," The White House Museum,

"The White House:  An Historic Guide," White House Historical Association, Washington, D.C., 1962.

JFK's Remodeled Oval Office
Photo by Cecil W. Stoughton
November 23, 1963
JFK Library Image

JFK's Original Oval Office
White House Historical Association, 1962