Everybody has something trite to say about our 35th President, John F. Kennedy. My trite thing to say about JFK is that an unexpected death can do wonders for one’s image.

I told you it was trite.

JFK, though, was a master of image. He understood the power of a good story, the power of a well-placed joke. He knew how to be photographed. He knew how to be a star.

His wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, also understood stardom. She understood the language of imagery. She also faced the reality of her slain husband with specific attention to his legacy.

The Kennedy presidency is sometimes remembered as the Camelot era. In 1960, Camelot was popular as a Broadway musical. Shortly after the Kennedy assassination, Mrs. Kennedy gave an interview where she told the reporter that she and her late husband had enjoyed listening to the music of Camelot in their time together. Then, she quoted a line from the musical, “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment, that was known as Camelot.”

Her understanding of media gave birth to the Camelot association that remains, to this day, with the Kennedy presidency.


The Cake:

Kennedy’s cupcake is inspired by both the tragedy of his assassination and the attention to image that surrounded him. During the tour of Texas which would be his last trip, Jacqueline Kennedy was often presented with yellow roses. Here,the lemon buttercream frosting nods toward those yellow roses. The rose theme is repeated in the cupcake itself which is rose flavored. Raspberry puree was swirled into the cupcake batter in order to tie the rose and lemon flavors together.