JFK Presidential Library to display Maxine McNair's letter to Ja - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

JFK Presidential Library to display Maxine McNair's letter to Jackie Kennedy

The letter McNair penned to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Source: WBRC video The letter McNair penned to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

A letter of condolence from a grieving mother to a grieving wife will soon be on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

What makes this letter stand out is who it's from.

Maxine McNair, whose daughter, Denise, was one of the four girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, wrote the letter of condolence to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy after her husband's assassination.

Never did McNair think a simple letter to the White House would garner a response let alone receive national recognition.

"A card couldn't say what I wanted to say so I sent the letter," McNair said.

It was November 1963, just two months after McNair lost her daughter, that President Kennedy was shot and killed.

A few months later, McNair put pen to paper and wrote a letter to the former First Lady expressing her condolences and sympathy.

"Someone she loved was killed and someone I loved was killed for no reason. Just stupidity," McNair said.

Nine days later she got a response back from the White House.

"I was excited and thrilled that she thought enough to you know send it back," McNair said.

"Mrs. Kennedy was deeply touched by the letter," Kennedy's secretary wrote.

McNair said she felt the same about the response.

"Even though we didn't know each other we communicated back and forth our sincere angst and displeasure at what had been done," McNair said.

It wasn't until a FedEx letter came in the mail last week that Mrs. McNair's daughter, Lisa, even knew her mother had written the former First Lady.

"That's something that she would do, would write a letter to someone who was grieving and want to tell them what she thought and that she was thinking of them," said Lisa.

Copyright 2014 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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