TODAY   |  November 19, 2013

Jackie Kennedy’s iconic pink suit: A piece of history

NBC’S Andrea Mitchell looks at the history of the iconic suit worn by Jackie Kennedy before and shortly after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> of our look back at the assassination of jfk 50 years later. one iconic imagine of that faithful day in dallas is the first lady's pink suit. nbc's andrea mitchell has the remarkable story behind it.

>> reporter: jacqueline kennedy arrived in dallas that morning perfectly dressed in her pill box hat and the pink suit that brightened that morning. it was an exact copy of as chanel suit but made in the usa. he introduced his wife to an adoring crowd.

>> two years ago i introduced myself in paris that said i was the man that accompanied mrs. kennedy to paris. i'm getting that same sensation as i travel around texas. nobody wonders what lendon and i wear.

>> known as the pink suit, jackie kennedy had already worn it six times including this 1962 visit to london before that faithful november 22nd . the suit might never have made it to dallas but for jackie's personal assistant who had worked for the kennedys since jfk was a senator. today at age 89, she recalls president kennedy telling her to get the first lady's wardrobe ready for the texas trip.

>> he said pack something light because it could be warm over there.

>> pack something light because it would be warm in dallas .

>> yes. i put everything out and on the rack in her dressing room so i had everything ready for her so then she pick what she wanted.

>> she liked that pink suit a lot. she wore it several times.

>> yes.

>> reporter: the suit was to become marked by tragedy. blood stained in the motorcade and worn for the swearing in of the new president as a badge of horror and shame for the nation and the world to see.

>> lady byrd johnson said perhaps you don't want to wear this suit, the suit drenched in the late president's blood. and her reply was no, i want them to see what they have done to jack.

>> reporter: she escorted her husband home but didn't return to the white house until 4:30 the next morning. by then she changed clothes.

>> did you pack a dress in a box.

>> i didn't. i never saw the dress.

>> you never saw it again?

>> i never saw the dress.

>> reporter: mrs. kennedy's mother kept the suit at her home in georgetown until the following july when still blood stained to preserve it for history it was sent to the national archives and there it remains under the terms of a gift from caroline kennedy ten years ago. not to be seen for another 90 years. for today, andrea mitchell , nbc news washington.

>> wow. seems like such a long time.

>> a fortunate piece of history.

>> there's so many memories and also artifacts that we're thinking about this week as we look back 50 years later.

>> all the stories.

>> yeah.