Monday, February 18, 2008

Two Things Challenge: Love / Bird

Graves of John and Jacqueline Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery

This week's challenge was Love / Bird.

The first photo is the grave of President John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. (The building at the top of the photo is the former home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and his wife Mary Custis Lee. Mrs. Lee was the great-granddaughter of Martha Custis Washington, the wife of George Washington. Of equal note: Mrs. Kennedy was a descendant of the Lees of Virginia.) After the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery and Mrs. Kennedy requested an eternal flame over his grave. She later married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek businessman. After his death, she remained unwed, but was often seen in the company of a New York businessman named Maurice Tempelsman. They never married and when Mrs. Kennedy died in 1994 the reason was revealed. Had she married Mr. Tempelsman, she could not have been buried in Arlington next to her first love. Despite Mr. Kennedy's philandering and wandering eye, Mrs. Kennedy was devoted to him and is now buried next to him.

Northern Cardinal at Mount Vernon

The second photo is a Northern Cardinal. This red beauty is the most popular choice for state bird in the United States. Out of 50 states, seven of them claim the cardinal as its state avian representative: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. (The second most popular is the Western Meadowlark [six states], followed by the Mockingbird [five states].) The cardinal can be found as far west as Arizona in the continental U.S. and Hawaii in the contiguous U.S., as far east as Virginia, as far north as Wisconsin, and as far south as Central America. The females are mostly brown with touches of red. While not as stunning as the male, they are pretty in their own right. Seeing a cardinal is breathtaking and one of the things I love about living in the East.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 2/08. This entry was updated to include additional geneological information about Mary Custis Lee and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.)


Bobbie said...

Some very nice 2 things photos, D.C. I did not know that Jacqueline was buried next to her husband. I always learn things when I come here. The shot of the red cardinal couldn't be more appropriate. The male Cardinal makes the ideal lover, caring for his mate and offspring with tender love.

Fénix - Bostonscapes said...

Very interesting post, D.C. So that was the reason, I didn't know.

Bev said...

It is fitting they are buried next to each other, they were one of the twentieth century's most iconic couples.

The red cardinal, though quite a small bird, really lights up the sky with her flaming red. Maybe the name has something to do with the red clothes that the religious Cardinals wore. I know there is a butterfly called a cardinal. The religious personages probably also wore flaming red to make lasting impression and to display their power. I like this in a really tiny bird!

Bev said...

Sorry, his, obviously.

D.C. Confidential said...

Bobbie: Yep, she's buried next to JFK. The burial site also includes the graves of their son Patrick and a stillborn daughter. Not too far from their graves is the grave of RFK. As for cardinals, they're divine and whimsical and elegant.

Fenix: I tried to find a source online with that bit of information about Mrs. Kennedy and the rules of interment at ANC. It's a piece of information I remember from the coverage of the funeral, but I couldn't find anything through Google or YouTube or on the ANC's website.

Bev: You're right, it is fitting. To this day, as you know, they're still held up as the benchmark of romance and elegance when it comes to the Presidency and First Lady.

As for the cardinal and where it got its name, I have no idea, (I should look that up, huh?) but I'll bet you're right about it having something to do with the religious robes of Cardinals. Although, that now begs a question: Which came first? The cardinal or the Cardinal? :-)

The Artful Eye said...

Interesting post and factoids I never knew. Perfect for this challenge.
That red cardinal shot is amazing. I love birds.

Dusty Lens said...

Though I was not around for Kennedy's term, the general feeling was they were the closest thing to royalty in the U.S. A more gentle, innocent, romantic time.

Since the assasination of JFK, our nation's innocnse has been lost. We have become more skeptical, and perhaps more cynical on all matters concerning our government. We grew up and became more wise to such things.

Cardinals are beautiful, a regular at our North Metro Bird Station. Fun to do, go outside and mimic the male Cardinal's song. he will answer, and if you're lucky, more will chime in.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

What a nice take on love! That is a sad but romantic story and I am always a sucker for those. I like your composition.
The bird is beautiful, what a stunner. The photo is familiar though...not that I mind! It's a stunner as I said. Such wonderful colours with the bright bird and the blue sky and the branches braking it all up!
Thankyou for organising our challenges:)

D.C. Confidential said...

AE: I'm thinking that red cardinal would go well with your profile picture!

DL: I have to agree with you. And whatever inkling of innocence and faith that remained or was reborn after the assassinations in the 60s (Kennedy, King, Kennedy) seems to have been obliterated by 9/11.

As for cardinal song, I'll have to learn how to do that. I love listening to them in the spring!

Lisa: It's possible you've seen the cardinal picture before. I've posted it elsewhere several weeks ago (double dipping!)

dianeclancy said...

Hi DC,

These are great entries!! I love the bit about the Kennedys! Beautiful bird too.

~ Diane Clancy