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First Lady Excels as White House Tour Guide

Feb. 14, 1962 - Millions of television viewers toured the White House this evening with Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy leading the way. The President’s wife explained the restoration she has made in the interior of the Executive Mansion. In the hour-long program, recorded on tape last month, Mrs. Kennedy, a poised TV narrator, was a historian savoring the small facts and human story behind the evolution of White House décor. Wearing a wool suit of simple line and three strings of pearls, she strolled through rooms on the ground, first and second floors in what was described as the most extensive public view of the White House ever shown. Mrs. Kennedy’s companion on the tour was Charles Collingwood, a reporter for CBS’s news department, which conceived and produced the program. CBS also made the presentation available to NBC. Both networks carried the program simultaneously. After Mrs. Kennedy completed the tour, the President appeared briefly to support his wife’s efforts to impart a sense of living history to the White House. An awareness of history can be a source of strength in meeting the problems of the future, he said. Mrs. Kennedy’s competition in the ratings tonight came from “Naked City,” a police adventure series presented by ABC. ABC said that it could not afford to share in the total production cost of Mrs. Kennedy’s program, estimated at more than $100,000, because of unforeseen expense in covering the delayed orbital flight of Lieut. Col. John H. Glenn Jr.

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