President-elect proud of son to be named John F. Kennedy Jr.


WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 1960 (UPI) - It was 4:35 a.m. today and standing in the glare of police car headlights on the sidewalk of his old red brick house, the president-elect said it softly and proudly, "John F. Kennedy Jr."

His smile was as bright as the police lights when he wound up a long and trying night of racing to the side of his wife by plane and getting news of the birth of their second child over crackling radio messages relayed to his plane as it sped northward.


"It was really something, wasn't it?" he said with a grin, thinking back over the amazing experience of flying to Florida and back in less than eight hours and becoming a father in the process.

As he headed for bed just before dawn in his ancient Georgetown home where his daughter, Caroline, was sleeping in her upstairs nursery, the president-elect vowed he would start for Florida again in about two weeks and take his wife with him. He hoped for a family Christmas in Palm Beach of about two weeks duration.


Tired but unable to stop smiling as policemen and Secret Service agents softly called out their congratulations, the president-elect seemed much more like a young father than a potentially powerful world figure.

He thought everybody was "fine" - Jacqueline, Jack Jr., the doctor, the nurses, everybody. And he was particularly pleased when asked the name of his son.

"Why, it's John F. Kennedy Jr.," he said almost reverentially: "I think she decided -- it has been decided - yes - John F. Kennedy Jr."

Seldom has a birth announcement come to a father under the hectic circumstances prevailing when Kennedy, racing back from Florida early today, got the news.

A burst of applause swept through the chartered American Airlines plane on which he was flying. The president-elect, in his shirt-sleeves, came to the door of his forward compartment and waved his thanks to the main cabin packed with Secret Service agents, reporters and photographers - his traveling companions on one of the most important nights of his life.

A few minutes before Kennedy's private plane, the Caroline, was scheduled to land at Palm Beach, Kennedy's pilot, Howard Baird, sent word via the stewardess, Janet Derosiers, that an important telephone call awaited him on the ground.


An airline passenger agent handed him a slip of yellow paper when he landed. It said Mrs. Kennedy had been taken to the hospital.

He headed quickly for a telephone. His brow furrowed with concern, Kennedy picked up the instrument.

A voice at the other end said she was the nurse in charge of the floor and that the Caesarian operation was in progress.

Kennedy headed for his own plane. He gave a few soft-voiced instructions to his own pilot, explaining that he was returning to the capital immediately and would travel aboard the American Airlines charter, a DC-6B which could make the flight faster than the Convair.

Walking to the chartered plane, he seemed calm, but concerned.

"The Caesarean has started and we'll go right on back," he said.

There was a wild scramble on the ground - baggage had to be unloaded from ground vehicles and rushed to the DC-6. Ground crews raced up with a fuel truck.

Shortly after 1 a.m., Richard Kramer, the pilot, sent for Kennedy. The lanky president-to-be strode the few steps to the pilot's cabin and clamped on a set of radio earphones. A slow smile spread over his face as he listened.


It was the National Airlines office back in Palm Beach reporting that he'd just become the father of a baby boy and mother and child were both doing well.

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