John F. Kennedy’s Last Words He Said to Jackie Kennedy Before His Death

November 22, 1963, is a day in American history that will always be remembered as the day President John F. Kennedy (JFK) died. What were the last words the late JFK said to his wife, First Lady Jacqueline (Jackie) Kennedy? Keep reading to find out the last words the president said to Jackie.

What were the last words President John F. Kennedy said to Jackie Kennedy?

During a trip to Texas, JFK and Jackie waved to onlookers as the presidential motorcade passed through the streets of Dallas.

Jackie wore her now famous pink suit with a matching pillbox hat while her JFK wore a suit. Earlier in the day, her husband had said she’d looked “smashing” in her bold outfit.

JFK and Jackie
Texas Governor John Connally sits in the front seat with John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy in the backseat. |Bettmann / Contributor

They rode in the backseat of a blue 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible sedan while the Governor of Texas, John Connally, and his wife, Nellie, rode in the front seat.

JFK’s last words have been under debate in the past but it’s now known the late president’s last words were “No, you certainly can’t.”

Previously, it had been thought his last words were, “My God, I’ve been hit,” however, but doctors have dispelled this because of his injuries, according to Reader’s Digest.

What did the president’s last words mean? Nothing profound. He simply responded to a statement Nellie had said moments earlier. “You certainly can’t say that the people of Dallas haven’t given you a nice welcome, Mr. President,” were the words she spoke.

John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy and wife, Jackie, greeting crowd at Love Field upon arrival for campaign tour on the day of his assassination. | Art Rickerby/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

We all know what happened next. What sounded like fireworks or a car backfiring turned out to be gunshots fired from Lee Harvey Oswald’s rifle. Once she realized what happened, Jackie clutched her husband and then moved toward the trunk area of the vehicle.

As history shows, Jackie famously remained wearing her pink suit stained with JFK’s blood, explaining to Ladybird Johnson — who would then take over the first lady title from Jackie — that she didn’t want to change clothes.

“I want them to see what they have done to Jack,” were her exact words.

Lyndon B. Johnson swearing in on Air Force One
In the aftermath of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy, American politician and Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908 – 1973) takes the oath of office to become the 36th President of the United States as he is sworn in by US Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes (1896 – 1985) (left) on the presidential aircraft, Air Force One, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963. Kennedy’s widow, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy (later Onassis) stands beside him at right.| Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Sure enough, Jackie continued to wear the suit, keeping it on when Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States on Air Force One with the former first lady standing next to him.

What were Jackie Kennedy’s last words to JFK?

There are conflicting stories about the last words Jackie Kennedy ever said to her husband throughout their 10 years of marriage.

According to Christopher Anderson, the author of These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie, the first lady’s last words to JFK were, “I love you, Jack. I love you.”

During an interview in 1963 following her husband’s death, Jackie remembered her last words to her husband being ones she uttered to him on the way to Parkland Hospital where he was being rushed to for medical treatment.

John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy before their wedding.
John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier sit together in the sunshine at Kennedy’s family home at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, a few months before their wedding. |
Bettmann / Contributor

According to Jackie, her last words to her husband were, “Jack, Jack, can you hear me? I love you.”

Although JFK’s last words didn’t pale in comparison any of his speeches, they’ve gone down in history as his famous last words and will be remembered as such.