The Kennedys at play: Intimate photos show First Family enjoying a day out with their children 50 years ago - including haunting picture of JFK Jr posing at controls of presidential helicopter
Gorgeous photographs show President John F. Kennedy leaving behind the pressures of Washington and unwinding with his attractive family at the presidential retreat at Camp David.
The Kennedy Presidential Library posted the collection of photos to their website on Monday, 50 years after the Kennedy clan was captured enjoying some fresh air at the rustic Naval fortress in Frederick County, Maryland on March 31, 1963.
The Kennedy mystique pervades the images of the smartly dressed yet uninhibited children, the easy going commander-in-chief and the always glamorous Mrs Kennedy, still in high heels and a stylish coat despite being in the outdoors.
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Love of the skies: John F. Kennedy, Jr., aged two, sits in the cockpit of the Presidential helicopter during a weekend trip to Camp David
Playtime: The first couple's son pretends to take the controls of the grounded aircraft
Ready for takeoff: The photos show JFK Jr. at the Maryland presidential retreat with his parents and older sister on March 31, 1963
Free and unrestrained, the toddler tried his hand playing with the controls, sitting in the pilot's seat and wearing pilot earphones on the olive green colored presidential helicopter.
As adorable as the brown-haired boy appears, the pose seems a harbinger of things to come.
In July 1999, at the age of 38, JFK Jr. was piloting a Piper Saratoga II HP when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard.
Kennedy's wife, Carolyn Bessette, 33, and his wife's older sister, Lauren, were also on board the plane when it went down and all perished.
Giddy up: President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (both at right) make a stunning pair. Mrs Kennedy holds John F. Kennedy, Jr.'s hand as the little boy pets his sister's pony
Gifts for a princess: Caroline's pony, Macaroni, was a gift from her father's vice-president, Lyndon Johnson. For this photo, the horse is wearing an elaborate saddle that was a gift from Morocco's King Hassan II
Riding posture: During the Camp David weekend in 1963, Caroline takes her pet out for ride in the wilderness
The first family's daughter is also captured in the photographs from the 1963 weekend trip.
Then aged five, the little girl is seated astride her pony, named Macaroni.
A gift from her father's vice-president, Lyndon Johnson, the small horse would roam freely on the grounds of the White House during JFK's presidency from 1961 to 1963.
In the photos from the Camp David weekend, the pony is seen wearing an elaborate Moroccan saddle that was given to the first daughter by Morocco's King Hassan II, during a state visit that year.
Caroline looks the picture of happiness and innocence playing with her pony.
Singer Neil Diamond would later reveal that seeing the joy of the first daughter on her pet horse would serve as the inspiration for his 1969 hit song Sweet Caroline.
Mother's guidance: First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, herself a keen rider, helps saddle the pony while little Caroline looks on
Team effort: With the help of stablehands from Camp David, Mrs Kennedy prepares the pony for riding while President Kennedy (back right) smokes his pipe
Daddy and me: JFK Jr. holds fast to his daddy's hand, while a member of the retreat staff guides the pony for Miss Caroline's ride
The couple's oldest child is seen riding her horse with the help of a stablehand from the Camp David grounds.
The girl's friend, Sally Fay, daughter of Under Secretary of the Navy Paul 'Red' Fay, also is photographed taking a turn for a ride on the pony.
The March weekend looks like an idyllic getaway for the leader of the free world and his young family.
Just five months later, the president would be assassinated during a trip to Dallas on November 22, bringing a shocking end to that 'one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.'
Taking a stroll: The president takes his son for a walk, while the first lady walks behind the pair as she chats with Under Secretary of the Navy Paul 'Red' Fay and his daughter, Sally
Your turn: Caroline lets Sally Fay, daughter of Under Secretary of the Navy Paul 'Red' Fay (left), take a ride on Macaroni
Weekend trip: President John F. Kennedy (right, holding pipe) sits on a bench with Under Secretary of the Navy Paul 'Red' Fay at Camp David
Having fun: President Kennedy (right, holding pipe and wearing sunglasses) looks on as Under Secretary of the Navy Paul 'Red' Fay picks up John F. Kennedy, Jr. The Kennedy family dog, Charlie, observes the scene
JFK Jr. married the glamorous Carolyn Bessette (left) in 1996. The pair and Carolyn's sister, Lauren, all died in July 1999 when John's plane went down in the Atlantic Ocean (right, a search effort to look for wreckage)