According to William Manchester's 1967 book, "The Death of a President," Jacqueline Kennedy wanted only Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield to deliver the eulogy in the Capitol Rotunda, having recalled the late president's praise of Mansfield at a White House dinner one month before the assassination. However, since the Rotunda is officially under the jurisdiction of the U.S. House, it was considered inappropriate for the Senate Majority Leader to be designated as the sole speaker. Ultimately a compromise was reached for three eulogists: Mansfield, Speaker of the House John McCormack and Chief Justice Earl Warren. Even this, according to Manchester, "was violation of convention," since according to protocol, Carl Hayden, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate, should have represented the Senate instead of Mansfield, whose participation "could only be justified on the ground that he was the choice of the widowed First Lady."
Manchester writes that Jacqueline Kennedy found Mansfield's eulogy to be "magnificent," comparing it to "a Pericles oration, or Lincoln's letter to the mother who had lost five sons in battle." Manchester himself describes it as "an authentic masterpiece which went unappreciated, like so many great speeches, at the time of its delivery. Because of the dreadful acoustics many did not even hear it." -- Stephen Fagin, Curator