News | November 7, 2023

JFK's Diary and Kennedy Memorabilia to Auction

RR Auction

JFK's diary

RR Auction's November Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction features a special section dedicated to JFK's presidency and early career, including his diary, an original window from the Texas School Book Depository, and a section of the picket fence from the 'grassy knoll'.

Leading the sale which will conclude on November 8 is a diary written by John F. Kennedy during the summer of 1945. This journal comprises 61 pages, including 12 handwritten and 49 typed pages, offering a glimpse into the experiences of the young JFK in his role as a special correspondent for Hearst Newspapers. It runs from his attendance at the opening session of the United Nations in San Francisco in May to his extensive travels through post-war Europe during the summer of 1945. Estimate: $500,000+.

Kennedy followed Prime Minister Winston Churchill throughout England during his re-election campaign, then journeyed to Ireland and France. His travels led him to witness the Potsdam Conference with Navy Secretary James Forrestal, the reality of war ruins in Germany, and the remnants of Hitler's bombed-out bunker in Berlin and the infamous Berchtesgaden' Eagle's Nest’ mountain retreat. 

Reflecting on the scene, Kennedy records his views of Hitler: 

"After visiting these two places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”  

The bulk of the diary's interest comes in Kennedy's typed entries which include his observations on world politics in the aftermath of the war.

JFK's diary
RR Auction

JFK's diary

John F. Kennedy Oversized Signed Photograph to Peter Lawford: "Who helped make this picture possible"
RR Auction

John F. Kennedy oversized signed photograph to Peter Lawford: "Who helped make this picture possible"

Signed Letters to the Mother of Harold Marney, a Lost Crew Member of PT-109
RR Auction

Signed letters to the mother of Harold Marney, a lost crew member of PT-109

Also going under the hammer are:

* an archive of letters addressed to the mother of Harold Marney, a lost crew member of the PT-109 torpedo boat commanded by JFK which was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer in 1943. This collection includes a Purple Heart medal, photographs, and family documents, documenting 18 years of correspondence between John F. Kennedy and Harold's mother. 

* an original window from the Texas School Book Depository, the building from which the shots were fired on November 22, 1963, leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy

* Lee Harvey Oswald's first gun, an antique Iver Johnson First Model Safety Automatic Hammerless Top Break revolver

* a substantial section of the picket fence from the 'grassy knoll' at Dealey Plaza, from the collection of Kennedy assassination researcher Larry Howard, the President of the JFK Assassination Information Center in Dallas

The auction also showcases an array of signed JFK photographs from various eras, plus a complete set of American Statesman books with rare tipped-in autographs of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other prominent figures. Other lots feature letters by Martin Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin.