News | May 17, 2024

JFK's Handwritten Notes the Night Before His Assassination Sold for $34,504

RR Auction

John F. Kennedy's doodles

Handwritten notes and doodles on stationery from Houston's Rice Hotel by President John F. Kennedy from November 21, 1963, the night before his assassination, have sold for $34,504 at RR Auction.

JFK arrived at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas, at 5pm. on November 21, 1963, where he stayed for three-and-a-half hours. During this time, he appeared at a League of United Latin American Citizens Councils and read a statement honoring Joe A. Garza for his work with the organization. After the meeting, he left the Rice Hotel to attend a dinner for Congressman Albert Thomas at the Coliseum, and later that night, went to the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth, where he stayed until morning.

The document, written in pencil on an off-white sheet, contains various notations likely made during a telephone conversation. It includes references to the year 1963, numerical notes like "10 thousand tons" and "50 or 60 %," a noted time of "11:45," and the surname "Smith" mentioned twice, possibly referring to Stephen E. Smith, Kennedy's brother-in-law and campaign strategist. The page also showcases Kennedy's familiar doodles, including underlines, boxes, and an arrow.

"Kennedy's handwriting remains highly coveted by presidential collectors, with examples deriving from his last night alive being part of an elusive and ever-shrinking group," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

The Auction celebrated what would have been Kennedy's 107th birthday and featured more than 40 items related to him. Highlights included:

  • John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address Book presented to the Chief of White House Police, sold for $26,575
  • JFK and Family multi-signed book The Remarkable Kennedys, sold for $6,250
  • John F. Kennedy 1957 Hyannisport signed mortgage note to Father Joe Sr., sold for $4,999

Other highlights from the same auction included:

  • George Washington signed handwritten ledger, sold for $46,279
  • King Henry VIII document, signed during the Occupation of Tournai, sold for $33,219
  • Walt Disney signed sketch of Mickey Mouse drawn by Walt Disney on his 1935 visit to England, sold for $25,035