Bible Jackie Kennedy read from during JFK's funeral offered at Heritage

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Bible Jackie Kennedy read from during JFK's funeral offered at Heritage
John F. Kennedy: "Inauguration" Bible Used by Jackie Kennedy for JFK's Funeral Service.

DALLAS, TX.- When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, a nation mourned. But nobody felt the impact more than Kennedy’s family.

The shots fired from a sixth-floor window while Kennedy’s motorcade rolled through Dealey Plaza in Dallas sent shockwaves across the country and around the globe. Politicians began to reconsider their careers — Republican Barry Goldwater reportedly considered ditching his presidential campaign because of his admiration for the country’s 35th president — and it completely consumed national media: all three major U.S. networks suspended their regular schedules and switched to all-news coverage for some 70 hours, making it the longest uninterrupted news event on American TV until 9/11. CBS Washington correspondent Roger Mudd put it this way: “It was a death that touched everyone instantly and directly; rare was the person who did not cry that long weekend.”

The country reeled from the shock of the assassination. At her late husband’s funeral, his widow, Jacqueline, read from Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, verses 1-8.

The “Inauguration” Bible from which she read during the service will find a new home when it is offered in Heritage’s April 26-27 Americana & Political Signature® Auction.

“This is a remarkably significant piece of American history,” says Don Ackerman, Managing Director of Political & Americana at Heritage Auctions. “John F. Kennedy was a beloved president, but to Jackie, this was her husband, the father of her children. To anyone who loses a loved one, the funeral is a deeply intimate event, with everything chosen for the most personal of reasons. That she chose to read from this Bible at the funeral says everything about how important it was to the Kennedy family.”

This Bible was given to the Kennedy family by Cardinal Richard Cushing. Although it carries the “Inauguration” moniker, it was not the Kennedy Family Bible used when Kennedy took the oath of office. The cover is gold-stamped on the bottom “January 20, 1961” — the day Kennedy was inaugurated. The flyleaf has an attached bookplate, featuring the Presidential Seal. Above that, Jacqueline Kennedy wrote a note: “Bible we used the night Jack died to chose Ecclesiastes to be read at his funeral. JBK 1963.”

Among the items retrieved during cleanup efforts after the September 11, 2001 attacks was a 9/11 World Trade Center Recovered American Flag. Most of the recovered flags went to public institutions, including the Smithsonian, the New York State Museum and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Because of the large number of government offices in the World Trade Center buildings and the tradition of flag ownership by private individuals, it is believed that hundreds of flags were inside the buildings. But only a handful, including the one offered in this auction, survived the fires and the collapse of the towers. WTC flags that are in the highest demand are Debris Field Flags like this one, which measures 58 by 34 inches and was recovered by first responder Vito Messana.

A Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Harry Longabaugh (“Sundance Kid”) Signed Postcard was sent by Harry Longabaugh — better known as the Sundance Kid (his story, of course, is immortalized in the film starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford). The hand-written card, featuring an image of Balance Rock in the Garden of the Gods in Colorado, was sent September 4, 1904, from Thistle, Utah, to Longabaugh’s brother, Clarence, in Dodge City, Minnesota. Harry Longabaugh explains on the card that he had been “moving a lot” and that he was in Utah because “Leroy” — Butch Cassidy’s real name was Robert Leroy Parker, and he often answered to his middle name — wanted to be there. What makes this postcard such a collector’s prize is the fact that it was sent — and intercepted — by law enforcement officials who were trying to track down Longabaugh. The address side is stamped “Pinkerton Det. Agy. Hold” — evidence that law enforcement was intercepting mail addressed to his family (he had four siblings) in an effort to pinpoint his location. There was a $30,000 reward offered for his capture. Other examples of Longabaugh’s handwriting have not been found, but there are notable features that support the legitimacy of the card, including the spelling errors that are consistent with his lack of formal education, the postmarks are from the right time frame, and the Pinkerton rubber stamp.

Smartphones have become must-have items these days, but one of the hottest collecting trends centers on the hunt for the earliest examples, making a First-Generation 4GB iPhone, Sealed in Box with Apple Drawstring Bag a must-have addition to any collection. Not only was this phone a first-generation prototype, but it was quickly discontinued, just two months after its 2007 debut. For the avid iPhone collector, the fact that this rare variant remains sealed in its original box with retail plastic shrink-wrap packaging, and comes with its original drawstring bag only increases the demand.

Buckle up: among the rarities up for grabs in this auction will be a pair of George Washington’s Personally-Owned Shoe Buckles. Resting on pink silk-covered cushions in a domed, leather-covered wooden box, these colonial-era steel, silver and gold shoe buckles belonged to the first American president. The Dewitt inventory, a copy of which is included with the lot, includes important documentation: “From a descendant of Martha Washington’s grandson, George Washington Parke Custis. See Annual Report of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union, 1959, pg. 34.”

Another one of the country’s most popular presidents is illuminated in this auction by “The Last Hours of Lincoln” Subscription Book with Original Albumen Images, a subscription book through which prints of the “Last Hours of Lincoln” could be ordered. The print shows Abraham Lincoln as he lay dying at the Petersen House, across the street from Ford’s Theater, where he was shot. The forms in the book were used for orders of the print that was designed by John Batchelder and painted by Alonzo Chappel. Also included in the book, which measures 6 by 8 inches, are original albumen images of prominent people like Robert Lincoln (Abraham’s son), Vice President Andrew Johnson, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. Among those who ordered prints were Robert Lincoln, surgeon James Barnes, Speaker Schuyler Colfax and General John Logan.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

· An Abraham Lincoln: John Wilkes Booth Assassination Broadside

· A Woman's Suffrage: Unique Suffrage Silver Medal For Duty Issued to Emmeline Pankhurst Nurse by W.S.P.U.

· A U.S. House of Representatives Desk and Chair

· A [George A. Custer]: Canteen Found at Little Bighorn Battlefield

· A Louisiana Purchase: Lewis and Clark “Voyage of Discovery” Expedition Map

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