JFK's handwritten notes from November 21, 1963 fetch $34,504 at auction

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JFK's handwritten notes from November 21, 1963 fetch $34,504 at auction
John F. Kennedy Handwritten Notes and Doodles from Houston's Rice Hotel on November 21, 1963. Sold For: $34,504 (w/BP).

BOSTON, MASS.- Handwritten notes and doodles by President John F. Kennedy from the night before his tragic assassination sold for $34,504, according to Boston-based RR Auction. These notes, captured on stationery from Houston's Rice Hotel on November 21, 1963, offer a poignant glimpse into the final hours of Kennedy's presidency.

President John F. Kennedy arrived at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas, at 5:00 p.m. 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.

The significance of this artifact is highlighted by a letter of provenance from renowned Kennedy collector Robert L. White.

"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 celebrates what would have been Kennedy's 107th birthday on May 29 and featured over 40 items related to JFK. Highlights included:

• John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address Book presented to the Chief of White House Police, sold for $26,575.

• President John F. Kennedy's signed photograph and Presidential Seal Flag, presented to the Commander of the USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., sold for $16,643.

• John F. Kennedy 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.

• John F. Kennedy signed photograph presented to Walter Cronkite on September 2, 1963 sold for $5,123.

Among other notable sales highlights:

• George Washington signed handwritten ledger sold for $46,279.

• King Henry VIII's 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.

The Fine Autograph and Artifacts Auction by RR Auction began on April 26 and concluded on May 15, 2024.

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