Rare JFK memorabilia was auctioned on Sunday, 50 years after the president was assassinated during a parade.
Among the items auctioned was Kennedy’s Air Force One bomber jacket, which sold for $570,000. The auction contained items owned by longtime aide David Powers.
Reuters reports that Powers died in 1998. The jacket and other memorabilia was tucked away in drawers and file cabinets at Powers’ home.
Relatives discovered the items as they prepared the Arlington, Massachusetts home for sale, according to Dan Meader, auction appraiser at John McInnis Auctioneers.
Powers was close to JFK throughout the president’s political career. He remained close to the Kennedy family after the assassination and also became the curator of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston until he retired in 1994.
The auction started on Sunday morning and ran into the evening, notes Yahoo! News. Along with the Air Force One bomber jacket, attendees also bid on letters from former first lady Jackie Kennedy and books inscribed by the former president.
The jacket was expected to fetch $20,000 to $40,000 or more, making the purchase price of $570,000, plus a buyer’s premium, impressive. Meader added:
“The amazing thing about this whole thing is that it shows the personal connection. This is stuff that’s true, it’s pure, it’s right from the family home … right from the president’s best friend.”
A schedule kept by Powers that detailed the last two days he had with Kennedy in Dallas and San Antonio was also auctioned. Because he was an aide to the president, Powers traveled with Kennedy. He rode in motorcades, monitored the reaction of crowds, and spoke with the president about what his consultants wanted. Meader explained:
“He was basically the eyes and ears of the American public. Dave was the pulse of the nation.”
Also included in the JFK memorabilia auction was a pen the former president used to sign an interdiction order during the Cuban missile crisis.