An extensive collection of Kennedy memorabilia will go to auction next month. Dan Meader, an appraiser with McInnis Auctioneers, shows off some of the items for sale, including the Kennedys' wedding invitation, personal photos, and JFK's Air Force One bomber jacket.
An upcoming auction of personal memorabilia owned by President John F. Kennedy has created major buzz among collectors and fans still fascinated by the 35th president nearly 50 years after his death.
The items belong to the estate of Dave Powers, a close friend and adviser of Kennedy's from 1946 until Kennedy's death in 1963. Powers also went on to become the first curator of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. He died in 1998, and his estate has hired John McInnis Auctioneers in Massachusetts to auction off the prized possessions next month, fittingly on Feb. 17 over Presidents Day weekend.
John F. Kennedy is pictured with his wife Jackie and sister-in-law Ethel Kennedy in 1954 in a photo from the personal collection of Kennedy adviser Dave Powers that will be auctioned off on Feb. 17. The photo was taken by Jackie while the three looked into a mirror.
"It's just mind-blowing when you think how close this person was and how close this relationship was,'' Dan Meader of McInnis Auctioneers told NBC News in a segment that aired on TODAY Friday.
Collection of pictures from Kennedy's bachelor party from Sept. 1953.
The auction house lists 723 items that will go up for sale, from his famed "Air Force One'' bomber jacket to a typed timeline of J.F.K.'s trips, to newspaper clippings, to the poem Robert Frost wrote and recited in Kennedy's inauguration day, as well as stacks of photos of the iconic family and items from their time in the White House.
There are also some chilling mementos from the fateful trip to Dallas in which Kennedy was assassinated.
Matthew Bourgeois / johnmcinninsauctioneers.com
JFK's famed leather "Air Force One'' bomber jacket will make an appearance on Monday in Studio 1-A on TODAY.
"This is actually the schedule Dave Powers was given for that November 1963 trip to Texas,'' Meader said while displaying it during the segment. "12:52: Parkland Hospital emergency operating room. One o'clock: my president is dead."
"This was a president whose presidency still affects us half a century later,'' presidential historian Michael Beschloss told NBC News. "Everyone is very much aware of and in many cases mystified by the circumstances of his death.''
The collection up for auction also includes tender moments from the Kennedy family.
"This is the birthday card given to President Kennedy by his son John on what would turn out to be the president's last birthday,'' Meader displayed. "And there it's signed 'xoxo.'''
Before some of the rare items go up for bid, several of them, including the bomber jacket, will be in Studio 1-A on TODAY Monday.
This photo was signed by John F. Kennedy with a personal message for close friend Dave Powers in 1963, the year of Kennedy's death.
This bust of JFK was sculpted by Robert Berks in 1964 and proudly displayed in Dave Powers' office for years.
President Kennedy signed a copy of "Why England Slept'' for his good friend and adviser, Dave Powers, with the inscription - "For Dave, who never sleeps - from his friend J. Kennedy."
This 1961 photo of the Rat Pack given to JFK is signed by Frank Sinatra with the inscription, "We chaps listen to our President - Milk is great!!"
This photo from 1962 features three presidents - John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman. Johnson and Truman each signed it with personal messages for Kennedy.
A paperback copy of "The White House'' from 1962 is signed by JFK with a personal message for good friend Dave Powers and his wife.
This 1992 oil painting is called "Victura'' by Henry Koerner and depicts Kennedy and his wife Jackie sailing the Victura, which was a present from his parents on his 15th birthday.