Almost half a century after he was assassinated, John F Kennedy still has no trouble drawing a crowd. Hundreds of visitors are descending on the small town of Amesbury in northern Massachusetts to view a collection of keepsakes and memorabilia related to the 35th President, which is due to go to auction on Sunday.
The hoard of more than 2,000 photographs and other items belonged to David Powers, a close friend of Kennedy’s and his personal assistant from his first congressional campaign in 1946 to his death in Dallas in November 1963. Powers, who died in 1998, left behind what Amesbury auctioneers John McInnis called, “an extraordinary collection”, which his family only discovered last year as they prepared to sell the family home.
Among the items going under the gavel are Kennedy’s Air Force One leather bomber jacket and a previously unseen family photo of the President, his wife Jackie and sister-in-law Ethyl Kennedy.
Presidential historians may also be interested in a shot of Kennedy meeting his presidential predecessor Harry Truman in 1959, a year before he reached the White House. The photograph is signed personally by Truman, the 33rd President, “to John F Kennedy… with fondest regards from his good friend”.