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A Look Inside Ripley’s JFK Collection

by cupwize   ·  3 weeks ago   ·  
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Featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Duct Tape JFK

This year marks the 60th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s 45th birthday gala and is the perfect opportunity to explore our collection of President Kennedy’s artifacts!

Dress to Impress

Marilyn Monroe’s dress from the birthday celebration is the world’s most expensive dress ever sold at auction. It was purchased for $4.8 million, but with taxes and fees, the dress surpassed $5 million! Believe it or Not!, the dress is currently valued at a staggering $10 million!

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe at President Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration on May 19, 1962. Credit: Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

While this is Ripley’s most expensive item, it is only one of around 25,000 items in the Ripley’s exhibit collection valued at $125 million! Our collection includes historically significant artifacts, unique and incredible art, cultural relics, quirks of nature, pop culture memorabilia, and, of course Robert Ripley’s personal effects.

Let’s dive into some of the most fascinating artifacts of our JFK collection!

Another Year Older

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the New York birthday event, Ripley’s possesses the Madison Square Garden birthday gala ticket from 1962! The event functioned as a fundraiser for the Democratic Party, and according to newspaper and film accounts from the evening, the birthday celebration was attended by over 15,000 guests!

Our collection also includes an original Kennedy “birthday salute” poster which served to advertise the star-studded evening to the public around New York City.

JFK Birthday Gala Ticket

An invitation ticket for “President Kennedy’s Birthday Party – Gala All Star Show.”

Kennedy Birthday Salute Poster

Rare advertising poster promoting “New York’s Birthday Salute to President Kennedy.”

Brace Yourself

Another unbelievable item in our John F. Kennedy collection is the back brace that was used throughout President Kennedy’s time in office. President Kennedy suffered chronic back pain starting in his early twenties and underwent multiple operations with little success.

Throughout his term, President Kennedy frequented the use of back braces to combat his chronic pain. Believe it or Not!, many believe that the use of his back brace played a fatal role in his assassination, with some experts pointing to the stiffness of the brace and President Kennedy’s inability to bend his body to avoid incoming fire.

JFK-Back-Brace

President John F. Kennedy’s personal back brace gifted by Rose Kennedy to their personal family physician Dr. Robert D. Watt.

Related to the unfortunate assassination of President Kennedy, Ripley’s owns the black and chrome 1954 sedan that was used by Lee Harvey Oswald on the day he shot the President.

Oswald did not have a driver’s license and would regularly have his neighbor and close friend, Buell Wesley Frazier, drive him to work.

On the morning of November 22, 1963, Frazier drove Oswald to the Texas School Book Depository. In the back seat of the car, wrapped in paper, was the rifle that Oswald would use later that day to assassinate President Kennedy. Frazier, at the time, believed that the wrapped package was nothing more than curtain rods.

Oswald Car

Black and chrome 1954 sedan used by Lee Harvey Oswald on the day he assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

Made The Cut

Ripley’s is proud to own hair clippings from President Kennedy obtained by the White House barber, Harry Gelbart — how extraordinary is that!

The clippings were cut shortly before President Kennedy’s fateful trip to Dallas and are framed against a white canvas showcasing the former President’s reddish brown locks.

JFK Hair

President Kennedy’s hair cut and saved by Harry Gelbart.

John F. Kennedy is a figure showered in intrigue and tragedy and leaves behind a legacy of extraordinary proportions. Ripley’s is proud to forward that legacy by showcasing items that were not only a part of his intrigue, but in some cases, were also a genuine part of him!

Check out our episode of Ripley’s Up Close & Peculiar where Kurtis dives behind the scenes and into detail about some of President Kennedy’s artifacts mentioned above!

See the Dress

You can see THE dress up close at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Hollywood for a limited time beginning Memorial Day weekend!

Also, for a limited time, beginning Memorial Day weekend, catch Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” dress along with Ripley’s JFK memorabilia on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood! Grab a glimpse while you can!


EXPLORE THE ODD IN PERSON!

Discover hundreds of strange and unusual artifacts and get hands-on with unbelievable interactives when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!

FIND AN ATTRACTION NEAR YOU

Source: A Look Inside Ripley’s JFK Collection

Eric

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