Historic Bible of Jacqueline Kennedy Set for Auction

A Bible cherished by Jacqueline Kennedy in the immediate aftermath of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination is poised for auction later this month. This sacred book, which comforted the former First Lady during a profoundly sorrowful time, is expected to command bids up to $50,000.

In the hours following JFK’s death on November 22, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy found solace in this leather-bound Bible. Within its pages, she chose a passage from Ecclesiastes to be read at the funeral, marking a moment of profound personal and national grief.

Heritage Auctions, the entity overseeing the sale, noted that this particular Bible was originally a gift intended for the caretaker of Cardinal Richard Cushing, a close confidante of the Kennedy family and the Archbishop of Boston at the time.

The Bible’s bookplate, featuring the presidential seal, contains a poignant inscription by Mrs. Kennedy: “Bible we used the night Jack died to choose Ecclesiastes to be read at his funeral. JBK 1963.” This note underscores the Bible’s personal significance during one of the darkest moments in her life.

Curtis Lindner, director of Americana at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, clarified that although this was not the Bible used by JFK at his presidential inauguration, its historical value remains immense.

The auction, scheduled for April 26, has already seen preliminary bids reaching $19,375. Alongside this historic Bible, the auction will also feature a series of heartfelt letters written by Mrs. Kennedy to Cardinal Cushing in the wake of her husband’s assassination. Other items related to the Kennedys, including golf balls and Christmas cards, will also be available.

Reflecting on the significance of the auction items, Lindner remarked, “It is a sad piece of history but a piece of history nonetheless.” These memorabilia represent poignant reminders of a pivotal moment in American history, resonating with collectors and admirers of the Kennedy legacy.

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