Kennedy Advertising and Memorabilia

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), the 35th President of the United States, is a particularly revered figure of the 20th century, less for his deeds while in office than the fact that his presidency was tragically cut short. In fact, Kennedy stumbled early in his administration with the debacle at the Bay of Pigs. And according to Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro, by the fall of 1963, the President was in danger of being embroiled in a sex scandal due to an alleged affair with a reputed East German spy. But on November 22nd, Kennedy’s incomplete record and extramarital dalliances were all but forgotten when the 46-year-old president was gunned down in Dallas, Texas.

Almost immediately, the newspapers that trumpeted the news of his assassination, the campaign buttons from his presidential bid of 1960 and his senate race in 1952, and first-edition copies of his 1956 book, “Profiles in Courage,” became instant collector’s items. In the weeks, months, and years that followed the tragedy, countless more pieces of memorabilia would be produced and snapped up by those who mourned the premature passing of the nation’s most charismatic leader since FDR.

Since 1963, Kennedy coins have been an important subset of JFK collectibles. These include everything from the encased pennies produced for his 1960 campaign to the silver inauguration medals from 1961. And, of course, there are the hundreds of millions of Kennedy 50-cent pieces, which were authorized by Congress on December 10, 1963, to replace the Franklin half dollar, and have remained in circulation ever since. Only those minted in 1964 were made of silver, and in 1976 a special bicentennial version of the coin was struck, in which the eagle on the coin’s reverse was replaced by Philadelphia’s Independence Hall.

Campaign buttons are another area of interest to Kennedy collectors. Slogans on his presidential campaign buttons ran the gamut from the ordinary (“Our Next President,” “New Leadership”) to the snarky (“Mamie Start Packing The Kennedys Are Coming”). A real find is a silver stud of Kennedy’s famous PT 109 boat, the scene of his heroics during World War II, with “KENNEDY 60” on its side. Buttons produced for Kennedy’s inauguration include one with his signature on it and another featuring photos of Kennedy and his running mate, with a red-white-and-blue ribbon and gold donkey charm hanging below.

Kennedy’s image also made its way onto commemorative china plates. Compositions included portraits of the President and his First Lady, sometimes presented formally against a field of blue, other times looking more relaxed. In Italy, plates were even made pairing Kennedy with Pope XXIII, which was something the candidate took great pains not to do in 1960. There were also ceramic coffee mugs, salt and pepper shakers featuring Jack and Jackie, and a famous set consisting of a porcelain president sitting on his rocking chair, which he favored due to his bad back. The rocking chair also appeared as a motif in JFK costume jewelry brooches and pins.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The somber bookend to the JFK Museum is the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, where the 35th Pre… [read review or visit site]

JFK Museum

JFK Museum

For a great virtual walk-through of the best John F. Kennedy memorabilia collection on the planet, click on the Vir… [read review or visit site]

Advertising Antiques

Advertising Antiques

This classy looking British site features hundreds of high resolution photos of antique porcelain pre-war (enamel) … [read review or visit site]

Ad Access

Ad Access

Duke University's library has pulled together an impressive collection of over 7,000 ads printed in U.S. and Canadi… [read review or visit site]

Plan 59

Plan 59

From the Nostlagia Factory in Virginia comes this celebration of 'mid-century automotive advertising illustrations'… [read review or visit site]

American Package Museum

American Package Museum

Ian House's gallery of early 20th Century American package designs. Browse the exhibits in slide show mode or view … [read review or visit site]

Found in Moms Basement

Found in Moms Basement

Paula Zargaj-Reynolds’ blog, an extensive collection of 20th century vintage advertising, is a visual feast. Scro… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Coln Kennedy Type 521 Two Stage Amplifier1959 John F Kennedy Signature On Postal Cover. Hyannisport & Wash Dc PostmarksAmerican Mint Life Of John F. Kennedy 50th Anniversary 24k Gold Layered Coin1960 Kennedy For President Political Campaign ItemsMontblanc John F. Kennedy Ink Inkwell New In Box Montblanc Jfk Cristal D' Albret France Jfk & Jackie Kennedy Limited Edition Paperweight ExcEdward "ted" Kennedy Massachusetts Senator Hand Signed 1982 Senate Letterhead Robert F. Kennedy Rfk 1964 New York Senate Campaign Pin Button Political 1980 Ted Kennedy For President Autographed Campaign PosterVintage 1960s President John Kennedy White House Bill Signing Pen & BoxZippo Lighter- Commemorative From Kennedy Space CenterNasa Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Pin Kennedy Space Center July 1960 New York Times Bound Newspapers- John F Kennedy Nominated; Roger MarisVintage Bergener's Sign Put Up For Death Of John F. Kennedy 1963 Day Of MourningJohn F Kennedy Jfk Inauguration Political Pin Pinback ButtonRobert Berks John F. Kennedy Jfk Jfk Bust, Heroic Head, 1964 Vintage SculptureVintage Presidential + National Local Campaign Buttons Kennedy Nixon Ike Johnson1963 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Scene Press PhotoClint Hill Secret Service Kennedy Detail Signed Autographed Photo Zapruder FilmCampaign Pin Pinback Button Political Badge Election Kennedy Advertising 1-3/4"John F. Kennedy Johnson 1960 Campaign Pin Button Political 1950 Jack Ruby Signed Check To Texas Singer! Jfk Assassination Lee Harvey OswaldVintage Inarco 1964 Jacqueline Kennedy Headvase W Caroline & John John FigurinesVintage John F. Kennedy Signed Photo1963 Us & Mexico El Chamizal Treaty Kennedy - Juarez - Mateos Silver Medal Proof1965 Aurora John F Kennedy Presidential Model Kit #851John F. Kennedy Vintage 1964 Topps 30 Card Lot Excellent Condition Set StarterBuffy The Vampire Slayer Season 7 Costume Card Pw2 KennedyOriginal Slide - Pan Am Paa N743pa Boeing 747 Airplane Aircraft Jfk 19801964 Topps, Kennedy Picture Cards #2, 18, 37, 41, 49 In Original WrapperJohn F. Kennedy 2012 Leaf Cut Signature Oval Office Printing Plate Sp 1/1 $500Autographed Picture Of Ted Kennedy1971/72 Uss John F Kennedy Mediterranean Cruise Book ( Year Book Style)2015 Benchwarmer Hollywood Kiss Kennedy Summers Auto 4/10Junk Drawer Lot...jewelry 925, Old U.s. Coins/stamps, 1964 Kennedy Half, DvdKennedy Summers 2015 Benchwarmer Hollywood 5/5 Auto Lace Lingerie Swatch RcJohn F Kennedy Jfk Lot Of 24 Rosan Trading CardsJohn F. Kennedy Jfk 1960 Campaign Pin Button Political Mib. The John F. Kennedy Franklin Mint Porcelain Collector Heirloom Doll. Nasa U.s. Space Shuttle Tile Li-900 Rare Authentic Kennedy Space Center Lot Of 35 Little Debbie Cakes Presidents Card 1992 Jfk Nixon Washington Fdr TaftPresident Jfk Kennedy 1961 " Land Man On Moon This Decade " Nasa Original Photo Vintage Brass Kennedy Pt109 Boat 1960 Campaign Pin Rare President KennedyLimited Edition Nasa 45th Apollo 13 Anniversary Kennedy Space Center PinVintage Robert F Kennedy Presidential Campaign Pin BackOriginal Slide - Pan Am Paa N755pa Boeing 747 Airplane Aircraft Jfk 1980Three Vintage Ted Kennedy Presidential Buttons^ Mad #66 John F Kennedy Cover / Little League Hall Of Fame 1961 Nice!!John F. Kennedy Flasher 1960 Campaign Pin Button Political Jfk Benchwarmer 2015 Hollywood Kennedy Summers Gold Foil Premium Base Card #'d 09/15Ted Kennedy 1980 Campaign Worker Pin Button Political Teddy Kennedy Political Poem Card "for Murder Or President"John F Kennedy Jfk Doll In Rocking Chair Musical Kamar Happy Days Are Here AgainAnheuser-busch Budweiser Stein John F Kennedy Jfk 1993Vintage June 1957 United Airlines Mainliner Magazine Senator John F. Kennedy Vintage Photo Of Edward Moore "ted" Kennedy Talking. - Lot Of 1 !very Rare! Vintage Mad Magazines, October 1961 - Issue# 66 - Jfk CoverBudweiser John F. Kennedy J.f.k. Stein/w Box--limited Edition-germanyJfk Silver Anniversary Mil-art China Heavy Mug 1968-1993 Uss John F. Kennedy Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 7 Costume Card Pw4 Kennedy