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    

Todd Lassen - 1964 Kennedy Half Expanded Shell Set - Exc ConditionRare! Porcelain Doll Franklin Mint Never Opened Wedding Bride Jackie KennedyJamie Schoolcraft - 1964 Kennedy Expanded Shell - Excellent ConditionJfk Kennedy 1960 Political Campaign Pinback (see Description)Jfk Kennedy Anti-1962 Political Campaign Pinback LotRare Original John Kennedy Campaign Button, Pinback, Large K, NrCalifornia Vanity Plates - I Luv Jfk Never Used - Pristine !!Mark Shaw Vintage Stamped John F. Kennedy/jfk Very Rare Original Dbl Wt PhotoJ-1964 Jfk Image & Signature On Zippo Polished Chrome Lighter New W/90's Era BoxJfk Kennedy 1961 Inaugural Committee Political Campaign Pinback With Ribbon Rare John F. Kennedy Presidential Seal Franciscan Dinner Plate Vintage 1963 Incredible Jfk Assassination/jfk Very Rare Press Photo1960 Nixon And Lodge Vs. Kennedy President Campaign Button Political Pinback Pin1960 Vintage John F. Kennedy Presidential Campaign Pin Badge, Pinback ButtonJfk Kennedy Anti-1960 Political Campaign PinbackRare John F. Kennedy Presidential Seal Franciscan Cup And Saucer Gold TrimMark Shaw Vintage Stamped Jackie Kennedy Hyannis Port 8.5"x12.5" Rare PhotoVintage Scripto Vu-lighter With 1965 Kennedy Half DollarJfk Kennedy 1961 Inaugural Political Campaign Pinback With Ribbon Nasa - Kennedy Space Center Police Patch Counterintelligence Gold IssueVintage President John F Kennedy Silver Half Dollars Framed 6 Half Dollars1962 John F Kennedy Evelyn Lincoln Signed Letters White House Pt Boat Birthday1860's Hinge Mold, Dr. Kennedy's Medical Discovery,roxbury, Mass. Crude & Nice1963 Wire Photo Jack Ruby Shoots Lee Harvey Oswald Assassin Of Jfk KennedyThe Mass Booklet Day Marriage Ethel Shakel & Senator Robert F Kennedy St MarysOrginal Senator Bobby Robert Kennedy Christmas Card Signed Ethel Note Peace GodVtg John F. Kennedy Half Dollar Silver Coin Collection Set Commemorative GalleryWedding Breakfast Menu In Honour Senator Robert F Kennedy June 17, 1950Mark Shaw Vintage Jackie Kennedy Caroline Hyannis Port 9"x11.25" Very Rare PhotoOrginal President John F Kennedy & Jackie Christmas Card 1958 White HouseNasa - Kennedy Space Center Police Patch Protective Services Gold IssueJfk Kennedy Kennel Dog 3 1/2" Political Campaign PinbackRare Robert Bobby Kennedy Personal Post Card Letter About His ChildrenOrginal Autograph Unpublished Family Photo Jack John F Kennedy Signed RoseMark Shaw Vintage Stamped Jackie Kennedy/jfk Jr. Very Rare 11x14 Dbl Wt PhotoOrginal Senator Bobby & Mrs Ethel Robert Kennedy Christmas Card Photos KidsKennedy 1964 Political Campaign Pinback President John F Kennedy & Johnson Desination Dc Dinner Booklet Nov 1, 1960 Sign1968 Rfk Robert F. Kennedy Picture Campaign Button GroupVintage Circa 1878 Somers Bros Kennedy's Fruit Cake Advertising TinKevin Francis Toby Jug Character Mug President "john F Kennedy" 9 1/4" Tall MintFramed Senator Bobby Robert F Kennedy Ethel Christmas Card Photos Kids 20"Framed Orginal Senator Bobby Robert F Kennedy Ethel Christmas Card Photos KidsOrginal Joe Rose & Family John F Kennedy Bobby Ted Photograph Signed Rose & JoeOrginal Senator Bobby Robert Kennedy & Ethel Peace Joy Hope Christmas CardOrginal Senator Bobby Robert Kennedy & Ethel Peace God Christmas CardPaul Vathis Pulitzer Prize Winner Jfk & Eisenhower At Camp David Press PhotoJohn F Kennedy Jfk 1960 Pt109 Boat Presidential Campaign Vintage Tie Bar ClipNasa - Kennedy Space Center Police Patch Protective Services Black IssuePresident John F Kennedy Sister Jean Personal Postcard Letter MadridFramed Orginal Senator Bobby Robert F Kennedy Christmas Card Photos Kids 1960Fantastic Four #17doctor Doom Appearance. President John F. Kennedy And Ant-man *two Rare 1960 Democratic National Convention Tickets John F. Kennedy*1961 John F Kennedy Jr Birth Card Dc Envelope Senator Jfk President Jacqueline1961 Original Magnum Photo John F. Kennedy Jfk "1st 100" Days By Cornell CapaVintage John F. Kennedy Doll W/tag Peggy Nisbet Made In England P7171960 Democratic National Convention Delegate Floor Badge, Kennedy, New YorkVintage Original "kennedy For President Leadership For The 60's" Campaign PosterEddie Adams Vintage 1963 Jackie At John F. Kennedy's Funeral Iconic Press PhotoKennedy Truman Johnson Reagan Inauguration Pins Buttons Badges Ribbons Inaugural