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]

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]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage 1923 Antique 3 Exposed Tubes Slanted Facade Kennedy Old Antique Rado*ultra Rare Kennedy For President - Ward For Governor Poster - Massachusetts*Vintage Rare John F Kennedy Jfk Hologram Political Campaign PinKennedy Johnson Pinback Political Buttons & Inaugural Coin Robert Berks John F Kennedy Heroic Head Bust Sculpture Bronze PatternedRoosevelt Victory Ball With Joseph P. Kennedy Jfk Father May 6, 1932Original Autographed Photo Of Jack Ruby Girl - Chris Snow - Jfk Assassination Original Autographed Photo Of Jack Ruby Girl - Bobbye Mack - Jfk Assassination Uss John F. Kennedy Cv-67 U.s. Navy Aircraft Carrier Cruise Book 1983-84 Nice!! Rare Original Jfk Re-elect Jfk For Senate Paper 1958 - 100% AuthenticAction Comics #309 Beautiful Higher Grade Fvf 7.0 Jfk Only App! Huge Auction!4 Vtg 35mm Slides 1970's Jayne Kennedy,eartha Kitt Freda Payne In Bikinis, JetNoblespirit No Reserve (3970) Gorgeous John F Kennedy Inauguration Day 1961 Pin#31 Jfk Kennedy & Jjohnson 3 Political Pin BacksTed Kennedy Political ButtonsVintage Colin B. Kennedy Model 110 Universal Receiver - 1921 Era Vintage Original John F Kennedy For Vice President 1956 Campaign Ribbon RareRare Original Back Stamped Historic Jfk Berlin Checkpoint Charlie Photo1963 -us Capitol Flown- Us Congress Presentation American Flag W/letter - JfkUnique Cased Pair Of 1964 P & D Kennedy Half Dollar Coins 50c Old Silver Jfk MsJohn F Kennedy Campaign Button With Ribbon And DonkeyNoblespirit No Reserve {3970} Great Kennedy/johnson Campaign Pin Original Jfk Re-elect Jfk For Senate Envelope 1958 - 100% AuthenticVintage John F. Kennedy 35th President Fountain Pen, Limited Edition*original 1960 John F. Kennedy *triumfa Con* And Robert Campaign Pinback Button*Original 1960 Presidential Election Jack John F. Kennedy Jfk Gold-tone Lapel Pin“kennedy For President” Campaign Poster, 1960Original 1960 Presidential Election John F. Kennedy Jfk Lapel Pin With PictureOriginal Historic Jfk Back Stamped Photo Germany Trip 1963Original Historic Jfk Back Stamped Limo Photo Germany Trip 1963Nasa Apollo 11 Personal Launch Team Grumman Kennedy Space Center AwardsJfk Marilyn Monroe Affair Letter Copy From Robert L. White Collection - ReadEvelyn Lincoln's Personally Owned Jfk Thanksgiving Day ProclamationHandiguild Inc Robert F. Kennedy 1971 StatueVintage John F. Kennedy 60s Campaign Colour Print Banner/ PosterNoblespirit No Reserve {3970} Great Collection Of Kennedy Push Pins & StampRobert Kennedy For Senator. Ny Us Senate Campaign Pin.12/13 Playboy Playmate Kennedy Summers Autographed 8x10 Playboy Promo Photo Jfk 50th Anniversary/potus/35th President/john F. Kennedy/non Cpo/white House Original 11x14 Jfk Signing Portrait Direct From Jfk's White House FilesMartin Luther King, Jr. Kennedy Mcarthy Political Campaign Pin Badge 2011 Topps American Pie Grassyknoll Landmark Relic Jfk President Kennedy Dallas Noblespirit No Reserve {3970} Stunning John F Kennedy Boxed Donkey PinNoblespirit No Reserve {3970} Fantastic Jack Kennedy Presidential Campaign PinRare Vintage 1963 Jfk President Medal Coin Token John F. Kennedy White House Nr Fantastic Original Jfk Germany Trip Back Stamped Photo Montblanc Jfk John F. Kennedy Ink Inkwell New In Box Montblanc Jfk Rfk / Teddy Called For Jfk - Jfk's Personally Owned Call Log June 14, 1960Nasa Kennedy Space Center 50th Anniversary Pin Set & Atlantis CoinRfk Is Called For Jfk - Jfk's Personally Owned Call Log May 12, 1960Jfk 's Personally Owned " Call Card " For ThailandNoblespirit No Reserve (3970) Brilliant John F Kennedy Block Letter Pin10 Diff. John F.kennedy, Lyndon Johnson 1960 Campaign Buttons And BumperstickerVintage 1963 John F. Kennedy Musical Hand Crafted Rocking Chair, VgcKennedy For President Brochure From The 1960's Plus PinLot Election Political Tab Foldover Nixon Truman Johnson Ford Kennedy Roosevelt Vintage 1 Quart Milk Bottle Kennedy's Dairy Mt Pleasant New London Winfield IowaCuban Missle Crisis - Boston Newspaper Oct 23 1962 - Jfk Khrushchev Blockade3 - Original Kennedy Oswald Daily News Editions Fatal Shot, Carry On, Connally 15 Presidential Campaign Election Pinback Buttons Jfk Truman Wilson Fdr Kennedy