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    

Vintage Western Spurs Mkd Stockard 34 W/ Straps Mkd Kennedy Silver-brass-lqqk!Jfk's Secret Service Agent Floyd Boring's Cuff Links And Tie Clip SetA Piece Of The Tire From Oswald - Jfk Assassination Car - ReadEvelyn Lincoln's Personally Owned Jfk Bust From Her EstateJfk Sec Evelyn Lincoln Personally Owned Historic Jfk Assassination Teletype Jfk Sec Evelyn Lincoln's Personally Owned Jack Kennedy Pin From Her EstateJfk Sec Evelyn Lincoln Personally Owned Jfk Assassination Teletype First ReportsSigned Jfk John F. & Jacqueline Jackie Kennedy White House Washington CardsLee Harvey Oswald Murder Affidavit - Jfk Assassination - From Henry WadeLot Vintage Pinback Button Pins, Political, Jfk, Advertising, Badges, PremiumsSigned Robert F. Kennedy Card Department Of Justice Attorney General WashingtonJacqueline Kennedy Autographed Happy New Year Card Embossed White House 3278!4Junk Drawer Lot Jewelrey, Pocketwatch, Coins, Kennedy, Elgin Watch, BachmansChester Clifton - Military Aide To John F. Kennedy - Personal Archive LotRare Original Jfk Assassination Card Sent By Robert Kennedy - Rare And HistoricVintage Solid Brass Kennedy Fire Hydrant Salesmen Sample Paper Weight 5" Tall Howard Kennedy - Pioneer Seed From Marshall, Michigan3 Vintage 1968 New York Sen Robert Kennedy Political Campaign Pinback ButtonsOriginal Joseph Kennedy Sr. Handwriting And Autograph From Jfk's FilesRare Original Jfk Memorial Business Closed Sign - 11/25/63Original 1960 Jfk John F Kennedy Vote Democratic Campaign Poster Bumper StickerJohn F. Kennedy--personal Secretary--evelyn Lincoln--signed Letter--other StuffVintage John F. Kennedy Bookends: Marble Bases With Jfk BustsEdward Ted Kennedy 1972 Democrat Presidential Campaign 51 Pin Lot Emk ButtonsGiant 1961 Inauguration President Kennedy Johnson Jfk Lbj Pin Back Button 6”Of Peter Stone Weanling Glossy Model Horse "kennedy" Chestnut Overo PintoJohn F Kennedy Signed Autographed Letter 1963 White House Stationary .999 Silver John F. Kennedy Memorial Campaign Medal1964 #4507/15,000 W/box Jfk Kennedy 1960 Democratic National Convention Los Angeles Pinback Button Chester Clifton - Military Aide To John F. Kennedy - Original 1965 Reading FileVintage 1963 Iconic Lee Harvey Oswald On Stretcher/jfk Assassination Press Photo1963 Press Photo The 1963 Assassination Of President John F. KennedyChester Clifton - Military Aide, John F. Kennedy - Signed Flight CertificateArthur Carlson Jsa Signed 8x10 John F. Kennedy Jfk Funeral Riderless Horse LeadRobert Bobby Kennedy 1968 68 Presidential Political Campaign Pinback Pin Button1963 Kamar John F Kennedy Musicalwindup Rocking Chair Only NrVintage Jacqueline Kennedy America's First Lady Button Pin BadgeJohn F. Kennedy Signature, Us Senate, 1957, Letter Concerning Hungarian RefugeeInauguration Tickets 1961 & 1965, Kennedy & Johnson UnusedLarge Robert Kennedy Rfk  presidential Campaign Political Button 1968Vintage 1960s "jfk Sitting In Rocking Chair" Ceramic Salt And Pepper Shakers Janet Travell - Jfk's Doctor - Authentic Hand Written Notes Nasa U.s. Space Shuttle Tile Li-900 Rare Authentic Kennedy Space Center 1960 Presidential Campaign Button Pin Kennedy For President-lot Of 15Unusual 1960 Jfk Kennedy - Best For Oklahoma - Campaign BumperstickerJerald Garriott Jsa Signed 8x10 John F. Kennedy Jfk Funeral Honor GuardVintage 1980 Senator Edward Kennedy "teddy" Flicker Flasher Pinback Button1961 John F. Kennedy Inaugural Commemorative In Unopened PackageVintage 1968 Rfk In '68 Robert F. Kennedy Orange Election Campaign Pin John F. Kennedy Painting Oil On Canvas Original Unsigned Vintage 40 X 54 Estate!1961 Jfk Lbj Inauguration Unused Ticket Envelope Johnson Kennedy President Vice1960s Orig Photo Us President Kennedy & Wife With Charles De Gaulle French PresVtg 1980 Uss John F. Kennedy Cv-67 Aircraft Carrier Ship Navy Tour BookJunk Drawer Lot Coins,1971 Mint Coins,unc Silver 1964p Jfk Half,mercury Dime,403Vintage 1968 New York Senator Robert Kennedy Political Pinback Button UsaJhon F. Kennedy In Parkersburg, West Virginia. 1960. OriginalOriginal Rfk Robert & Ethel Kennedy 1964 Autograph (s)Rare Political Campaign Jfk 1964 PinbackJfk Assassination 415+ Audio Hrs On 7 Mp3 Cds Kennedy.Clint Hill Signed Questionnaire Conspiracy Kennedy Assassination Secret Service