The National Archives presents Tokens and Treasures: Gifts to Twelve Presidents

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Introduction
About This Exhibit
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
William J. Clinton
Gifts of State

Presidential Library System
Exhibit Hall

 

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy Library

John F. Kennedy Signature

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Democrat
35th President, 1961-63

 

Miniature rocking chairs
Wood, woven string,by Joe Hnath, Jr., St. Mary's, Pennsylvania, ca. 1962 9 1/2x 4 1/2x 7 inches
Copper,by Nellie H. McManiman. Gift of Mrs. McManiman 4 1/2x 3 x 3 1/2 inches
Brass, thread, by Mrs. Franklin J. McLean. Gift of Mrs McLean 9 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 8 inches

Minature Rocking Chairs

A football injury in college left Kennedy with chronic back problems. Despite several operations the condition persisted, leaving him in constant pain. As President, Kennedy often sat in a rocking chair in the Oval Office to gain a small measure of relief. These handmade miniature rocking chairs were sent in sympathy for the President's struggle.

 

Model of the PT-109, by Albert Hanson, Woodbridge, New Jersey, 1961
Gift of Mr. Hanson Wood, 5 x 16 x 5 inches

Click to see high-resolution version (JPEG)

Model of the PT-109

This gift is a tribute to the President's bravery as a young Naval Reserve officer during World War II. In August 1943, Kennedy was commander of the PT-109 and on ocean patrol near the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. A Japanese destroyer rammed and sank the boat; two men were killed, and Kennedy and the rest of the crew were tossed into flaming water. Towing an injured sailor, whose life vest he clenched in his teeth, Kennedy led his men in a 4-hour swim to safety.

 

Photograph of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier, by Yousuf Karsh, Ottawa, Canada, 1956*
Gift to President Kennedy from Rainier III and Grace, Prince and Princess of Monaco
Silver frame, 12 1/2 x 9 x 6 1/2 inches

*Copyright 1956, Yousuf Karsh. May not be reproduced without permission.

Click to see high-resolution version (JPEG)

Photograph of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier

 

Before marrying Prince Rainier, Princess Grace was American movie star Grace Kelly. Noted Canadian photographer Yousuf Karsh captured the glamour and dignity she brought to her royal role. The inscription reads, "To Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy with our warmest regards and best wishes."

 

 

 

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