Home Artifacts A glimpse of Ripley’s JFK collection

A glimpse of Ripley’s JFK collection

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Dress to impress

Marilyn Monroe’s dress from the birthday party is the world’s most expensive dress ever sold at auction. It was purchased for $4.8 million, but with taxes and fees, the dress topped $5 million! Believe it or not!, the dress is currently valued at $10 million!

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe at President Kennedy’s 45th birthday celebration on May 19, 1962. Credit: Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Although this is Ripley’s most expensive item, it is only one of approximately 25,000 items in Ripley’s $125 million display collection! Our collection includes historically significant artifacts, unique and incredible works of art, cultural relics, nature’s oddities, pop culture memorabilia and, of course, the personal effects of Robert Ripley.

Let’s dive into some of the most fascinating artifacts in our JFK collection!

another year more

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of New York’s birthday event, Ripley’s owns the 1962 Madison Square Garden Birthday Gala Ticket! The event functioned as a fundraiser for the Democratic Party, and according to newspaper and film accounts of the evening, the anniversary celebration was attended by over 15,000 guests!

Our collection also includes an original Kennedy “birthday salute” poster that served to announce the star-studded evening to the public around New York.

JFK Birthday Gala Ticket

An invitation ticket for “President Kennedy’s Birthday Party – Gala All Star Show”.

Kennedy Birthday Salute Poster

Rare advertising poster promoting “New York’s Birthday Salute to President Kennedy”.

prepare yourselves

Another incredible item from our John F. Kennedy collection is the corset that was used throughout President Kennedy’s tenure. President Kennedy suffered from chronic back pain from his early twenties and underwent multiple operations with little success.

Throughout his tenure, President Kennedy frequently used back braces to combat his chronic pain. Believe it or not!, many believe the use of his back brace played a fatal role in his assassination, with some experts pointing to the stiffness of the brace and President Kennedy’s inability to bend his body to avoid incoming fire.

JFK-Back-Brace

President John F. Kennedy’s personal back brace given by Rose Kennedy to their personal family physician, Dr. Robert D. Watt.

Linked to the unfortunate assassination of President Kennedy, Ripley owns the 1954 black and chrome sedan that was used by Lee Harvey Oswald the day he shot the president.

Oswald did not have a driver’s license and regularly asked his neighbor and close friend, Buell Wesley Frazier, to drive him to work.

On the morning of November 22, 1963, Frazier drove Oswald to the Texas School Book Depository. In the back seat of the car, wrapped in paper, was the rifle that Oswald would use later that day to assassinate President Kennedy. Frazier, at the time, believed the wrapped bundle to be nothing more than curtain rods.

Oswald car

1954 black and chrome sedan used by Lee Harvey Oswald on the day he assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

Make the cut

Ripley’s is proud to own President Kennedy’s haircuts obtained by White House barber, Harry Gelbart – how amazing!

The clippings were cut shortly before President Kennedy’s fateful trip to Dallas and are framed on a white canvas showcasing the former president’s reddish-brown locks.

JFK Hair

President Kennedy’s hair cut and saved by Harry Gelbart.

John F. Kennedy is a character steeped in intrigue and tragedy and leaves behind a legacy of extraordinary proportions. Ripley’s is proud to pass on this legacy by showcasing items that were not only part of its storyline, but in some cases were integral to it as well!

Check out our episode of Ripley’s Up Close & Peculiar where Kurtis dives behind the scenes and into the details of some of the President Kennedy artifacts mentioned above!

See the dress

You can see THE dress up close at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Hollywood for a limited time starting Memorial Day weekend!

Plus, for a limited time, starting Memorial Day weekend, check out Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday” dress as well as Ripley’s JFK memorabilia on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Hollywood! Take a peek while you can!


EXPLORE THE ODD IN PERSON!

Discover hundreds of weird and unusual artifacts and discover amazing interactive elements when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!

FIND AN ATTRACTION NEAR YOU

Source: A glimpse of Ripley’s JFK collection