JFK Assassination License Plates Sell for $100K

Owner kept them in a junk drawer for years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2015 1:45 PM CST
JFK Assassination License Plates Sell for $100K
In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy's hand reaches toward his head within seconds of being shot. The license plates on the vehicle are up for auction.   (James W. (Ike) Altgens)

The license plates that were on the limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963—saved from the trash more than half a century ago—have sold for $100,000 at auction, reports WFAA. The opening bid for the plates offered by Heritage Auctions on Saturday in Dallas was $40,000, but rose quickly. The anonymous winner was described by Heritage as an "ardent Kennedy collector," per WFAA. "These are the plates that were on Kennedy's limousine," says a Heritage rep. "Sometimes you can't know 100% for sure; in this case, we do know 100% for sure."

Heritage says that after the assassination, the vehicle was sent for upgrades to a Cincinnati company that retrofitted presidential limousines. When a new set of plates arrived, the old plates were discarded; company owner Willard Hess retrieved them from the trash. Hess kept the plates between books on his bookshelf. His daughter, Jane Walker, decided to sell them after keeping them in her kitchen junk drawer for years. "My sons always wanted me to put them in a safe deposit box," Walker told WFAA. "I figure if anyone ever came in and saw them, they wouldn't know what they were." (More JFK assassination stories.)

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