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Jackie's Dallas Packing List Emerges, Sort of

4-page note remains buried at JFK's presidential library, but not for long
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2018 8:48 AM CDT
President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy arrive in Dallas on November 22, 1963.   (Wikimedia)

(Newser) – "Pink + Navy Chanel Suit, Navy Shoes, Navy Bag, White Kid gloves"—a simple packing list, but the date was Nov. 22, 1963, and the writer was the first lady of the United States, about to embark on the fateful trip to Dallas that claimed John F. Kennedy's life. The notes on White House paper, scribbled by Jacqueline Kennedy for her personal assistant, are now estimated to be worth $75,000. But they aren't exactly public. As the New York Times reports, the notes have been quietly kept at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library since a Virginia man donated them to the government in March 2016. Gil Wells—who found the notes in the belongings of his 76-year-old godmother, who suffers from dementia and doesn't know how she got them—wanted them put on display. And though he died this year with his donation still under wraps, the Boston library says his wish will be granted.

Wells didn't get so straight an answer. The Times reports an archivist initially told Wells the document couldn't be made available without permission from Jacqueline Kennedy's daughter. A staunch defender of her mother's privacy, Caroline Kennedy is known to block auctions of personal items, including letters, and knew about the notes before they were donated. However, the library now says the archivist misspoke and the document is one of many items currently being catalogued. Caroline Kennedy "has never expressed any concerns" about allowing public access, a rep adds. It's a good thing, a historical items dealer tells the Times: "It's a really sexy document," showing Jacqueline's "poise, her planning, her status as a fashion icon and, of course, the dark side." (Jacqueline Kennedy's love letter to JFK's friend did make it to auction.)

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