JFK’s love letter – level 3
John F. Kennedy – a president not unfamiliar with scandal – and now an insight into his colourful private life. A letter alleged to have been written by the 35th President of the United States to his rumoured mistress, Mary Pinchot Meyer, is hitting the auction block.
The four-page correspondence written on White House stationery was kept by Kennedy's personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, after his assassination. And there's no doubt in its authenticity.
"We know this is an absolutely authentic letter that President Kennedy wrote because: One – it's on White House stationary. Two, we've authenticated his handwriting. And three – it comes right from his personal secretary, who retained it after the assassination. This letter was written in October 1963 and the President was killed a month later. And we know that Evelyn Lincoln had to remove everything out of the White House when Lyndon Johnson moved in."
But these four sheets of paper come with a hefty price tag.
"The pre-auction estimate for this letter is 30,000 dollars. But it... it's got so much attention from around the world and there's so much interest in it. I don't know what it’s going to go for but it’d probably go for a lot more than that."
Some auction experts say the value of the love letter is as much about its meaning today as its historical significance.
"I think what's really fascinating about these Kennedy lots and this Kennedy auction is 50 years later, it still brings relevance to today's situation of senators maybe having affairs, extortions and just... just scandal!"
The sale will be held online only on June 23 from Boston in a rare opportunity for one lucky bidder to get their hands on a piece of history.
Difficult words: insight (a look), colourful (interesting), alleged (what people say is true but this not sure), rumoured (said unofficially), stationery (writing and other office materials), assassination (an act of killing an important person), retain (keep), hefty (big), price tag (a piece of paper with the price), estimate (the value which people guess), relevance (connection with something), extortion (blackmail).
Do you write love letters?
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