Kennedy assassination newspapers
Kennedy assassination newspapers are collectible newspapers publishing news of President John F. Kennedy’s death by assassination.
Background and Description
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22nd 1963. He was in the presidential motorcade through crowds of people. Kennedy was a popular and charismatic president, and his death caused huge nationwide grief.
Newspapers began reporting the incident immediately. Some newspapers brought out four editions in a day, reporting ongoing news from president shot, to president wounded, to president slain. There are some editions of newspapers available with headlines listed before Kennedy was declared dead, with headlines like: ‘KENNEDY SHOT; CONDITION CRITICAL’. If a situation changed during printing, the newspapers would stop the presses and changed the headline.
Newspaper accounts make up a large portion of the records relating to the assassination, including reporting the event, summarising police evidence, providing a vast number of photographs, and reporting the arrest and subsequent death of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
Collecting Kennedy assassination newspapers
Items related to the Kennedy assassination are one of the most popular areas of political memorabilia.
The assassination of JFK was one of the most shocking and widely reported events of the century. Thus a wealth of Kennedy Assassination newspapers are available to collectors, as many people held on to their copies as a memento of this historic occurrence. This happened at a time when people saved things of consequence. This does, however, mean that tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of these newspapers are still around, so these newspapers are perhaps not as valuable as some people might expect.
Local Dallas newspapers, such as the Dallas Morning News or Dallas Time Herald, are more valuable than national or other local newspapers reporting the event.
Newspapers dated on the 22nd November, the same day as the assassination, rather than the days following, are more valuable.
Archives are generally available of scans of all the newspapers that reported the assassination. It can be a collecting project to amass as many of the different publications as possible. Newspapers can be found on auction sites such as eBay, at flea markets, at rummage sales and similar.
Being items of ephemera, these newspapers were not made to last. The acidic paper used on old printing presses lead to rapid physical deterioration in many copies of newspaper. To preserve them, store them in the dark and don’t expose them to the light for too long, don’t fold or crease the paper, and place them in protective covers or folders.
On eBay, Kennedy assassination newspapers are often sold in batches, for anything between $1 and $300 dependant on condition, rarity, and quantity. Some are currently being offered for $900 or similar, and one was sold for $1,000 at a public auction. As a loose estimate, the local Dallas assassination papers fetch up to $300, the national papers up to $100, and the other local and small town newspapers up to $50 at most.