Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jack Ruby's hat commands $53,775 at Kennedy assassination item auction

by WENDY HUNDLEY / The Dallas Morning News

Jack Ruby’s signature fedora commanded $53,775 Saturday at an auction of items linked to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The gray felt hat, worn by Ruby when he shot Lee Harvey Oswald, prompted spirited bidding during the auction, said Doug Norwine of Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas.

Several collectors were vying for the item, which was expected to sell for at least $21,000.

“It’s a piece of history,” Norwine said of the hat. “It’s truly one of a kind. That weekend of destiny in Dallas changed the social climate in America. For any baby boomer, it made an indelible impression.”

The shackles that Ruby wore when he lay dying at Parkland Memorial Hospital sold for $11,054. The chain, believed to have been used to prevent his body from being stolen, was expected to sell for at least $3,000.

An X-ray of Ruby’s head by a nervous radiological technologist garnered $776 — about the price that was expected.

Another hot commodity at the auction was the front page of The Dallas Morning News signed by Kennedy. The paper — worth a nickel when it came off the presses in 1963 — sold for $38,837.

The president signed the paper for a maid at a Fort Worth hotel on the morning of his death.

Another item from the same era, a rocking chair used by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., sold for $8,365.

The Lincoln rocker was given to the civil rights leader by his editor, Hermine Isaacs Popper, to use while he worked on his writing at her White Plains, N.Y., cabin, according to the auction house.

Source: Dallas Morning News

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