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Pink Pillbox Hat History

Research by Brandon Wolf

Fall/Winter 1961

  • The hat is made to coordinate with Jackie's Chanel designed pink suit using the same raspberry pink Linton Tweeds fabric with a dark navy blue trim

March 26, 1962

November 22, 1963 (9 am to 8 pm)

  • Jackie Kennedy places the pink pillbox on her hair
  • Jackie enters the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce breakfast, wearing the pillbox hat
  • President and Mrs. Kennedy leave Ft. Worth from Carswell AFB, via Air Force One
  • President and Mrs. Kennedy arrive at Dallas Love Field, via Air Force One
  • The Kennedys and the Connallys enter the Presidential limousine, and begin the motorcade through Dallas
  • Jackie's vibrant pink hat is easily spotted by the crowds
  • The Presidential limousine turns from Main Street onto Houston Street
  • The Presidential limousine turns from Houston Street onto Elm Street
  • President Kennedy is assassinated - Jackie's hat is spattered with blood and brain matter
  • Jackie yanks the hat from her head, as the limousine rushes to Parkland Hospital
  • President Kennedy is taken to Trauma Room 1 in Parkland Hospital
  • Agent Paul Landis puts the hardtop on the limousine and picks up the pillbox hat lying on the floor of the limo
  • Agent Landis gives the hat to ‘someone at Parkland’
  • The hat is put into a large bag and given to Agent Clint Hill
  • Agent Hill gives the bag to Mary Gallagher (Jackie's secretary)
  • President Kennedy is pronounced dead
  • Jackie leaves Parkland with her husband’s body, in a hearse
  • Jackie and Mary Gallagher climb the steps to Air Force One
  • Mary Gallagher gives the bag to Dick Giordano, JFK’s luggage master
  • Dick Giordano gives the bag to Boots Miller, who holds it until Air Force One arrives in Washington
  • Dick Giordano takes the bag to a White House Police officer, with instructions to give it to Agent Hill
  • The unnamed White House Police officer gives the bag to Agent Bob Foster who has just returned from Janet Auchincloss’ home, bringing Maud Shaw and John Jr. and Caroline with him
  • Agent Foster walks into the Map Room and looks in the bag and recognizes the pillbox hat
  • Agent Foster tells an unnamed White House Police office that he is not Agent Hill - he is very angry at being mistaken for Agent Hill
  • Last known location of the pillbox hat is in the White House Map Room after 8 pm, no further information on its movement is public knowledge

Where is the hat? Part 1

Where is the hat? Part 2 

Sept 26 1962

Notes: Reviewing plans for preservation of Lafayette Square, Washington, DC.

Source: JFK Library. Edited by Steven L. Brawley.

Letters

Letters Written by Jackie

Jackie was a prolific letter writer. They provide us further insight into her most private thoughts. Some were simple thank you's, while others advocated for the historic preservation of famous New York City landmarks. Several of Jackie's letters have come up for auction over the years, creating questions over ownership. When Jackie died, she gave her copyright interests and all of her writings to her children.

“I request, but do not direct, my children to respect my wish for privacy,” she wrote in her will.

An inventory of Jackie's letters include:

  • Childhood letters/telegrams to family
  • The "R. Beverley Corbin Jr." letters (auctioned in 2011 for $134,500)
  • The "Father Leonard/Irish Priest" letters (2014 auction cancelled)
  • White House official letters and informal memos
  • Marie Tippit letter (November 30, 1963)
  • Khrushchev letter (December 1, 1963)
  • The "Father Richard McSorley" letters (sourced in Thomas Maier’s The Kennedys: America’s Emerald Kings)
  • 1040 era letters
  • Editor job letters/correspondence

Notes: Jackie favored stationery by Smythson of Bond Street and Mrs. John L. Strong Stationery. Her favorite color - "Nile Blue."

 

Editorial Advisors

Steven L. Brawley is the editor-in-chief of PPB. He is a lifelong history buff with a keen interest in the presidency, the White House, pop culture, and Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Steven has been publishing PPB since 2003 - providing thousands of readers with both a campy and serious look at life with a very Jackie O slant. By day, he is a not-for-profit executive with a 25-year background in education, healthcare, and social service issues. Learn more about Steven at www.stevebrawley.com.

Jake Gariepy is a self-taught artist and writer who works from a studio in his century-old farmhouse in Eugene, Oregon. Long fascinated by subjects such as the White House, presidential, first lady and European royal history, Jake spends much of his time researching and interpreting the wardrobes and interiors of historical figures. His illustrations and other products are marketed under the name “Dapper and Dreamy” and are available at many museum stores. His artwork is featured throughout PPB. To learn more about Jake, visit his blog at www.dapperdreamy.blogspot.com.

William Kuhn is a biographer, historian, and the author of READING JACKIE, a fascinating look at the personality of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis through the books she chose to edit at Viking and Doubleday. William's additional books include: MRS. QUEEN, an intriguing novel that tweaks the pomp of the British monarchy, going beneath its rigid formality to reveal the human heart of the woman at its center; DEMOCRATIC ROYALISM about the transformation of the British monarchy in the 50 years before the First World War; HENRY AND MARY PONSONBY, a double biography of two funny people at the court of Queen Victoria; and THE POLITICS OF PLEASURE, a life of Britain’s most royalist Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli. He live in Boston, Massachusetts. To learn more about William, visit his website at www.williamkuhn.com.

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