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Interesting JFK Press Staff Member Story On Antique Roadshow?

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I just happened to stumble upon an episode of the PBS production "Antique Roadshow" a couple of hours ago.

This took place in Spokane, Washington in 2015.

At the end of this episode they appraised a collection of papers directly connected to JFK while he was in office.

These were owned by a woman who was actually employed in the JFK White House Press Office and who worked under Pierre Salinger. She was very young in 1963.

I've included a link to the interview below. 

I think it would be better for our members to watch the interview versus me trying to summarize it.

However, one personally disturbing side story:

This woman flew on Air Force 1 from DC to Dallas.

She was still on the plane " I was actually in the President's cabin" when she was informed of JFK being shot...and then dying.

She left Air Force 1 immediately and mentioned that it was now LBJ's and his staff's plane.

What really hit me in her recollections of that day was her stating she flew back to DC on a back-up plane.

She said the Texas delegation flew back on this same plane.

She said flying back on that plane was a very unpleasant experience for her.

The reason being that some of the Texas people actually seemed "happy" on this flight.

Reminds me of Texas Congressperson Albert Thomas giving LBJ that sickening smiling and winking "Atta Baby" look just seconds after he ( LBJ ) was sworn in as President on Air Force 1.

And Virginia Murchison's housekeeper May Newman relating that the Murchison family celebrated JFK's death. "Like champagne and caviar flowed for a week."

May Newman - "I was the only one grieving over JFK's death."

Click on the words below "1961-1963 JFK archive" to see the video.

The woman talks about the unpleasant flying experience with the Texas delegation near the end of the interview.

1961-1963 JFK archive;








Edited by Joe Bauer
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  • Joe Bauer changed the title to Interesting JFK Press Staff Member Story On Antique Roadshow?
14 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Click on the words below "1961-1963 JFK archive" to see the video.

Shucks!  I just get the msg, We're sorry, but this video is not available.

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JFK Staffer Shares Administration Stories

POSTED 1.11.2016

BY Luke Crafton

Hear more from the Spokane guest who brought her fascinating collection of mementos from her years serving as a press aide to President John F. Kennedy, and see a slideshow of draft speeches and other documents she kept from her time in the White House.

In 1958 Sue Mortensen was a bright young lady fresh out of college when she landed a job working for Sen. John F. Kennedy’s nascent presidential campaign. This experience catapulted her a few short years later into the Kennedy White House, serving as a staff assistant under the president’s press secretary, Pierre Salinger. She worked closely and intensely with Kennedy during his brief time in office, helping with the drafting and revision of numerous speeches — a process that in that pre-laptop era still produced mountains of paper. And she was part of the president’s entourage on the fateful campaign trip to Dallas in late November 1963.

Sue brought a personal archive of her mementos from the time she spent serving the president to the Spokane ROADSHOW in June 2015, sharing it and her fascinating story with appraiser Martin Gammon, who appraised the collection for between $60,000 and $80,000.

This slideshow gives an up-close view of some of Sue’s most interesting keepsakes from her time in the West Wing, including a photograph with the president in a ceremony aboard the U.S.S. Oriskany; a copy of the presidential schedule for November 22, 1963; and a number of typescript works-in-progress that offer vivid and intriguing glimpses of JFK's thinking during the intense and continual process of drafting presidential speeches — as well as of his awful handwriting.

In the accompanying video Sue also tells us more about her personal recollections of JFK, and her own poignant experience of one of the most shocking tragedies in American political history.

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Great catch Joe.  "They were happy."  That is pretty disgusting.  It would have been tempting in her place to say something about respect for the dead, not yet even buried.  I tried pausing the video to read the documents.  I can't make out his handwriting and the last page is pretty blurry.  It would be great to review the whole collection.  It never said how many pages were in it that I remember.

If anyone missed it there is another interview of 2:51 below the first.  Shorter but better imo.  The interviewer asks her questions and lets her talk.  What does it feel like to be so closely involved in those experiences?  Totally unbelievable, this happened to me?  A story about JFK majorly revising a speech at Yale on the way from the airport to give it with a short reception first.  Her typing the last pages under the podium and handing them up to him as he finished it.

Below that is a different interview with White House photographer Cecil Stoughton in Orlando over pictures he took.  Interesting as well.

Also, in a 2020 update the collection was listed at $30,000 - 50,000.  I wonder if it has ever sold?

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The fact that any of the Texas delegation acted happy on that flight back to DC is sickening to me.

Even the brutal savage murder of their president ( right next to his forever traumatized wife and widowed young mother ) didn't move them?

JFK hate was that deep and pervasive in Texas back then.

That's a hard kind of hate.

JFK was in a much more dangerous place in Dallas, Texas ( he told Jackie it was "Nut Country" ) than he ever realized imo.

Edited by Joe Bauer
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10 hours ago, Joseph Backes said:


Invest in a good VPN service that can mask your country of origin, then, viola, you can see stuff.  


Joe, that's ironic. I recently gave a PP presentation in the local town hall where the techie connected my laptop to the VPN.  After that I had problems connecting to some sites in the U.K.!  My security s/w wouldn't let me get rid of this VPN setting.

Well, at least I got to watch the slideshow you indicated on You Tube.  Cheers.  


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11 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:


Lyndon Johnson and party: drunk, laughing, celebrating immediately after JFK's murder. Source: Air Force Steward Doyle Whitehead: https://countryroadsmagazine.com/art-and-culture/history/doyle-whitehead/


As Joseph said, Thanks again, Joe.  A historically important article. 

Airforce One pilot Swindal refused LBJ's order to take off immediately, I brought him here, I'll take him home.  New to me.

LBJ drank a half of a fifth of Cutty Sark on the way back?

They were laughing and talking so loud they shut the door so Jackie wouldn't hear them.  Sad.

A more up beat quote.

“He loved that airplane, and he loved us. In one of the rare moments he didn’t have a lot on his mind, he asked for a beer. I gave him a Heineken. The glass held ten ounces. He asked, “What do you do with the other two ounces?’ I said, ‘We throw it away.’ We weren’t allowed to drink while on duty.”

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Sounds like almost everybody working in the Kennedy administration ( especially those who interacted with him personally ) loved the guy!

LBJ on the other hand...?

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A neighbor told me he worked for the CIA and was assigned to LBJ for a week in Europe. Said it was the longest week he ever spent and LBJ was a miserable SOB.

Edited by Paul Cummings
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3 hours ago, Paul Cummings said:

A neighbor told me he worked for the CIA and was assigned to LBJ for a week in Europe. Said it was the longest week he ever spent and LBJ was a miserable SOB.

A take on LBJ I've read 100X.

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