Why Jackie Kennedy's Iconic Pink Suit Is Hidden From the World – and When We Might See It

Why Jackie Kennedy's Iconic Pink Suit Is Hidden From the World – and When We Might See It

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Friday marked the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's death during which his wife's suit was stained with his blood

Jackie Kennedy famously wore her blood-stained pink suit while President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in almost immediately after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, and the public hasn't seen it since — but that doesn't mean they won't.

CNN reports that Jackie's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, gave the clothing to the People of the United States in 2003 with the caveat that it would not be publicly displayed for 100 years. Even then, the Kennedy family must approve of how the piece of American history is displayed in an effort to make sure the exhibit in no way sensationalizes the tragic moment in American history.

Also read: JFK Assassination: New Motorcade Footage Could Challenge Lone-Gunman Theory (Exclusive)

The suit — a Coco Chanel knockoff — is hidden away in a Maryland archive along with the stockings, blue blouse, matching blue shoes and blue purse she wore on Nov. 22, 1963. The only missing piece from the First Lady's ensemble that day is the pink pillbox hat.

“The hat is a mystery,” Philip Shenon, author of JFK assassination book “A Cruel and Shocking Act,” says. “The hat, apparently, goes to the Secret Service initially, and the Secret Service turns it over to Mrs. Kennedy's private secretary. And then it disappears. It has not been seen since.”

In order to preserve the cultural artifact as effectively as possible, the carefully-monitored clothing is stored in a windowless vault in an acid-free container, and the 65 to 68 degree Fahrenheit air is changed about every 20 minutes.

According to the story, the First Lady returned to the White House after the traumatic loss, and her maid placed the outfit in a bag so that Kennedy would never have to look at it again.

Still, Kennedy made sure to keep the outfit on long enough to make a powerful statement. Shenon recounted: ”Her remark, and I think she made it more than once, is ‘No, I'm going to leave these clothes on. I want them to see what they have done.'”

  • Michael Hsu

    OK, he was great. He passed away – tragically. Get over it. Oh, and there's no need to be preserving blood-stained clothing (it's a bit disgusting and kinky if you think about it).

    • James Sullivan

      You are so rude to society.

    • James Sullivan

      Back In the day their dresses looked like hers. You still rude to society you make me sick

  • Ellen

    It is a part of history. It should be preserved. Get over it.

  • MJ

    We have bridges, mountains, buildings, etc. dedicated to people we no longer know who they were. In 100 years, no one will know who Jackie Kennedy was or why the suit is any big deal.

    • Kenneth Bates

      Of course, you may be correct…..and neither of us will be here to find out. But Lincoln was assassinated 150 years ago. Not only was one of the biggest movies of the year about Lincoln, there have been over 10 documentaries on his presidency this year alone. Because of the various film/photographic evidence of Nov. 22-24, 1963, I believe the media will always keep reminding a new generation what happened. They have inundated the public on this 50th anniversay.

  • name

    could it be more like 140 years, CK gave it over in 2003 w/promise of 100years so is it 100 from '63 or '03? i have been hearing conflicting stories of the year of release

  • Curt Green

    When I went to Washington D.C. back in 1984 with the Close up foundation in high school, the Smthsonian had the pink dress and JFK's shirt on display. < truth

  • Herewe Goagain

    In 100 years this country will not even exist.

  • Caley McGuire

    The hat is gone? Kennedy's brain also ‘disappeared’ and forensic examination was thus rendered impossible.