Sunday, February 17, 2013


February 17, 2013


Amesbury, Massachusetts (JFK+50) David F. Powers'* personal collection of JFK memorabilia goes on the auction block today at John McGinnis Auctioneers here in Amesbury.

The items include one of the presidential banners which was placed on JFK's limo, a pen which JFK used to sign the order to stop Soviet ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis, one of JFK's Air Force One bomber jackets with the presidential seal & a leather bound book of presidential inaugural addresses given to Dave by Jacqueline Kennedy as a Christmas gift in 1963.

*Update on auction 2-18-2013

The Bomber Jacket sold for $665,500, Dave Power's schedule on 11-22-63 for $65,000 & the presidential flag for $50,000.


*David F. Powers (1912-1994) was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts to John & Catherine (Green) Powers.  Both parents were from County Cork, Ireland.  Dave served in the USAF in WWII & met JFK on January 21, 1946.

JFK sought out Powers to help in his congressional campaign because he was told Dave knew everybody in the district.  

Dave became one of JFK's closest friends & press secretary Pierre Salinger once said, "Outside of Bobby, President Kennedy had one really close friend & that was Dave Powers."

Mr. Powers co-authored "Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye," with Kenny O'Donnell in 1972.

David Powers died on March 27, 1998 at the age of 85.  

                          David F. Powers
        Special Assistant to the President
              White House Cabinet Room
                       November 19, 1962
               Photo by Robert Knudsen

Dave Powers, who died in 1998, was with John F. Kennedy from the congressional campaign of 1946 to the day he died in Dallas in 1963.

Powers was an assistant to the President of the United States from 1961 to 1963 & became curator of the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum after he left the White House.

While he donated thousands of items to the JFK Library, Dave kept some of the most "personal items" locked away.

The Powers family found his collection last year in their preparation to sell his home & decided to put them up for auction.

2000 photographs, documents, gifts & other items have been separated into 723 lots by McGinnis Auctioneers who have spent 5 months in preparation.

Dan Meader, historian for McGinnis, says...

"You can see that this is a real person.  It's not just the legend, the hero, the president, it's a real person, and that's what shows here."

                          You Tube Video

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) One of the most memorable days of our lives was on July 21, 1986 when we met Dave Powers in his office at the JFK Library.

In planning our 1st visit to Boston, we had written to Mr. Powers inquiring about the possibility of seeing him.

In his reply of June 23, he wrote...

"I am sure you & your wife will enjoy your visit to the Kennedy Library, & you might inquire downstairs to find out if I happen to be here -- in which case I will be happy to say hello."

We followed his directions & were given passes to go up the elevator to his office.

His secretary greeted us & ushered us in to his office where a Kennedy rocking chair was sitting in front of Mr. Power's desk & photographs of JFK all around on the walls.

Dave graciously gave us an hour of his time.  It was like talking to someone you had known all your life.  It was easy to see why he became JFK's best friend.

Dave signed a copy of his book which I had bought down in the museum book store & gave us some booklets & photographs which he also signed for us.

He told us to be sure to stop by the Ye Old Oyster House & ask to sit in the Kennedy booth (which we did) & as we left, his secretary was kind enough to show us into the private room where the Kennedy family goes when they visit the library.

My only regret about the day was that my 35mm Minolta camera did not have a flash, so I was unable to get a photograph with Dave.  Below is one made outside after our visit with Mr. Powers.  We had brought casual clothes to change into afterwards.

                               John White
                              JFK Library
                    Boston, Massachusetts
                             July 21, 1986
                   Photo by Beverly White

                            Visitors Passes
          to Dave Power's 6th floor office
                              July 21, 1986