Sale 22BP01 | Lot 29

[KENNEDY ASSASSINATION] Four teletype transcripts from 22 November 1963 detailing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Catalogue: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps
[KENNEDY ASSASSINATION]  Four teletype transcripts from 22 November 1963 detailing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Lot Details

Lot 29
[KENNEDY ASSASSINATION] Four teletype transcripts from 22 November 1963 detailing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Four long rolled transcripts, comprising two Western Union Telegram rolls and two unnmarked, each 8 1/2 inches wide and in varying lengths. Tears to edges, the Western Union transcripts on thin paper and with more short tears and a slight dampstain, generally well preserved when opened.

Four rolled transcripts offering chilling minute to minute details of the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963. Received and collected on a merchant ship at sea, the unfolding story of the assassination is recorded between prices for commodities. Every unfolding detail from the first reports of gunshots through the chase for Oswald are recorded as they happened. The Western Union Telegram rolls, riddled with misspellings, begin "Flash - President Kennedy was shot today while riding in a motorcade ... The photographer said he heard two shots but saw no one with a gun ... Governor John Connally of Texas was also shot. It is unknown whether either was killed ... latest reports from Dallas say that both Pres Kennedy and Governor Connally are alive and undergoing treatments in the emergency room at the hospital." The second Western Union Telegram continues the previous with "Kennedy dead ... Kennedy dead ... this report emanates from a priest at the hospital."

The unmarked rolls are longer, single spaced reports. One begins "President Kennedy and Gov. John B. Connally of Texas were cutdown by an assassin's bullets ... the President, his limp body cradled in the arms of his wife, was rushed to Parkland Hospital" and later "there were three loud bursts. Dallas motorcycle officers escorting the President quickly leaped from their bikes and raced up a grassy hill." The second roll continues offering more details: "Officers took a young man into custody at the scene and questioned him behind closed doors. A Dallas television reporter said he saw a rifle being withdrawn from a window on the fifth or sixth floor of an office building shortly after the gunfire ... The Dallas Sheriff's Department said a rifle had been found in a staircase on the fifth floor of a building near the scene of the assassination. It was a 7.65 Mauser. The German-made rifle had a telescopic sight with one shell left in the chamber. Three spent rifle shells were found nearby."

Such transcripts from this haunting day are scarce and we trace few examples of this quality at auction.


Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Sold for $1,890 (includes buyer's premium)

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Estimate: $2,000 - $3,000
Sold for $1,890 (includes buyer's premium)

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Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Tue, Mar 22, 2022 at 10am EDT