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Where Is Jackie Kennedy’s Blood-Stained Pink Suit Worn In Dallas When President Kennedy Shot?

November 24, 2013

One of those questions that keeps being asked regarding the assassination of President Kennedy is where is Jackie Kennedy’s blood-stained pink suit that she wore that day in Dallas?

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Preserved in a climate-controlled vault outside of  Washington, the suit  and its accessories, still stained with JFK’s blood, are  being held by the National Archives  under strict Kennedy family restrictions  that it not be seen until at least 2103.

The National Archives has held the pink suit  and Mrs Kennedy’s accessories, including navy shoes, bag and navy blouse, since  1964,  when they arrived in a dress box accompanied by an unsigned note on the stationery of  Mrs Kennedy’s mother, Janet Auchincloss.

The note simply stated: ‘Jackie’s suite and  bag — worn November 22, 1963.’ The  outfit’s matching pillbox hat and white kid gloves, lost in the day’s chaos, are  missing, however.

‘It looks like it’s brand-new,  except for  the blood,’ senior archivist Steven Tilley, one of a handful  of people to see  the suit, told the Los Angeles Times.

The items — including a pair of blood-powdered stockings which were folded in a white towel —  legally belonged to daughter Caroline  Kennedy after Mrs Kennedy’s death in  1994, until a deed of gift was made in  2003 to the national Archives  with the stipulation that the suit would not be  seen for a least a  century.

It was on the plane back to Washington, her  pink suit caked with her  husband’s blood, that Mrs Kennedy refused to change  into a ‘something cleaner’.

According to William Manchester’s The Death  Of A President, after one aide prompted  ‘Why not change?’ Mrs Kennedy simply  shook her head and said: ‘Let them see what they’ve done.’

After Mrs Kennedy returned to the White House  on November 23, her suit and accessories were put into a bag, presumably by  her  personal maid, Providencia Paredes, and soon after placed in the dress box that  arrived at the archives in 1964.

‘The single symbol of that event and of  her  as a persona is that pink suit,’ said Carl Sferrazza Anthony, a  first ladies  historian. ‘It’s all anyone need see and, in an instant,  people know what it is  in reference to.’

Made by Chez  Ninon, a Park Avenue salon that  created many of her clothes, the pink suit was  modeled off a Chanel runway design.

To appear patriotic (by buying her  garments from the US  rather than France), the fabric, buttons and trim  for the  suit came from Chanel in Paris, but it was fitted  for Mrs Kennedy at Chez Ninon  using Chanel’s ‘line for line’ system, according to  Justine Picardie’s 2010 authorized biography of  Coco Chanel.

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