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The Oregon Historical Society Remembers President Kennedy

OPB | Nov. 20, 2013 12:20 p.m. | Updated: Nov. 20, 2013 1:46 p.m.

President John F. Kennedy at rally in Fort Worth, TX, November 22, 1963.

President John F. Kennedy at rally in Fort Worth, TX, November 22, 1963.

Cecil Stoughton. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Fifty years ago this week President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Many people remember that day — and are sharing their thoughts on our airwaves and online — but one Oregon man is actually looking at that history, exploring that history, every day. That person is Kerry Tymchuk, the executive director of the Oregon Historical Society (OHS).

An OHS exhibit of presidential history has been on display since the summer. Windows on America is the private collection of Portland real estate magnate, Melvin “Pete” Mark. Mark’s collection includes memorabilia from presidents through the years, including a number of Kennedy items including:

  • the rocking chair Kennedy’s doctor prescribed for his bad back
  • the CBS camera that filmed JFK being shot
  • Jack Ruby’s wallet
  • handwritten letters
  • a few of Jackie Kennedy’s outfits

Now Mark’s collection is being supplemented with more pieces from the life of JFK from a California collector. This special exhibit is called The Fading Life of Camelot and is new to the museum this month.

Tymchuk will join us on this show to give us an auditory tour of some of these pieces of JFK history.

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