Jackie Kennedy's Pink Suit To Remain Hidden in Archives Until 2103

Image: Jackie Kennedy's Pink Suit To Remain Hidden in Archives Until 2103

Friday, 22 Nov 2013 12:14 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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The pink suit Jackie Kennedy was wearing on the day her husband, President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated now sits in the National Archives building in Maryland, bloodstained and hidden from view, and it will remain that way until 2103.

For 50 years, the pink suit has never been cleaned. It's hanging in an acid-free container in a windowless vault where the air is recycled three times an hour so the cloth and wool doesn't deteriorate, according to CNN.

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Jackie Kennedy wore the suit that November day at the president's request — he reportedly told her she looked "smashing" in it — and it became its own symbol after JFK was fatally gunned down by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Later that day, Jackie Kennedy refused to take off the blood-spattered suit, which was a knockoff Chanel.

"Her remark, 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,'" Philip Shenon, author of "A Cruel and Shocking Act," told CNN. "That whole scene is obviously just surreal… She arrives in the cabin in Air Force One in these clothes, covered with the President's blood, and she's expected to stand there and witness the swearing in of her husband's successor."

Jackie Kennedy died in 1994, and the suit was in the possession of her daughter Caroline until 2003, when she handed it over to the Archives with instructions not to display it until 2103. The garment came with the blue blouse the first lady was wearing underneath the jacket, her shoes, and her purse, along with a handwritten note from Jackie Kennedy's mother: "Jackie's suit and bag — worn November 22, 1963."

The only thing missing is Kennedy's pink pillbox hat, which was never found.

"The hat is a mystery," Shenon told CNN. "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."

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