University Archives

Lot 155

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Badges and Uniform Insignia of Officer Who Captured Lee Harvey Oswald

After shooting President John F. Kennedy at 12:30 p.m., on November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald left the Texas School Book Depository before police sealed it off. He rode a city bus for a few blocks then took a taxi to his rooming house. At approximately 1:15 p.m., Dallas Patrolman J. D. Tippit encountered Oswald walking along a residential street. After exchanging words with Oswald, Tippit got out of his patrol car, and Oswald shot Tippit four times, killing him. A shoe store manager saw Oswald slip into a movie theater without paying and alerted police. Officer Nick McDonald was the first to reach Oswald, who said “Well, it’s all over now,” but pointed his pistol at McDonald and pulled the trigger. The pistol did not fire because the hammer struck McDonald’s hand in the struggle. Oswald punched McDonald, who punched back, disarmed Oswald, and took him into custody.

[JOHN F. KENNEDY.] Archive of badges and uniform materials belonging to Officer Nick McDonald, who arrested Lee Harvey Oswald at the Texas Theatre for the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the murder of a Dallas police officer. All in very good condition.


McDonald’s Badge Number 1178, worn as a sergeant in the Dallas Police Department, 2.25ʺ x 3ʺ.

Medal of Honor Bar, 1.375ʺ x .375ʺ, worn by McDonald and received for his capture of Oswald.

Sergeant Stripes, 5ʺ x 3.25ʺ, and two Shoulder Patches, 3.5ʺ x 4.5ʺ, worn by McDonald on his uniform.

Two “D.P.D.” Collar Insignia, 1ʺ x .25ʺ, and Name Plate (“M. N. McDONALD”), 2.375ʺ x .5ʺ, worn by McDonald on his uniform.

Detective’s Badge, carried by McDonald, when he worked as a Plainclothes Detective for the Dallas Police Department, 1.875ʺ x 2.5ʺ.

Eleven brass buttons with “City of Dallas / P” on each, manufactured by the Waterbury Button Company, presumably worn by McDonald. Each is 1ʺ in diameter.

Accompanying paperwork includes two Letters of Authenticity signed by McDonald, April 27, 2004 and September 22, 2004. 1 p. each, 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

Photocopy of Lee Harvey Oswald’s handprint, signed by McDonald, 8.5ʺ x 11ʺ.

Three Typed Letters Signed by McDonald to Ron Hoskins, January 24, 2004, June 7, 2004, and September 22, 2004, related to the purchase of McDonald’s badge and other insignia by Hoskins and the attendance by Hoskins at a presentation given by McDonald in South Plainfield, New Jersey.

Maurice Neal “Nick” McDonald (1928-2005) was born in Arkansas and joined the U.S. Navy. After two years of service, he attended the Arkansas State Teachers College. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in December 1950. He married Sally Lou Plyler in 1951, and they had two daughters. McDonald served with the Air Force in Mississippi and Indiana before being honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 1954. In 1955, they relocated to Dallas, Texas, where McDonald became a patrolman with the Dallas Police Department. After his arrest of Oswald, he was promoted to the special services bureau and assigned to the Secret Service protection of Oswald’s widow Marina and her two small children. After his wife died in 1976, he married Rose Daisy Brown in 1978. He retired as a sergeant in 1980, after 25 years of service and moved to Arkansas.

From the collection of Ron Hoskins, assassinologist.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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