University Archives

Lot 218

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JFK and Marilyn Monroe Rare Birthday Celebration Ticket and Program

Scarce ticket and program for the legendary birthday celebration held at Madison Square Garden, New York, on May 19, 1962. The event ticket measures 6.25" x 3.75", New York, dated May 19, 1962, and is for an Orchestra Seat, Section H, Row 17, Seat 1. The ticket was awarded to those who made a contribution of $100 per person. The program, 4pp of a bifolium, measures 8.25" x 10.5", and provides a schedule for the night's events, including performances by Ella Fitzgerald, Jerome Robbins Ballets, Danny Kaye, Maria Callas, Peggy Lee, and of course, Marilyn Monroe. With flattened folds to the program, light toning, and bumping to the corners. The ticket has bumped corners and an uneven right edge where the perforated side was torn from a larger book.

The exclusive event was held in conjunction with a dinner party at the Four Seasons Hotel and featured Marilyn Monroe singing a sultry version of "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to JFK. Afterward, as an enormous birthday cake was presented to him, President Kennedy came on stage and joked about Monroe's version of the song, saying, "I can now retire from politics after having had 'Happy Birthday' sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way," alluding to Marilyn's delivery and image as a sex symbol. The blonde bombshell (rumored presidential lover) was clad in a champagne-colored, rhinestone-studded, French-designed creation so tight she had to be sewn into it. President Kennedy's remarks about the future of the Democratic Party, and even the enormous, tiered birthday cake brought out to him on stretchers by two chefs, were (not surprisingly) overshadowed by Monroe's performance. 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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January 6, 2021, 10:30 AM EST

Westport, CT, US

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From: To: Increments:
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$100 $299 $20
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$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
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