University Archives

Lot 211

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John F. Kennedy: White House Pen Used to Sign the Declaration Endowing Churchill Honorary US Citizenship

Fountain Pen used by President Kennedy while in the Oval Office to sign the Act proclaiming Sir Winston S. Churchill an honorary citizen of the United States of America. An Easterbrook fountain pen, 6.25", with black grip and tampered clear plastic stem, stamped "The President - The White House". Fine condition. Ex. The Robert White Collection. Accompanied by a typed letter of authenticity and a hand written letter from Evelyn Lincoln to Robert White, which was dated March 14, 1990. in which she described the fountain pen as follows:

"This pen, which you now have in your possession, was used by President John F. Kennedy when he signed the Proclamation Conferring Honorary Citizenship on Sir Winston Churchill in the Oval Office at 3:00 p.m. on April 9, 1963".

An Identical pen with no provenance whatsoever sold at Christies in 2010 for $6250!

In 1963 Senator Stephen Young, and Senator Jennings Randolph introduced a joint resolution in Congress to make Winston Churchill an honorary citizen of the United States. President Kennedy had always maintained that whether it be an honorary citizenship or not, he felt that some expression of esteem would be appropriate to remind Sir Winston Churchill of our regard for him. Congress passed the resolution and sent the Proclamation Conferring Honorary Citizenship on Sir Winston Churchill to President Kennedy on April 9, 1963. The signing ceremony was initiated with Kennedy's opening remarks:

"We gather today at a moment unique in the history of the United States.

This is the first time that the United States Congress has solemnly resolved that the President of the United States shall proclaim an honorary citizenship for the citizen of another country and in joining me to perform this happy duty the Congress gives Sir Winston Churchill a distinction shared only with the Marquis de Lafayette …"

The ceremony was carried on television in the United States and telecast to Europe by way of the Relay communications satellite, and was seen by Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Churchill in their London home.

This important pen will be accompanied by two black and white prints of President Kennedy during the signing, and may be used to create a spectacular display with the pen.

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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$3,000 $4,999 $250
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