The Mystery Of the JFK Rolex President
Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of the most successful and beloved U.S. President's in history. Former Congressman & Senator, Richard Nixon who would later resign his presidency in disgrace after the Watergate investigation was Eisenhower's Vice President for all 8 years.
Nixon ran against Senator John F. Kennedy for the Presidency in 1960. Nixon was considered to be a shoe-in to become the President.
The Kennedy-Nixon debates were the first televised Presidential debates and Kennedy looked much healthier than Nixon with his golden tan.
Nixon lived his whole life in dreams of one day becoming the President of the United States. Kennedy's father Joe Kennedy also dreamed of one day becoming the President, but was not able to because of his support for Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime during World War II.
Joe Kennedy's dream was to have his first born son Joe Kennedy Jr., become the President of the United States, but when Joe Jr., died in combat during World War II, Joe Sr., turned to his son John F. Kennedy. Many people believe that Joe Kennedy literally bought the Presidency for his son. They argue that JFK, without his father's extreme financial support and political maneuvering could never have won the presidency.
JFK was elected by the narrowest margin of votes in history at the time. Many historians believe that Joe Kennedy's connections in Cook County, Illinois, cheated on the vote counting. Ike originally encouraged Nixon to ask for a recount, but for some strange reason, Nixon did not. One thing is for certain, and that is Nixon was extremely upset with Kennedy because he was convinced the Kennedy's had cheated him out of the Presidency. Politics is often a very, very dirty game.
In the next chapter we will explore the relationship of Richard Nixon and John Kennedy in more depth, but in the mean time let's explore the wonderful world of Camelot and JFK's 1000 day Presidency.
JFK was elected President and had almost everything going for him a man could ever want. He was very handsome, charismatic, articulate, smart, and came from a very wealthy and seemingly successful family. In the photo below JFK was being decorated with the U.S. Navy Medal of Freedom for his contribution during World War II.
The Kennedy brothers were all very charismatic and loved by many Americans. JFK is pictured on the left with Bobby in the middle and Edward on the right.
John, also know as "Jack" Kennedy is pictured below with his gorgeous wife Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
President John Kennedy is pictured below with a future U.S. President at the White House–Bill Clinton.
At the end of the last chapter we saw one of the strangest things in U.S. Presidential history. We saw outgoing President, Dwight D. Eisenhower who was one of the most successful leaders and decorated 5 Star Generals in history warn his fellow American citizens in his farewell speech about the American Military Industrial Complex.
Toward the end of World War II there were Americans including General Patton who wanted to invade and take over China.
The Korean War during the Eisenhower administration was basically with China, and Kennedy inherited the Vietnam War and it is believed by many historians that Kennedy planned to withdraw American Troops from Vietnam.
Could it be that what President Dwight D. Eisenhower was trying to warn the American people about was the Vietnam War? I don't know, but it sure does seem like it.
As with most American's, J.F.K., had a great deal of respect for President Eisenhower and his opinions.
President Kennedy, seems to always have listened very carefully to Eisenhower's ideas and regularly sought his insight and advice.
J.F.K and his lovely wife were the youngest President and First Lady in many years.
Ironically as a twist of fate, Peter Lawford introducing Marilyn Monroe as the late Marilyn Monroe came to fruition just two short months later when she died. Once again, in anther twist of profound irony, JFK's statement that "I can now retire from politics after having had happy birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way" rang true–six months later he was successfully retired from politics, but by whom? and why?
President Kennedy was a big proponent of Civil Rights which at time was very unpopular with many Americans, particularly in the south.
Kennedy is pictured below meeting in the Oval Office with African American leaders after the March on Washington for civil rights.
JFK is pictured below with his wife Jackie watching America's Cup Race 15 on September 15, 1962.
The Kennedy's were the ideal looking President and First Lady.
Jackie Kenned was extremely stylish and chic and is pictured below in India in front of the Taj Mahal.
President Kennedy is pictured below with NASA Astronaut, Alan Shepard at the White House.
Kennedy was a strong proponent of putting a man on the Moon and he is pictured below with NASA Astronaut, John Glenn.
John Kennedy was a big fan of Dwight Eisenhower and used to confer with Eisenhower at least once every 90 days.
The Kennedy family is pictured below as the ideal American Family.
A big Rolex fan I know told me that he thought he was certain he that JFK wore a Rolex and that he had seen photos of JFK wearing it. Of course if there is a photo of JFK wearing a Rolex, I have to get it for Jake's Rolex Watch Blog readers, so I naturally asked him where he saw the photo?
He said he could not remember, then he asked me "What watch was JFK wearing when he was assassinated?" I responded by saying I did not know. He said he thought that JFK was wearing a Rolex President!?!
I told him that I had no recollection of that and thought if that were the case, everybody would know about it. He insisted that he thought that was the case, so I contacted the JFK Presidential Library and they confirmed that he was incorrect. It turns out JFK was wearing his Yellow Gold Cartier Tank watch with the black leather strap as pictured on JFK's wrist below.
Since we are exploring some very deep politics here I must share my political agenda with you as a historian. None. That's right, I have NO political agenda whatsoever. I am and have always been politically agnostic. I always vote on the issue and my perception of the candidates character.
I will share with you that as a child and young adult, that I was always extremely impressed with JFK. To this day, in many, many ways I admire and perceive JFK as a superb source of inspiration and excellent role model. I must also say, growing up and as a man, I feel the exact same way about President Ronald Reagan.
I also like Ike the Republican and Truman the Democrat–you get the idea.
My only objective with sharing all this history with you is to share a unique and hopefully interesting perspective with you.
I find the photo below of JFK with young JFK Jr., to be particularly moving. I remember once watching the Charlie Rose show many years ago and there was man–I believe he was a journalist–whose name unfortunately escapes me today, who knew JFK and JFK Jr. well and he shared a fascinating observation with Charlie Rose.
He was talking about how profound and unfortunate it was that both JFK Sr., and JFK Jr died in the prime of their lives and then he quoted a great line, I believe form Shakespeare's King Lear, but I may be wrong; he said "What lead us to believe we would ever see him with grey hair." He then pointed out that we never saw JFK Sr., or JFK Jr., with grey hair.
The Rolling Stones wrote a song in 1968 named Sympathy For The Devil which has an ultra-profound line where Mick Jagger sings, "I watched with glee while your Kings and Queens fought for ten decades for the Gods they made. I shouted out, who killed the Kennedy's, when after all it was you and me!!!"
This is profound because, Mick is suggesting that society at the time killed the Kennedy's because American society was so idealistic and bought so heavily into the the Kennedy Camelot story.
This is were reality becomes stranger than fiction. There is a Rolex Day-Date which is commonly referred to as a Rolex President that sold at auction on October 18, 2005 for $120,000 and it was rumored to have been given to JFK by his rumored mistress, Marilyn Monroe.
The story was that Marilyn Monroe gave the Rolex Day-Date watch to JFK after she sang happy birthday to him for his 45th birthday at Madison Square Garden during a Democratic fundraiser.
The watch case also contains a poem, written on a small piece of paper, titled:
A Heartfelt Plea on Your Birthday.
The poem reads:
"Let lovers breath their sighs and roses bloom and music sound.
Let passion burn on the lips and eyes and pleasures merry world go round.
Let golden sunshine flood the sky and let me love or let me die."
Marilyn Monroe was dead two months later and JFK was dead 6 months later. They say the candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long and certainly that may be the case here.
I don't know if the rumored Rolex watch is real and I am working on confirming it one way or another. After all my objective as a Rolex historian is to separate the fact from the fiction once and for all. I am investigating it and once I know I will share my findings with you.
I have heard a rumor that the watch, based on its serial numbers had to have been made in 1965, two years after JFK died, but in my life experience, and it I am sad to say, I have heard more false rumors about Rolex than true. Unfortunately, many people make up and perpetuate untrue stories because it gives them a false sense of being in the know.
Update: LarryK sent in an email that said "According to every verifiable Rolex serial number list, the "Monroe JFK Rolex" (with a serial number of 1296419), should be from the third quarter of 1965, 2 years after President Kennedy was assassinated. I do not believe that the watch that fetched all that money is authentic." Thanks for sending in the detailed information Larry. I have heard this before, and once I get the chance, I will dig in deeper and explore the provenance.
When Marilyn Monroe came out on stage to sing Happy Birthday, Mr. President, she was wearing a nude color dress that was super form-fitting and everybody thought she was naked. As a matter of fact, if you watch the video of the event below you will hear the audience gasp when she takes of her white fox stole.
Another one of the unsolved great JFK mysteries is whether or not he had an affair with Marilyn? As a historian and scientist in search of the truth, I would say in my personal opinion, based on all the evidence I have explored, I would say there is a very high likelihood they were lovebirds.
I base this on many things, but in particular the photo below which was taken at the party in New York after the fundraiser at the home of Arthur and Matilda Kim. You see, I believe a picture is worth a million words, and I also believe if you study a persons body language through non-verbal communication it typically speaks volumes.
My read on the photo above is as follows: I think Bobby Kennedy who looks up to his big brother is smiling and looking at Marilyn like lunch. JFK is clearly hiding and not making eye-contact with Marilyn. He looks upset like a father who is chastising his daughter. If JFK was not extremely familiar with Marilyn Monroe he would have been looking her in the eye admiring the legendary movie star, probably in awe, as most men would.
Marilyn's body language is clearly very apologetic and highly familiar. She looks like a little girl who is being scolded by her father.
So why would JFK be upset with a super gorgeous movie star who is the sexiest woman that ever lived? He though her nude dress was over the top and way too sexy, and he thought the way she sang to him was way to sultry and familiar.
So where did this photo come from and who took it? It has an amazing story behind it and you are not supposed to be looking at it. It was taken by White House photographer, Cecil Stoughton at a cocktail party. There were other photos taken at other times of JFK with Marilyn Monroe, but the Secret Service and FBI would always confiscate them.
Cecil Stoughton sold the image a year before his death in 2008 and he told a most fascinating story. He said the secret service came in when he was developing the negatives and confiscated all the photos that had President Kennedy, and his brother with Marilyn Monroe, but be mistake one ended up in his dryer, and they missed it.
I will let you be the judge of this one. Go ahead and watch the movie below and judge for yourself:
Most people have seen the very famous photo of Lyndon Johnson with one hand on a bible and the other in the air while he is being sworn in, but I found this very curious photo I have never seen in the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library Photo Archive.
Notice just before Lyndon Johnson is being sworn in as the President of the United States that the Democratic Texas Congressman, Albert Thomas (pictured on the far left wearing a bow tie) is winking at LBJ just after JFK was assassinated while the First Lady is crying profusely?
It also appears the Lyndon Johnson is smiling and Lady Bird has a very strange look on her face like she is pretending to be sad but is also smiling like she is satisfied or relieved JFK is dead. Click on this image and carefully study each person's facial expression.
The man who is barely visible, standing behind Lyndon Johnson, whose chin is pictured just below Johnson's is Jesse Curry, the Chief of the Dallas, Texas Police. This seems very curious he would be on Air Force One heading to Washington D.C., when supposedly at the time JFK's assassin(s) were at large in Dallas Texas.
Camelot came to a screeching halt. I guess all good thing must come to an end.
John F. Kennedy was immortalized with his bust on the U.S. Fifty Cents Coin.
In Part 10 we will examine LBJ's Rolex President.