JFK memorabilia draws hundreds to Mass. town

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BOSTON — A preview of John F. Kennedy memorabilia is drawing hundreds of people to the northern Massachusetts town of Amesbury.

David Powers, who died in 1998, was Kennedy’s assistant and close personal friend of his and his wife, Jackie. Powers also was the first curator of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston until he retired in 1994.

Powers joined Kennedy for his first political campaign for Congress in 1946 and was with him when he was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. He collected keepsakes and documents spanning his years of friendship with the Kennedy family.

On Sunday, Powers’ collection of about 2,000 photographs, documents, gifts and other JFK items will be auctioned in 723 lots at John McInnis Auctioneers in Amesbury.

The items include Powers’ copy of the presidential itinerary on the day he was assassinated in Dallas. The documents contain handwritten details of Kennedy’s final hours, including the time he was shot, how Powers helped carry him in a stretcher to the operating room, the time of death and the aftermath.

At the request of Robert F. Kennedy, Powers in 1964 began assembling and collecting Kennedy memorabilia that was to become part of the library’s permanent exhibit, the library says on its website. He also traveled around the world with an exhibit to raise money for the library’s construction, the website says.

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