Online Collection

Dealey Plaza desk ornament

Object Number: 1998.044.0001
Category: Artifacts
Type of Object: Desk set
Date: 1964
Dimensions: 3 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 5 3/4 in. (8.9 x 19.1 x 14.6 cm)
Medium: Metal
Dealey Plaza memorial metal desk ornament, produced by Historical Enterprises, Inc. of Dallas, 1964. This three-dimensional replica of Dealey Plaza and the Texas School Book Depository building includes the site of President Kennedy's assassination marked with an "X" on Elm Street. The desk set features a pen holder, pen, and a replica of a Kennedy half dollar.

Curator's Notes

This Dealey Plaza memorial desk ornament was produced locally in 1964 by Historical Enterprises, Inc. of Dallas, owned by the late Edward R. Reed. At least six different versions of the desk ornament were produced, including one variation that featured a lamp instead of a pen holder. Other variations featured quotes from John F. Kennedy and an empty coin holder in place of the plastic Kennedy half dollar replica.

Kennedy memorabilia collectors have estimated that between 500 and 1,000 of these ornaments may have been produced in 1964 before the unsuccessful souvenir was discontinued. Historical Enterprises, Inc. is not known to have produced any other products besides these unique and somewhat morbid depictions of Dealey Plaza.

This memorial desk ornament was featured as part of a popular culture spotlight on WFAA-TV's Good Morning Texas program in 2011. - Stephen Fagin, Curator

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