Evelyn Lincoln saved everything
March 18, 1998
Web posted at: 1:40 p.m. EST (1840 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- John Kennedy's private secretary, Evelyn
Lincoln, was a pack rat. She saved everything tied to
Kennedy, including memos, doodles, photographs and letters.
She saved some things the Kennedy family said really belong
to them: Kennedy's briefcase; the watch he was wearing when
he died; the possessions he kept in the Oval Office.
But Robert White, who inherited much of Lincoln's stash when
she died, contended she primarily kept things no one else
"John Kennedy takes his wallet out of his pocket and goes,
'I'm not going to carry this ugly thing anymore. Here, Mrs.
Lincoln, change wallets and get me a new one,'" White said.
"There's his wallet sitting there. It's her decision whether
to save it or throw it away. She made the right decision. I
have it in my collection."
The same is true, White said, of a 1960 will Kennedy's wife
Jackie wrote. Lincoln was supposed to tear it up. Instead,
she kept it.
"We're preservationists. We're not destroying history.
We're preserving history," White explained.
But with about 600 items tied to Kennedy going to the highest
bidder, critics say history is being sold, not saved.