The Confession of Secret Service Agent Clint Hill

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Monday, March 19, 2012


Another historically significant Jackie ensemble is also the subject of continuing contention: the pink suit and pillbox hat she wore on the day President Kennedy was assassinated. It was said that it was Jack himself who personally selected the First Lady’s outfit for that warm day in Dallas, choosing a pink wool suit with three-quarter-length sleeves and a blue underblouse. She completed the refreshing look with a pink pillbox hat and white gloves.
Jackie called the suit’s color “raspberry,” and she had actually worn it on two previous occasions. Princess Di, and later Kate Middleton, took their cue from her in wearing recycled clothes even to public appearances. Again some accounts claim the suit is an Oleg Cassini, while others insist it is a Chanel.
It was actually another Chez Ninon copy of a Chanel pink boucle wool suit trimmed with a navy blue collar created by the New York salon in 1961. The knockoff was a pragmatic purchase by Jackie, as it reportedly cost between $800 and $1,000.  At the time, the real-deal Chanel commanded over $10,000. It was Jackie’s way of buying American while indulging her preference for Paris fashion.
Splattered with President Kennedy’s blood and gray matter, the pink suit was sent to the complex of the National Archives and Records Administration in Maryland, where such American treasures as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are stored.
The suit was placed in “an acid-free container in a windowless room somewhere inside; the precise location is kept secret. The temperature hovers between 65 and 68 degrees [Celsius], the humidity is 40 percent, the air is changed six times an hour,” so goes a report from the Los Angeles Times. Caroline Kennedy, the sole surviving heir of the cursed Kennedys, stipulated in 2003 that the suit cannot be displayed for 100 years.
The donated pink suit came with Jackie’s blouse, handbag, shoes and even her stockings, along with an unsigned note on the letterhead stationery of Janet Auchincloss, her mother.
But where’s the pillbox hat?
Agent Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent assigned to protect Jackie and who famously lunged onto the back of the limousine that horrifying day to protect her, has the answer. “I know what happened to the hat,” he said in a phone interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I gave it to Mary Gallagher.”
Gallagher, who has cashed in on her Kennedy connections with a book in the 1970s, titled My Life with Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as putting up for auction some Kennedy memorabilia, was contacted by the paper: “I don’t accept these kinds of calls. Over the years they’ve just been enough so that I’ve had to draw the line.... I’m sorry. I can’t help you any further,” she said before hanging up.
There’s something sinister about this Mary.

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