Home Archive Catalog Search Site Guide

   Documents relating to disposition of JFK casket


Return to:

   History Matters Archive - Main Contents
   JFK Assassination Reports and Records
   Other Agencies and Commissions

On June 1, 1999, the National Archives released this fascinating set of documents relating to the "sea burial" of the ceremonial casket used to transport President Kennedy's body from Dallas to Washington on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. The casket was dropped into 9000 feet of water off the coast of Maryland from a military airplane in early 1966.

The idea appears to have originated in September 1965 with a letter sent from Earle Cabell, the former mayor of Dallas, to Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach. Robert Kennedy, at this point a U.S. Senator, appears to have desired that the casket be disposed of in this manner. The timing of the disposition of this casket seems related to the passage of H.R. 9545, which sought to preserve items of evidence pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy.

Robeson MFR 2-21-66  (PDF: 2806 K)
Robeson MFR 2-21-66, copy 2 
Robeson MFR 2-21-66, copy 3 
Katzenbach to Knott 2-11-66 
Katzenbach to Knott 2-11-66, copy 2 
Katzenbach to Knott 2-11-66, copy 3 
Katzenbach to Knott 2-11-66, copy 4 
Steadman Memo for File 2-25-66 
Knott-RFK call 2-3-66 
Katzenbach to Knott 2-11-66, copy 5 
McGee call 2-25-65 
Houston Chronicle 2-25-65 
Cabell to Katzenbach 9-13-65 
Knott envelope 9-13-65 
Discussion Paper re: Oneal funeral expenses 
H.R. 9545 
Receipt 2-25-66 
Maps of drop area 
Robertson MFR 2-24-66 
GSA note to Miss Miller 
Robertson MFR 2-24-66, copy 2 
Robertson MFR 2-24-66, copy 3