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.