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The Missing Pink Hat

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

The pink Chanel knock-off suit Jacqueline Kennedy wore on that historic day in Dallas in 1963 currently resides in an environmentally controlled storage facility in Maryland, complete with its blood stains. Banned from public display until 2103, the outfit is missing one important element - the matching pillbox hat. Mrs. Kennedy removed the hat at Parkland Hospital and it was last seen in the hands of Mary Gallagher, her personal secretary, but in the melee of the day, Gallagher nor anyone else recalls what happened to it after that.

In early 1964, a box arrived at the National Archives. The contents included the suit with its original box, as well as the accessories worn that day: a blouse, handbag, shoes and stockings - but no hat. Awkwardly, no paperwork was ever signed by Mrs. Kennedy, so the National Archives technically didn't own the donation until 2003, almost a decade after Jacqueline's death, when a deed of gift was signed by Caroline Kennedy with the stipulation that it could not be put on display for 100 years.

As for the hat - it could have been kept as a souvenir by an aide or someone at the hospital. If Mary Gallagher knew what happened to the hat, she never told anyone and now we will never know because Gallagher passed away on April 22, 2022

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