Extremely Rare Signing Pen and Letter Sending It, Signed by President John F. Kennedy, In the Original Display Created by the White House

JFK used the pen to sign a bill for the “betterment” of American Samoa, and sent it to the “father” of the bill

Purchase $14,000

American Samoa is a U.S. territory covering 7 South Pacific islands and atolls. It is the southernmost territory of the United States, and the only inhabited one south of the Equator.

Nathan Koenig was an agricultural policy expert who worked for the U.S. Agriculture Department from 1933 to 1943, and...

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Extremely Rare Signing Pen and Letter Sending It, Signed by President John F. Kennedy, In the Original Display Created by the White House

JFK used the pen to sign a bill for the “betterment” of American Samoa, and sent it to the “father” of the bill

American Samoa is a U.S. territory covering 7 South Pacific islands and atolls. It is the southernmost territory of the United States, and the only inhabited one south of the Equator.

Nathan Koenig was an agricultural policy expert who worked for the U.S. Agriculture Department from 1933 to 1943, and again from 1945 to 1965. During World War II, he was head of the crucial Food Distribution Program, and after the war he was executive assistant to Agriculture Secretary Clinton P. Anderson. In 1953. as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, Koenig directed an agriculture development program for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, writing, “A Comprehensive Agricultural Plan for Puerto Rico.” Following up on this, he helped write legislation dealing with projects ranging from the federal school lunch program to bringing prosperity to American Samoa. He also represented the U.S. at World Health Organization conferences, and worked with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.

In 1961 his report on American Samoa – “The Economic Needs of American Samoa” – argued that the U.S. government should make available to that territory the same kinds of agricultural and economic aid it provided to states, and his argument found a positive reception in Congress. On September 25, 1962, the bill containing his recommendations was enacted and was signed by President Kennedy.  It provided that any department or agency of the U.S. government could provide American Samoa with the same scientific and technological assistance as they did to any state. It also extended the vocational aid program to include that territory.

Typed letter signed, on White House letterhead, September 26, 1962, to Koenig, sending him the original pen he used to signed the legislation. “I’m glad to send to you the pen used in signing H.R. 10062, a bill “To extend the application of certain laws to American Samoa.” This bill gives effect to recommendations resulting from the study of the economic needs of American Samoa which you made for the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs pursuant to S. Reg. 330, 86th Congress. Your contribution to the betterment of conditions for the people of American Samoa is very much appreciated.” The pen, which is present, contains the imprinted legend “The President – The White House.”

The combination of a signing pen with a letter signed by President Kennedy sending it is an extraordinary rarity. This is our first, and a search of public sale records going back 40 years reveals only one other.

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