FASCINATING PHOTO-ARCHIVE OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY’S MILITARY AIDE, MAJOR GENERAL CHESTER “TED” CLIFTON, WITH MATERIAL ON KENNEDY, EISENHOWER AND JOHNSON
(KENNEDY, John F.) CLIFTON, Chester V. “Ted” Photo-Archive. Washington and elsewhere: 1942-1965. Over 250 photographic prints of various sizes (the largest 11 by 14 inches); miscellaneous correspondence. Housed in ten matching portfolios. $4500.
Fascinating collection of photographic prints and negatives documenting World War II engagements, Eisenhower as a baseball fan, early missile launches, and the Kennedy White House, together with a sheaf of correspondence, including Clifton’s letter of resignation initialed by Lyndon Johnson “with regret,” and signed letters from Westmoreland, Shriver, Ball, and Laird.
“Major General Clifton joined the Kennedy staff in 1961 and was responsible for the President’s daily morning intelligence briefings on world events. He was in almost constant touch with him throughout his presidency. Clifton was in the motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 1963 and dealt with military and national security affairs after the assassination. He was aboard Air Force One when Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president” (Arlington National Cemetery). In World War II, Clifton served in both the Cassino and Anzio campaigns and in the invasion of southern France. One of Clifton’s first steps as Kennedy’s military aide was to assign Captain Cecil Stoughton of the Army Signal Corps “to the full-time job of keeping a photographic record of President Kennedy’s days in the White House. Captain Stoughton had extraordinary opportunities to photograph JFK as president, as father, as husband, in moments of crisis and tension, of joy and relaxation, of stern responsibility and of love” (W.W. Norton). Clifton remained as military aide to President Johnson until 1965, when he retired from the army after 33 years of service. In 1973 he and Stoughton co-authored The Memories: J.F.K., 1961-1963, illustrated with Stoughton’s photographs. This collection of documentary photographs depicts the military and political career of Major General Clifton, including over 60 large prints and over 80 smaller prints of World War II military operations, candid shots of Eisenhower opening the Washington Senators’ baseball season, 25 images of missile launches and personnel, and over 70 photographs from the Kennedy years, featuring multiple formal portraits of Clifton as military aide, and an envelope marked “Top Secret, Eyes Only,” containing 20 candid color negatives of the president and first lady.
A historic collection, in fine condition.