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What Did Marilyn Monroe Give to President Kennedy on His Birthday?

While there is no solid evidence that has been presented to the public to confirm if the late President John F. Kennedy had an affair with the blond bombshell Marilyn Monroe, there have been stories to point towards that direction, but none more convincing as Monroe’s performance on JFK’s 45th birthday.

Marilyn Monroe allegedly gave John F. Kennedy a Rolex Day-Date engraved with “JACK, with love as always from MARILYN, May 29th, 1962” the same night she sang “Happy birthday, Mr. President” at Madison Square Garden. “Get rid of it,” JFK asked an aide.

Happy birthday, Mr. President.

The fundraising gala slash the celebration of JFK’s birthday in Madison Square Garden on May 19th, 1962. More than 15,000 people attended this historical event. (Source: Taylor Branch)

This celebration evoked controversy; the public assumed that the late JFK and the blond bombshell had an affair. Monroe made her way to the stage wearing a flesh-colored marquisette dress covered with 2,500 shimmering rhinestones. She then performed a simple birthday song. But knowing Monroe’s voice and tone, the simple song turned sultry, driving the crowd crazy. (Source: Woman’s Day)

The president thanked her, stating, “I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way,” as the presidential cake was presented to him. (Source: Youtube)

Allegedly during this event, Monroe also handed a gift to one of JFK’s aides, Kenneth O’Donnell.

JFK’s Watch Collection

Watch enthusiasts knew that JFK had a great collection of watches. He was known for owning luxurious timepieces, but it was also known that the late president’s watches were all gifted to him, and all of his watches were personalized and were engraved with his name.

His collection was composed of leading brands in the watch industry: from a table clock made by Patek Philippe, an Art Deco style gold Bulova, a gold ultra-thin Omega tank, an 18k gold Cartier, and of course, the infamous gold Rolex Day-Date.

His watches were well-worn and taken care of. He was often seen wearing the said watches. It was also noted that he was wearing the 18k gold Cartier on the day he was assassinated. The public knew of his obsession with watches that it was even reported that the watch was given to Jackie Kennedy in the hospital at the time of his death.

All but one watch was known to sit on JFK’s wrist – and that was the gold Rolex supposedly given by Monroe. (Source: Barrington Watch Winders)

Rolex President

Monroe’s supposed gift came in the form of the gold Rolex Day-Date, knowing JFK liked watches. Despite the late president’s liking of luxurious timepieces, the watch sat no more than a few minutes on JFK’s wrist, which afterward, an aide was ordered to “get rid of it.” The watch had an engraving on the backside that reads:

JACK With love, as always. From Marilyn. May 29th, 1962.

CBS News

This was the first Day-Date Rolex made presented to a president, thus gaining the nickname Rolex “President.”

The whereabouts of the said watch weren’t known until 2005, when it surfaced at an auction. This was approximately four decades after JFK’s birthday. It sold for a modest $120,000, despite its historical notoriety. (Source: Bobs Watches).

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