JFK’s Coffin Was Dumped At Sea

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 is one of those events where everybody remembers where they were at the time. The thing many people don’t realize is that the casket that carried Kennedy’s body from Dallas to Washington was dumped into the sea in 1966 under orders from the Kennedy family. They selected a different casket for the burial and the original casket was stored in the National Archives in Washington. Concerned that it might fall into the hands of sensation seekers, the late president’s brother, Robert Kennedy, turned over the disposal of the original casket to the military, which made it secure for dropping and sinking. They drilled 42 holes into the casket, weighted it down with three 80-pound sandbags, and fitted it with two parachutes to ensure that it wouldn’t break apart upon impact with the water. It was moved from the National Archives to a C-130 transport plane at Andrews AFB and then flown to a point off the Delaware coast. At precisely 10 a.m. on Feb. 18, 1966, the casket was pushed overboard. A memo indicates that it sank “sharply, cleanly and immediately.”