Lot #14
John F. Kennedy 1963 Signed Appointment of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., as Ambassador to Vietnam

Incredibly significant appointment of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. as US Ambassador to Vietnam
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Incredibly significant appointment of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. as US Ambassador to Vietnam

Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 15.25 x 11.5, August 1, 1963. President Kennedy appoints Henry Cabot Lodge “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Republic of Viet-Nam authorizing you hereby to do and perform all such matters and things as to the said place or Office.” Nicely signed at the conclusion by Kennedy and countersigned by Secretary of State Dean Rusk. In fine condition, with some mild toning and foxing around edges. The large paper seal is toned, but intact and crisp.

After losing the 1952 Massachusetts senatorial election to Congressman Kennedy, Lodge was named ambassador to the United Nations, a position that he held for seven years—a record length of service as such—before resigning to run as Nixon’s vice-presidential candidate in the 1960 election. Suffering another tough loss, Lodge held a non-governmental position with the Atlantic Institute until President Kennedy called him back to Washington to serve as the US Ambassador to South Vietnam—a crucial position, as US involvement escalated there. With his extensive experience in international relations, Kennedy’s former political opponent was quick to take action, determining that Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem was the key figure in his country’s troubles. On orders from the Kennedy administration, Lodge had conveyed to the South Vietnamese opposition that the United States would not thwart any proposed coup. Diem was overthrown and eventually assassinated during a coup by opposition South Vietnamese generals beginning on November 1, 1963, sparking a rapid succession of leaders, increased political instability in the South, and a surge of violence from the Viet Cong. Selecting his rival to serve this ambassadorship at such a critical time in Vietnam’s history, this is an incredibly important appointment. RR Auction COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: JFK 50th Anniversary Auction
  • Dates: #417 - Ended October 23, 2013