(SAVANNAH) Thanksgiving week is a time when many Americans pause to reflect on what they have, but 53 years ago, Thanksgiving week was marred by a life taken, after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Now a rare artifact from that time resides in Savannah. Jeremy Heinemann moved to the Hostess City from Dallas in 2011, but last year, he inherited a rare printing press plate from the Dallas Morning News newspaper featuring the front page from November 23, 1963, the day after Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy. “I couldn’t believe it. And when i actually saw it when I actually touched it, I just couldn’t believe it. I finally got a hold of it, I’m like, Oh my God!.” Heinemann. He says no one in the family knew of the plates existence until his grandfather passed away in 2000, adding he’d never told anyone about having the 38 pound plate tucked away in a storage unit.
The plate was passed down from Heinemann’s grandfather,Robert Sharp, who worked at the presses for the Dallas newspaper at the time of the assassination, grabbed the plate before it was destroyed. “It was ten to fourteen of those plates originally, but at the end of the shift, of course, those would be put into a vat, melted back down, and reused for the next day’s paper. My grandfather had taken this one and like I said, there’s only 3 others known to exist.” said Heinemann. He says two of the other plates are in museums in Texas and Illinois and the third sold at auction for nearly $12,000 dollars. Heinemann says he’s placed his plate on eBay. ” I would like to donate a portion of the proceeds from it to MS research. I was just diagnosed with MS, uh, last year and so that’s an important cause for me.” said Heinemann.
Preserving history is another cause Heinemann hopes to support. ” The younger generation today, I don’t think they’re fully informed of the impact that made on the world at the time. “I mean in one weekend, the President’s head gets blown off in front of God and everybody, you know, and his assassin is assassinated himself, he’s murdered on camera, on NBC, at the police station.” said Heinemann. He says he hopes the history etched on the plate is preserved for future generations instead of being preserved in his living room.