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KENNEDY, JOHN F. - JFK Appoints His Ambassador to New Zealand
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KENNEDY, JOHN F. - JFK Appoints His Ambassador to New Zealand

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KENNEDY, JOHN. (1917-1963). Thirty-fifth president of the United States. DS. (“John F. Kennedy”). 1p. Folio. Washington, D.C., June 12, 1961. Appointing World War II veteran and lawyer Anthony B. Akers (1914-1976) ambassador to New Zealand. Presidential autograph countersigned by Kennedy’s Secretary of State Dean Rusk (1909-1994, “Dean Rusk”).


The United States and New Zealand became allies during World War II when they fought against the Japanese. In 1951, their alliance was formalized with the Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS), signed in San Francisco and assuring that “The Parties will consult together whenever in the opinion of any of them the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened in the Pacific.” The ANZUS signatories fought together during the Korean and Vietnam War, with New Zealand’s participation in the latter conflict especially controversial.


Kennedy himself was the son of America’s ambassador to Britain and a World War II naval war hero. In 1945, Kennedy became a reporter for the Hearst newspapers, covering the San Francisco conference that led to the creation of the United Nations. Shortly thereafter, he decided to enter politics and, in 1946, he won a seat in the House of Representative to which he was reelected twice. In 1952, Kennedy became a Senator from Massachusetts and in the presidential contest of 1960, he defeated Vice President Richard Nixon to become the youngest elected U.S. president. His tenure was dominated by issues relating to Communism, nuclear weapons proliferation, American  involvement in Vietnam, and the struggle for civil rights, but was cut short when he was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.


Akers remained ambassador through August 1963, when he was succeeded by General Herbert B. Powell.


Headed by an engraving of an eagle in flight holding the American flag in its talons. Complete with original paper seal. Mounted and affixed to its original matte. Boldly signed in jet-black ink by the president.



Item #18031


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