A front page of The New York Times from Sept. 12, 2001, showing the burning World Trade Center and autographed by five U.S. presidents sold for $11,000 on Wednesday at an auction of presidential papers.
The page was signed by Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush when they were attending a national day of remembrance and prayer event for Sept. 11 victims at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., days after the attacks. Its headline above a photograph of the burning twin towers says: “U.S. Attacked: Hijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers and Hit Pentagon in Day of Terror.”
The front page’s presale estimate was $6,000 to $8,000. The auction house will donate all of its commission from the proceeds of the sale of the page to the Sept. 11 charity Tuesday’s Children.
The auction by Lion Heart Autographs also featured John F. Kennedy’s scribbled notes for a 1960 campaign speech and a fragment of George Washington’s draft of his first inaugural address.
JFK’s fragmented notes reference his famous campaign slogan, “The New Frontier,” with the words “to ask you to join me on the path toward the new frontier.” They were used for a speech at a 1960 rally in Los Angeles and sold Wednesday for $3,750.
The Washington fragment failed to meet the reserve price and went unsold, auction spokeswoman Caroline Galloway said.
The fragment, among a small number surviving from Washington’s handwritten draft for his first inaugural speech, contains the words, “Let us advance directly forward in the path of our duty. Should the path at first prove intricate and thorny, it will grow plain and smooth as we go.” It carried a presale estimate of $130,000 to $150,000.
Another highlight was a 1993 letter on White House stationery signed by Clinton thanking New York U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan for his support for the renewal of China’s Most Favored Nation status. It states that China “will be held accountable for its human rights record and its trade and weapons proliferation practices.” It fetched $700, in line with its presale estimate.