Lee Harvey Oswald’s Wedding Ring On Display At Sixth Floor Museum | KERA News

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Wedding Ring On Display At Sixth Floor Museum

Oct 21, 2015

Lee Harvey Oswald’s wedding ring is now on display at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

On the morning of President Kennedy’s assassination, Nov. 22, 1963, Oswald left the 14-karat gold Russian wedding band in a tea cup at his wife’s bedside.

The ring is the first personal item that belonged to Oswald that the museum has acquired. Most of Oswald’s items are at the National Archives.

What the museum says

“There are still many lingering questions about Lee Harvey Oswald and who he really was, and what motivated him,” Nicola Longford, executive director of The Sixth Floor Museum, said in a statement. “The display of his wedding band will help convey a more personal dimension to his story as a husband and father.”

About the ring

Oswald bought the ring at a jewelry store in Minsk, Russia, in April 1961. The inner band includes three stamps. A star is stamped with the Communist hammer and sickle. He apparently never took off the ring.

“What motivated this action on November 22, 1963?” says Stephen Fagin, an associate curator at The Sixth Floor Museum. “For many researchers, it is the symbolic act of a man who knows he can never go home again. Whether or not one chooses to directly link this to the assassination, Oswald's actions that morning were certainly uncharacteristic and remain open to debate more than half a century later. This ring provides a tantalizing window into the mindset of Lee Harvey Oswald.”

The night before the assassination

“At the time of the assassination Lee Harvey Oswald was estranged from his wife Marina, who was then living with the couple’s young daughters at the home of Ruth Paine in Irving,” the museum says. “Oswald often visited his family on Fridays but deviated from this routine when he decided to stay overnight at the Paine residence on Thurs., Nov. 21.”

Learn more

Explore KERA’s previous JFK coverage here. Among the stories: a look at what happened to Marina Oswald following the assassination.