The Presidency: Moby Jack

Jackie Kennedy likes to give her sea-loving husband things that are nautical and nice. So for Christmas she gave the President a fine piece of scrimshaw to add to his growing collection. It was a sperm whale's tooth. 9½ in. long and 4½ in. in diameter. "This wasn't just an ordinary whale's tooth,'' marveled a White House aide. "I guess it is supposed to be the biggest damn whale's tooth ever found."

Jackie's gift was obtained in New Bedford, Mass., by Artist Milton Delano (a distant and Republican relative of F.D.R.'s), who spent 160 hours etching the Presidential Seal into...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!