2,000 Pages of Love Letters
We’re pleased to announce that the Truman Library has finished scanning and describing all the letters that they have that Harry wrote to Bess before they were married. That’s 386 letters, over 2,000 pages!
Here’s page one of a letter from September 30, 1917, shortly after Truman arrived in Oklahoma to begin his training for World War I. You can see the rest of the letter, and find more at the Truman Presidential Library.
Queen Elizabeth’s Letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower , 01/24/1960
Item from Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum Manuscripts Collection. (04/01/1985)
Enclosed in this letter are Queen Elizabeth’s further instructions for her drop scone recipe. It is written on Buckingham Palace note paper and signed “Yours Sincerely, Elizabeth R.”
John Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Grapes of Wrath” on this day, May 6, 1940.
Here is a a personal letter from President Kennedy to John Steinbeck. President Kennedy is responding to a thank you letter from Steinbeck, who attended JFK’s inauguration. JFK’s handwritten note reads: “No President was ever prayed over with such fervor. Evidently they felt that they country or I needed it - probably both!”
-from the JFK Library
Letter from Fidel Castro to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 11/06/1940
Item from Records of the Foreign Service Posts of the Department of State. (03/05/1923 - 01/1961)
This letter from tweleve year-old Fidel Castro congratulates President Roosevelt on his re-election and asks the president to send him a ten dollar bill. Presidents receive hundreds of thousands of letters every year from children and adults sharing their concerns and well-wishes with him.
Eleanor Roosevelt Resigns from the DAR — Today in History
In February 1939, Howard University invited Marian Anderson, the internationally famous African American contralto singer, to give a concert. They asked the Washington headquartered Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) if they could use their auditorium, Constitution Hall.
The DAR refused, explaining that local conditions and custom did not favor such a move. In protest, DAR member and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the organization.
A Gallup poll taken at the time showed that 67% of the public approved of her action.
Moving quickly to capitalize on this public support, Anderson’s manager Sol Hurok proposed that Anderson give an open-air concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Harold Ickes, the Secretary of the Interior promptly approved the idea and on April 9th a crowd of 75,000 people assembled before the Lincoln Memorial to hear Ms. Anderson sing.
Above is a copy of Mrs. Roosevelt’s DAR resignation letter, 2/26/39. Read More
-from the FDR Library
This morning, the world learned of the passing of legendary folk singer Pete Seeger.
In March of 1961 Seeger was facing trial for contempt of Congress after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Pete Seeger wrote to President Kennedy:
"I would not take up your valuable time with my personal problem, except that I feel it is a very fundamental one which concerns all America these days. Do I, or does any citizen, have the right to hold unorthodox opinions, whether they are purely right or horribly wrong, and do I have the right to join with others who think similarly?"
Arlo Guthrie also wrote to JFK asking him to "please do what you can for Pete Seeger."
-from the Kennedy Library
In the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy, people from all over the world wrote to the First Family expressing their sympathy and respect.
The JFK Library recently opened a new series of condolence mail from Mrs. Kennedy’s personal papers containing many of these letters. Bob Thorn, a thirteen-year old wrote:
"It was kind of my fault because I feel I wasn’t a good student. My mark in American History, (in which we were studying about the government and the President) was a C… Next term I promise you I’ll get an A."
Letter from Damon Cleveland to President Reagan Urging the Creation of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday
Several students from the P.S. 241 school in Brooklyn, New York wrote letters to President Reagan shortly after his inauguration, urging him to make Dr. King’s birthday a national holiday.
On November 2, 1983, President Reagan signed the Act of Congress that created the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday to occur on the third Monday in January.
"Please put this at the top of your list of things to do."
from the Presidential Timeline