Lot 74: TLS as president, one page, 7 x 8.75, White House letterhead, August 10, 1939. Letter to an unidentified governor, in full: "Today at Hyde Park there has been presented to me by Keith Morgan, National Chairman of the Committee for the Celebration of the President's Birthday, an inscribed testimonial report which shows that the net total sum raised throughout the country on my 57th birthday is $1,329,100.36. This delights me tremendously, and I am filled with deep gratification that the American People are so determined that the disease known commonly as Infantile Paralysis must be controlled. Even more than this, it must be destroyed. Having suffered the ravages of Infantile Paralysis, my first thought will always be for the immediate care of those who find themselves too stricken with this dread mysterious malady and who, too, with the help of loving hands and medical science must fight their way back to as much health and physical power as they can achieve. The National Foundation, since starting its actual work last summer, has organized a nationwide attack on all fronts. Its first report, about to be published, is heartening and very worthwhile. We must organize our Chapters of the National Foundation, which task is now being undertaken. $707,000 of the money raised on my birthday last January is being held in trust for preservation to the Chapters, as soon as they are chartered by the National Foundation. I hope that by the end of September all of the counties will have these Chapters. This fight is real, it is earnest, and the goal is victory. Let me thank you for the wonderful work which you, your family and your friends have done to make this nationwide fight and its machinery possible." In fine condition. Accompanied by an unsigned photo of Roosevelt.
Over a decade after founding his world-renowned polio treatment center in Warm Springs, Roosevelt established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1938 to continue his mission. Dedicated to funding vaccine research and helping patients throughout their rehabilitation process, the organization made a strong appeal to the public to get involved; quite literally adhering to singer Eddie Cantor's fundraising call to 'send in their dimes,' the American public filled the White House mail room with coin-filled birthday wishes for the President. As he notes in this letter, a total of nearly $1.3 million was raised on his 57th birthday at the start of 1939. An outstanding letter from the start of what would become one of the world's most celebrated foundations-the March of Dimes.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs & Artifacts
Friday, 23rd October 2015
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