Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -February 5, 1942. Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9". White House letterhead.
    -To: Mr. E. Lansing Ray, The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, St. Louis, Missouri.
    -Fold, else very fine.

    FDR writes "I want to thank you for that grand birthday message you sent me telling me of the splendid contribution to the Infantile Paralysis Fund through the St. Louis Mile O'Dimes. My personal gratitude, as well as that of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, to all of you who had a part in this gift is deep and unbounded." E. Lansing Ray was the St. Louis Globe-Democrat's editor and publisher as well as a tremendous civic booster for the St. Louis, Missouri area. Ray was also the person who encouraged a group of St. Louis businessmen to back Charles Lindbergh in his plan to fly across the Atlantic, and suggested to Lindbergh that the airplane be called the "Spirit of St. Louis."


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    The extended description below was supplied by the consignor. We are making it available to our web bidders who are interested in more in-depth research and broader historical perspective. Please note that presentation (i.e. framing), lot divisions, and interpretations of condition and content may occasionally differ from our descriptions. Assertions of fact and subjective observations contained in this description represent the opinion of the consignor. These remarks have not been checked for accuracy by Heritage Auctions, and we assume no responsibility for their accuracy; they are offered purely to allow the bidder insight into the way the consignor has viewed the item(s) in question. No right of return or claim of lack of authenticity or provenance based upon this extended description will be granted.

     

    Wonderful letter of thanks signed February 5, 1942, within two months of America's entry into World War II, with very special content related to FDR's own physical disability, on The White House Washington stationery to E. Lansing Ray, Esq., the Editor and Publisher of The St. Louis Globe-Democrat. FDR writes: "My dear Mr. Ray:/ I want to thank you for that grand birthday message you sent me telling me of the splendid contribution to the Infantile Paralysis Fund through the St. Louis Mile O'Dimes. My personal gratitude, as well as that of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, to all of you who had a part in this gift is deep and unbounded./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." E. Lansing Ray was the St. Louis Globe-Democrat's Editor and Publisher as well as a tremendous civic booster for the St. Louis, Missouri area. Ray was also the person who encouraged a group of St. Louis businessmen to back Charles Lindbergh in his plan to fly across the Atlantic, and suggested to Lindbergh that the airplane be called the "Spirit of St. Louis." Ray was depicted in the 1957 movie of the same name directed by Billy Wilder, and played by Hollywood actor Maurice Manson in the motion picture. FDR helped create the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in 1937. On September 23, 1937 FDR issued the following statement on the creation of this new, national effort to battle poliomyelitis: "I have been very much concerned over the epidemics of infantile paralysis which have been prevalent in many cities in different parts of the country. I have had reports from many areas in which this disease is again spreading its destruction. And once again there is brought forcibly to my mind the constantly increasing accumulation of ruined lives–which must continue unless this disease can be brought under control and its after effects properly treated.  My own personal experience in the work that we have been doing at the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation for over ten years, leads me to the very definite conclusion that the best results in attempting to eradicate this disease cannot be secured by approaching the problem through any single one of its aspects, whether that be preventive studies in the laboratory, emergency work during epidemics, or after treatment. For over ten years at the Foundation at Warm Springs, Georgia, we have devoted our effort almost entirely to the study of improved treatment of the after effects of the illness. During these years other agencies, which we have from time to time assisted, have devoted their energies to other phases of the fight. I firmly believe that the time has now arrived when the whole attack on this plague should be led and directed, though not controlled, by one national body. And it is for this purpose that a new national foundation for infantile paralysis is being created. As I have said, the general purpose of the new foundation will be to lead, direct, and unify the fight on every phase of this sickness. It will make every effort to ensure that every responsible research agency in this country is adequately financed to carry on investigations into the cause of infantile paralysis and the methods by which it may be prevented. It will endeavor to eliminate much of the needless after effects of this disease–wreckage caused by the failure to make early and accurate diagnosis of its presence. We all know that improper care during the acute stage of the disease and the use of antiquated treatment, or downright neglect of any treatment, are the cause of thousands of crippled, twisted, powerless bodies now. Much can be done along these lines right now. The new foundation will carry on a broad-gauged educational campaign, prepared under expert medical supervision and this will be placed within the reach of the doctors and the hospitals of the country. The practicing physician is in reality the front line fighter of the sickness, and there is much existing valuable knowledge that should be disseminated to him." A wonderful letter, showing that even as FDR turned his attention to America's entry into World War II following the attack on Pear Harbor less than two months before this letter was written to Mr. Ray by FDR, that the President still devoted his energies to battling the poliomyelitis that so defined his own character in the years after 1921, a very historic as well as personal letter by the President in the months after American entry into World War II.



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