DescriptionJohn F. Kennedy: 1960 Typed Letter Signed, Dealing with Civil Rights, with a Holograph Postscript. This TLS, written shortly after JFK received the Democratic presidential nomination in Los Angeles, deals with the delicate issue of civil rights and shoring-up support among Southern politicians. The lot includes a carbon copy of a letter sent to Kennedy on July 19, 1960, from Virginia Senator A. Willis Robertson who expresses disappointment at not being present at the convention to offer personal congratulations to the nominee. He indicates the report of the Virginia press that he would support Kennedy did not extend to the "civil rights plank that was written into our Party platform over the protests of the delegates from Virginia and other Southern States." Robertson served on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, along with segregationists like Richard Russell and Robert C. Byrd. Ironically, the committee included Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who would effectively end segregation by reason of landmark legislation passed during his presidency. In a one-page typed letter on United States Senate letterhead dated July 27, 1960, signed "Jack Kennedy", the candidate replies: "I understand the problem the platform presents to you. I do hope it will be possible for us to work together in the fall, and I look forward to seeing you after the 8th of next month." Adding a personal touch, he adds, in his own handwriting: "Thank you for your frank letter. I do hope we can carry Virginia, and your help would be invaluable." As things turned out, Richard Nixon carried Virginia and civil rights issues were put on the back burner during the all-too-brief Kennedy presidency.
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