Lee Harvey Oswald College Application Archive. In the summer of 1959, following a three-year tour of duty in the Marines, Oswald's military obligation required him to spend three more years on active duty in the United States, but Oswald had other plans. He wanted to go to the Soviet Union but did not have a passport, nor military authorization to leave the country, but he knew that he could get a student travel visa if he could get accepted at a foreign university. Because he'd left school after the 9th grade and never received a high school diploma, he lied on several foreign college applications, and was accepted by the Albert Schweitzer College in Churwalden, Switzerland, for the Spring 1960 school session. With visa in hand, Oswald bypassed the Albert Schweitzer College and headed for the USSR with the intention of defecting and obtaining Soviet citizenship. The archive contains:
    1. Lee Harvey Oswald Partly Printed Document Completed and Signed. One page, 8.25" x 4.75", headed "Application Form," "Santa Anna [sic], California," March 19, 1959. Being a supplement to his Albert Schweitzer College application, this document bears Oswald's handwritten responses to the usual requests for basic information; name, age, occupation, address, etc. Oswald lies about his occupation, indicating that he is a "student," as well as his ability to speak Russian: "Equal in Fluency to 1 year of schooling." An added remark reads: "Please inform me of the amount of the deposit (If required) So I can forward it and confirm my reservation, and show my sincerity of purpose. Thank you. Lee H. Oswald." Document shows a small area of paper loss at upper left corner, pin holes, punch marks, and inexpert repairs with cello tape - none of which affect Oswald's ink signature. In good condition.
    2. Lee Harvey Oswald Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 5" x 8", "Santa Anna [sic], Calif.," June 19, 1959. Following his acceptance to attend the Albert Schweitzer College in Switzerland, Oswald sent this brief handwritten letter to the school: "Dear Sirs, Enclosed please find the registration fee of twenty five dollars which I understand is to be placed toward my normal college fees and expenses. I am very glad to have been excepted [sic] for the third term of your college next year and am looking forward to a fine stay. Any new information on the school or even the students who will attend next year would be appreciated. Thank you, Lee H. Oswald." Registration fee is not extant. Oswald includes his mailing address at the Marine Corps Air Station/El Toro Air Base at lower left: "L.H. Oswald, MCAF, MACS - 9, Santa Anna [sic], Calif." Letter bears staple holes and punch holes; numerous light folds. Very good condition.
    3. Typed Letter Signed to Oswald from Albert Schweitzer College President. One page, 8.25" x 11.75", Churwalden, Switzerland, March 22, 1960. Following his acceptance to the Albert Schweitzer College, Oswald received this letter from Professor Hans Casparis, President of the college, notifying him about changes to the dates and times of the commencement of the spring 1960 school term. In part: "The first lecture will be held on Tuesday afternoon, 16.00 o'clock, April 19th, instead of taking place on the 21st... We hope that you will still be able to fit this change of dates into your travel plans... Looking forward to your coming, we are, Sincerely yours..." Letter bears several chips and small areas of paper loss along edges and at folds; numerous creases at upper and lower edges. Very good condition. The letter is accompanied by the original transmittal envelope, and is addressed to Oswald at the El Toro Air Base in California. However, by this time, Oswald had lied to obtain an early "hardship discharge" and left the base to return to Texas; the envelope bears several different handwritten forwarding addresses and is lightly soiled. In very good condition.

    An incredible archive that documents the very beginning of Lee Harvey Oswald's odyssey to the Soviet Union. Extremely rare and highly desirable. From the John K. Lattimer Collection.

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    October, 2008
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
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