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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -August 20, 1938. Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9". White House letterhead.
    -To: Mrs. Thomas F. McAllister, Washington, D.C.
    -Fold, light staining along left margin, else very good.

    FDR writes "Thank you for yours of the seventeenth. I am delighted with the thought that you are reviving the Rainbow Fliers for they have proved their value. Also, I hope the Women's Division will send speakers to the key states. The question of a weekly radio program in the final weeks you had better talk over with Jim Farley and Charlie Michelson. I hope to see you soon." Dorothy Smith McAllister became the Director of the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee in 1937. At the 1940 Democratic National Convention she became the first woman to deliver a full-fledged speech on a policy matter before a Presidential convention. Her speech demanded that women be given equal representation on all of the convention's major committees.


    More Information:

    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.

     

    Franklin D. Roosevelt. Typed Letter Signed. One page (conjoining leaves), The White House, Washington, August 20, 1938, as FDR was gearing up for the off-year Congressional elections in 1938, in his infamous attempt to purge conservative elements of the Democratic Party, to Dorothy McAllister (Mrs. Thomas F. McAllister). FDR writes: "Dear Mrs. McAllister:-/ Thank you for yours of the seventeenth. I am delighted with the thought that you are reviving the Rainbow Fliers for they have proved their value. Also, I hope the Women's Division will send speakers to the key states./ The question of a weekly radio program in the final weeks you had better talk over with Jim Farley and Charlie Michelson./ I hope to see you soon./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." Dorothy Smith McAllister became the Director of the Women's Division of the Democratic National Committee in 1937. At the 1940 Democratic National Convention she became the first woman to deliver a full-fledged speech on a policy matter before a Presidential convention. Her speech demanded that women be given equal representation on all of the convention's major committees. Although a feminist, she opposed a resolution before the 1940 convention that proposed a women's equal rights amendment. She believed such an amendment actually would cause women to lose some of the protections they already had. She reportedly persuaded Eleanor Roosevelt to write a letter to the convention in opposition to the amendment. Later in life she was appointed to several Michigan state commissions as well as several Federal commissions. The punchy, one-page Rainbow Fliers to which FDR referred in his letter to Mrs. McAllister were originally created by Molly W. Dewson, summarized Democratic Party positions, and replaced the leaden pamphlets of the past and became a staple of Democratic Party campaigns, with FDR's full support as this letter attests. The 1938 election purge attempt by FDR was aimed against conservative members of Congress Guy Gillette of Iowa, Walter George of Georgia, Millard Tydings of Maryland, Cotton Ed Smith of South Carolina, and others. However, the only success of FDR's purge was against John O'Conner of New York who had been Chairman of the House Rules Committee and was defeated in 1938 by James Fay. Overall the 1938 midterm election was a Republican victory, with 81 seats gained in the House of Representatives and 8 in the United States Senate. FDR supporters Frank Murphy of Michigan, Jerry O'Connell of Montana, and Maury Maverick of Texas were defeated. For the first time, FDR could not form a legislative majority without votes from southern Democratic or Republican conservatives. Consequences of this new conservative Congress included cutting off funds for the Federal Theater project, passage of the Hatch Act, repeal of the tax on undistributed profits, and defeats of the $3 billion dollar relief bill and public housing increases. A wonderful letter from a key female supporter of FDR during a key political campaign.



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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