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    Description

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -June 28, 1943. Washington, D.C. Two pages. 8" x 10.5". White House letterhead.
    -To: Congressman John E. Fogarty of Rhode Island, Washington, D.C.
    -Light mailing folds, faint paperclip impression.

    FDR writes about wartime corn shortages, in part, "... While last year's corn crop was the largest on record, in recent weeks the movement of corn through commercial channels has been inadequate to meet all demands for it, and commercial stocks of corn are now at a very low level. One reason for the falling off in the movement of corn appears to have been the late wet spring. Farmers in the Corn Belt hesitated to sell such corn as they did not need immediately for feeding purposes until 1943 crop prospects appeared more certain. Moreover, Corn Belt farmers are finding it more profitable to market their corn by feeding it to hogs than by selling it for cash. Numbers of livestock on farms, including hogs, are by far the largest on record. I am advised that the War Food Administration has been concerned about this problem for some time and already has taken some steps to relieve, insofar as possible, the current emergency. These steps include the calling of 1942 corn loans, the requisitioning of the remaining stocks of corn in commercial elevators, and the closing out of corn futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade. These steps do not provide a permanent solution to the problem but will help materially to make sufficient corn available to keep essential war and civilian industries in at least partial operation for two or three weeks until a more permanent solution is developed and initiated."


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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.

     

    A terrific and historic letter signed during World War II, June 28, 1943, with very significant war content, on The White House Washington stationery, two pages (conjoining leaves) to Congressman John E. Fogarty of Rhode Island concerning shortages of corn during World War II. FDR writes: "My dear Mr. Fogarty:/ This is in reply to your letter of June twenty-second, in which you direct my attention to the existing shortage of corn in commercial channels and the effect this is having on the corn refining industry and the producers of food for civilian consumption./ While last year's corn crop was the largest on record, in recent weeks the movement of corn through commercial channels has been inadequate to meet all demands for it, and commercial stocks of corn are now at a very low level. One reason for the falling off in the movement of corn appears to have been the late wet spring. Farmers in the Corn Belt hesitated to sell such corn as they did not need immediately for feeding purposes until 1943 crop prospects appeared more certain./ Moreover, Corn Belt farmers are finding it more profitable to market their corn by feeding it to hogs than by selling it for cash. Numbers of livestock on farms, including hogs, are by far the largest on record./ I am advised that the War Food Administration has been concerned about this problem for some time and already has taken some steps to relieve, insofar as possible, the current emergency. These steps include the calling of 1942 corn loans, the requisitioning of the remaining stocks of corn in commercial elevators, and the closing out of corn futures contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade./ These steps do not provide a permanent solution to the problem but will help materially to make sufficient corn available to keep essential war and civilian industries in at least partial operation for two or three weeks until a more permanent solution is developed and initiated./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." John Edward Fogarty made a living in Rhode Island as a master bricklayer before his election to Congress at the age of 26 in 1939. During his 27-year career in the House of Representatives, Mr. Fogarty was an outspoken advocate for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a farsighted thinker regarding the value of medical research. During the years when he chaired the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health, Education and Welfare, and related agencies, appropriations for NIH increased a thousand-fold. At the time of his death, Mr. Fogarty had become one of the most powerful and effective Congressional leaders in the twentieth century. Perhaps his most well known argument in support of global research is "because disease knows no boundaries." Stunned by his early death, at his desk of a heart attack at the age of 54, Congress moved quickly to create an international center at NIH to bear his name, the Fogarty International Center (FIC). Food was a national concern in the United States during Second World War years. Make Food Fight for Freedom by Eating Wisely was the title of a booklet prepared by the War Ad Council circa 1944. Americans were encouraged to cooperate with rationing efforts ("Rationing Safeguards Your Share") and to grow Victory Gardens ("Grow it Yourself"). The bounty produced from a plot of land was too valuable to waste. Not to grow a garden or care for fruiting shrubs and trees was considered unpatriotic. To fail to preserve its bounty was downright un-American. "Get the Good...From Fruit" was the title of a World War II-era Poster prepared by the Bureau of Home Economics, part of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Office of Government Reports, United States Information Service. Its message was: "Use fruit juice fresh...if it has to stand, keep covered and cold. Cook in the peel if you can...if you must peel, make it thin."A very significant, World War II-dated letter in which FDR goes to great length to explain his Administration's response to the potential of corn shortages in both civilian and military contexts, a wonderful and historic World War II-related letter concerning a basic food staple with implications for the American public as well as the War Food Administration.



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    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
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