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    Ronald Reagan Superb Political Autograph Letter Signed: "I've known for some time the day would come when the so-called liberals would 'smite me hip & thigh.'...Our days are truly numbered if we can be pressured into silence by those who want a free hand & voice for themselves."

    Signed: "Ronald Reagan", one page, 7.25" x 10.5". [Pacific Palisades, California], July 14, [1961]. To Donald C. Bates, So. Windsor, Conn.. In full: "Dear Mr. Bates, I want you to know how grateful I am for your letter to Mr. Vanvoorhis and your kind note to me. I suppose I've known for some time the day would come when the so-called liberals would 'smite me hip & thigh.' Now it looks as if the assault is to be general - a Kentucky labor paper has me under editorial fire on it's [sic] front page. You are so right though when you point out that here is the greatest evidence of the danger threatening us. Our days are truly numbered if we can be pressured into silence by those who want a free hand & voice for themselves. Again my heart felt thanks. Sincerely."

    Donald C. Bates of South Windsor, Connecticut, was a conservative Republican. A letter he wrote to the editor was published in the November 2, 1962, issue of "Time" magazine. It began "At last, with the Cuban blockade, we are standing up to Communism. And I shall let nothing spoil my satisfaction and relief."

    Ronald Reagan's political beliefs growing up in Illinois were first influenced by his Democratic father and then by his early hero, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the 1940s, Reagan's ideology began to change. He became more and more conservative. In 1947, he appeared before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and named groups that he believed were "following the tactics we associate with the Communist Party." Reagan was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 1947, serving until 1952 and again from 1959-1960, when he led a long and successful strike against studios to win pay for actors when their movies were put on television.

    From 1954-1962, Reagan hosted the television series "The General Electric Theater" on CBS. As spokesman for G.E., he traveled extensively around the country. Soon his Hollywood anecdotes were interspersed with the problems of big government and rising taxes.

    In 1960, Reagan campaigned as a Democrat for Nixon against Kennedy. He was still a Democrat, a conservative Democrat, when he wrote this letter in 1961 to a supporter in Connecticut. Reagan writes that he knew "the day would come when the so-called liberals would 'smite me hip & thigh.'" This is a biblical reference to Judges 15:8 where Samson faced the Philistines "and he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter." In 1962, Ronald Reagan registered as a Republican and quickly emerged as a recognized conservative spokesman. Two years later he campaigned for Goldwater and in 1966, he was elected Governor of California.

    Included with this letter is the original postmarked envelope, with printed return address on the flap, addressed by Reagan to "Mr. Donald C. Bates/So. Windsor Conn." and marked "Air mail."

    This outstanding political letter, in extra fine condition, would be an important addition to a Reagan or presidential collection. From the Gary Grossman Collection.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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