George Romney asks Ed White II for advice on how to "encourage our young boys to prepare themselves for lives of purpose and meaning."Gemini 4: LeCoultre Atmos Clock Presented by Governor George Romney and the State of Michigan to Ed White II in 1965 and Directly from His Personal Collection. A gorgeous Atmos clock, 9.25" tall x 8.25" wide x 6.5" deep, serial number "153887" on top, and stamped "Le Coultre & Cie/ Metal/ Caliber 528-6/ Swiss" on the back panel. An engraved plate has been applied to the lower front stating, in full: "MAJOR EDWARD H. WHITE II 1015 6-3-65 - 1213 6-7-65/ The time our hearts were with you in Space/ - The People of Michigan -". The numbers represent the time and date of launch and splashdown of Gemini 4 with White and Jim McDivitt aboard. Both of the astronauts on this mission had close ties to Michigan. They had both earned degrees from the University of Michigan in 1959; White's was a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering. Interestingly, both White and McDivitt were awarded honorary Doctorate degrees in aeronautical science by the University soon after their mission, about which White was quoted in the June 25, 1965 Time Magazine, "I can hardly get used to people calling me 'Colonel'. I know in a million years I'll never get used to people calling me 'Doctor'" (he had also just been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel). The Atmos line of clocks is unique in that they never need winding. They take their energy from tiny changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure. This example appears to be keeping accurate time. The glass and brass need a light cleaning, but in excellent overall condition.
Included in this lot are two excellent Typed Letters Signed from then-Michigan Governor George Romney to White. The first is dated June 16, 1965 (the day after the presentation of this clock), where Romney asks some very important and personal questions, in part: "Dear Colonel Ed: ... My purpose is to get some background that will enable me to encourage our young boys to prepare themselves for lives of purpose and meaning. Over the years, what were the most essential steps you took that prepared you to be an astronaut? ... While I was with you, I never saw you or your wife smoke. To what extent were your personal habits a factor in your being selected as an astronaut?..." We don't know what advice White gave Romney but we do know that his two sons turned out quite well as to living lives of purpose and meaning. Older son Scott is a Harvard-educated attorney, politician, and a former Trustee at Michigan State University. Younger son Mitt is the former governor of Massachusetts, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, and is seen by many as a frontrunner for the 2012 nomination. The second letter is dated August 25, 1965, and is a thank you for the reply White sent to the previous letter. Each signed: "George Romney".
Included with this lot is a signed certificate of authenticity from Ed White III.
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