You must not worry about Santa

In 1961, immediately after overhearing her parents discuss the possibility of Soviet nuclear tests at the North Pole, 8-year-old Michelle Rochon grabbed a pencil and wrote a letter to U.S. President John F. Kennedy, in which she asked him to prevent the tests for one particular reason. Her letter, and the reply she soon received

Your loving Santa Claus

During Christmas in the 1870s, when he wasn’t sending horse-led sleighs piled high with food and toys to his less fortunate neighbours, the inimitable Mark Twain could usually be found at the family home with his wife and young children, often pretending to be Santa Claus. On Christmas morning of 1875, Twain’s 3-year-old daughter, Susie, awoke to find

I’ll be watching over you

On January 12th of 1997, 41-year-old astronaut Jerry Linenger kissed his pregnant wife and 14-month-old son goodbye, boarded Space Shuttle Atlantis, and headed for Space Station Mir where he joined two Russian cosmonauts. He then remained in Space for a record-breaking 132 days. Below are just three of the dozens of letters he wrote to

I will always be there with you

On May 1st of 2003, just weeks after being deployed to Iraq, Army Pfc. Jesse A. Givens, of Springfield, Missouri was killed when his tank fell into the Euphrates river. He was 34-years-old. Shortly after his death, the following farewell letter was delivered to his bereaved wife, Melissa, and his 6-year-old stepson, Dakota (“Toad”). Melissa and

For your first Christmas

In December of 1915, as his infant grandson began to enjoy his very first Christmas, 60-year-old American journalist and diplomat Walter H. Page decided to mark the occasion by writing him the following letter — a wonderful, heartwarming celebration of their common interests which, as a result of its charm, was later published for wider consumption.

Time & the hour run through the roughest day

While studying in Germany in May of 1900, pioneering American psychologist William James discovered that his 13-year-old daughter, Peggy, was finding it incredibly difficult to adjust to life at school in England, many hundreds of miles from home. In an effort to lift her from this emotional slump, James wrote to her with the following advice.

Eddie’s House

After his death in 1959, following an illustrious, 70-year career during which he designed upwards of 1000 structures and completed over 500 buildings, Frank Lloyd Wright was recognised by the AIA as the “greatest American architect of all time.” He was, by all accounts, a true master of his craft. His smallest and perhaps most unusual project came in

I beg you to take my child

In 1869, in response to a sharp rise in the number of babies being abandoned in New York, often in dangerous circumstances, The Foundling Asylum — run by Sister Irene Fitzgibbon, pictured above — opened to the public with a single white cradle on its doorstep, and immediately began to give safe shelter to unwanted infants. In the

I was meant to be a composer

In 1919, at which point he was just 9-years-old, Samuel Barber wrote the following letter to his mother and left it on his desk for her to find. She did, and a year later Barber began to compose his first opera, “The Rose Tree.” He was still only 26 years of age when, in 1936, he

I’m still someplace

In his wonderful book, Chuck Reducks, the late-Chuck Jones — a true legend in the world of animation who, amongst countless other achievements, created characters such as Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, and also directed what is widely considered to be one of the best cartoons ever made: What’s Opera, Doc? — credits his beloved “Uncle Lynn” with

I shall always be with you

On June 8th of 1950, nine months after being arrested by the Czech secret police on suspicion of leading a plot to overthrow the Communist regime, 48-year-old socialist politician Milada Horáková was found guilty of “high treason” following a show trial that was broadcast on national radio, and in which she remained defiant. On the 27th of that

The morning mail is my enemy

In March of 1961, nine years after the publication of Charlotte’s Web, author E. B. White received a letter from a young fan named Cathy Durham who wanted to know when, if ever, his next children’s book would see the light of day. He replied, in part: “I would like to write another book for children but

I have now no further use for a birthday

In 1891, 8 years after his classic novel, Treasure Island, was first published in book-form, author Robert Louis Stevenson learned that the 12-year-old daughter of Henry Clay Ide — then U. S. Commissioner to Samoa, where Stevenson lived — was unhappy that her birthday fell on Christmas Day. Stevenson immediately hatched a charming plan, and soon sent

My mother declared my bedroom a disaster area

As one would expect, Ronald Reagan was the recipient of thousands of letters each month during his presidency–a mailbag so voluminous, in fact, that a gang of patient volunteers were tasked with opening them all on his behalf and passing him approximately 30 each week to read and respond to. This is just one example,

Dear Einstein, Do Scientists Pray?

As one of the world’s great intellects and arguably the most famous of all scientists, Albert Einstein was regularly questioned about his views on religion. In January of 1936, a young girl named Phyllis wrote to Einstein on behalf of her Sunday school class and simply asked, “Do scientists pray?” Einstein soon replied. (This letter,

It is only adults who ever feel threatened

When released in the early-1970s, Maurice Sendak‘s children’s book, In the Night Kitchen, caused quite a stir for one particular reason: its protagonist — a young boy named Mickey — was drawn nude in some illustrations. Fearful of their children seeing an innocent picture of a fictional boy’s genitals, some parents and librarians took the

Things will just get better and better

In June of 2010, the lead singer of Eels, Mark ‘E’ Everett, wrote a lovely letter of advice to his 16-year-old self. The missive features in the wonderful book, Dear Me, and can be read below. Transcript follows. (Source: Dear Me: More Letters to My 16-Year-Old Self; Image of “E” via Gonzai.) Transcript Chateau E

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

In September of 1893, at 26 years of age, Beatrix Potter sent the following illustrated letter to Noel, the five-year-old son of her friend and former governess, Annie Moore. The letter contained a tale of four rabbits, and in fact featured the first ever appearance of Peter Rabbit; however it wasn’t until 1901, eight years later, that

C. S. Lewis on Writing

Considering he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, one of the most popular collections of children’s literature of all time, it’s no real surprise that C. S. Lewis received thousands of letters from youngsters during his career. What’s admirable is that he attempted to reply to each and every one of those pieces of fan mail,

You children write illiterate letters

In 1958, a schoolboy named Robert Leifert wrote to the author and humourist, James Thurber, and asked for some assistance with a school project. Sadly for Robert (or luckily for Robert, depending on your viewpoint) it seems he caught Thurber on a bad day, and before long the youngster was the proud owner of the following delightfully

Things to worry about

When he wasn’t busy writing some of the most critically lauded and enduring novels of the 20th Century, The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald could often be found penning the most fascinating of letters to such famous characters as his good friend, Ernest Hemingway; editor extraordinaire, Maxwell Perkins; and his wife and fellow author,

Respected Paternal Relative

In April of 1866, the future author of Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote the following letter to his father and expertly asked for some money. He was just 15 years of age at the time. (Source: The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson, Vol. I (1868-1880); Image: Robert Louis Stevenson, aged 15, via EdinPhoto.) 2 SULYARDE

You will then know how to talke to me

In September of 1864, as the American Civil War approached its conclusion, a slave-turned-soldier named Spotswood Rice wrote the following furious letter to his former owner, Katherine Diggs, and sternly warned her that she would soon be seeing him again: he was returning to Missouri, together with a thousand-strong army of black soldiers, to rescue

The suspense was unbearable

In 1965, a popular British comic by the name of “Eagle” published the following dramatic letter from an an avid young reader. In fact, that 12-year-old boy was Douglas Adams, future author of, most notably, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and this very short story was his first published work. (Source: The Salmon of Doubt; Image:

Happy Birthday, Dickens

Image: Charles Dickens, via Lenin Imports Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of someone who, hopefully, needs no introduction: Charles Dickens — a man who wrote so many letters (some 15’000 have survived) it’s a wonder he ever found time to write the novels he did. Last month I featured the bleakest of letters, in

I would like to get out of this world

Back in 1950, looking to publicise a new exhibition named “Conquest of Space,” the Hayden Planetarium in New York publicly announced that they were accepting reservations for the first trip into space, whenever that may be. Unsurprisingly, in the coming weeks and months applications from all corners began to arrive at the museum, from would-be

Why don’t you write a story?

Below is a short, sweet, and very impressive letter written by Elizabeth Taylor in reply to a note from a downbeat fan whose pet bird, “Chips,” had recently passed away. Her gentle advice to the young girl — to write a story about the late-pet — is admirable; even more notable, though, is the fact

From your friend “Babe” Ruth

Says Dawn: My late-father’s friend, Freddy, contracted Polio when they were kids, and apparently he had a tough time of it. A couple of weeks into his lengthy stay at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, Freddy (a baseball nut) was given this letter. It was from his hero, Babe Ruth, and is just so sweet.

Everyone has to be a child

Back in 1998, The Economist ran an article which resulted in a record amount of feedback for its author. The subject at hand was children: For children, just like cigarettes or mobile phones, clearly impose a negative externality on people who are near them. Anybody who has suffered a 12-hour flight with a bawling baby

The price for ridding society of bad is always high

In June of 1945, this striking letter arrived at the home of 3-year-old Dennis Helms in Washington, written on a sheet of Adolf Hitler‘s letterhead. It had been penned by his father, Lt. Richard Helms, an intelligence operative with the OSS who, following Germany’s surrender the month before, had managed to acquire some of the

Please don’t give in

On August 11th of 2007, a 12-year-old girl named Amy wrote the following heartbreaking letter to her father, 47-year-old Garry Newlove, as he lay comatose in hospital. The day before, she, her two sisters and her mother had looked on in horror as he was savagely beaten by a gang of youths outside their home. Sadly,

Each of you is special just because you’re you

In January of 1990, a 6-year-old boy named Christopher wrote to Fred Rogers — host of the widely-adored children’s programme, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood — and asked if he could visit the show’s studio. The lovely rejection he soon received can be seen below, as can both a letter of thanks subsequently sent to the studio by Christopher’s impressed father

Thank you for the dream

One rainy Sunday afternoon in 1989, with encouragement and much-needed help from her father, a 7-year-old girl named Amy decided to send something to Roald Dahl. Taking inspiration from her favourite book, The BFG, and using a combination of oil, coloured water and glitter, Amy sent the author a very fitting and undeniably adorable gift: one of her

I will treasure your letter

In September of 2006, following a desperately sad childhood that saw both drug-addicted parents murdered and the care of her younger siblings left in her hands, 16-year-old Sacia Flowers decided to write to J. K. Rowling and thank her for creating Harry Potter, her “best friend” during the most difficult of times. Her letter can be

North Polar Bear’s leg got broken

In December of 1920, J. R. R. Tolkien secretly began what would become an annual event in his household for the next 20 years: in the guise of a shaky-handed Father Christmas, he lovingly handwrote a letter to his 3-year-old son, John, placed it in an envelope along with an illustration of his home near

Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Me

If you had the opportunity to write to your 16-year-old self, what would you say? That was the question put to a number of celebrities in 2009 when, in an effort to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, a book filled with such letters was planned. The end product, Dear Me: A Letter

I have no interest in you or your life

Back in 1994, then aged 14, Tom Stuart wrote a letter to Lee and Herring — the British comedy duo behind one of his favourite shows, Fist of Fun — and, after introducing himself as a young fan of their work, asked a few questions. A fairly lengthy reply soon arrived, the vast majority of

Rock on Sarah!!

In 1996, two years after the release of Pulp Fiction, a 13-year-old film fanatic named Sarah wrote to her idol, Quentin Tarantino, and told him of her dream to one day become a filmmaker. She also praised his work on the recently released From Dusk till Dawn, and spoke of her love of horror movies.

A library is many things

Early-1971, in an effort to attract as many youngsters to the premises as possible, Marguerite Hart — children’s librarian at the newly-opened public library in Troy, Michigan — wrote to a number of notable people with a request: to reply with a congratulatory letter, addressed to the children of Troy, in which the benefits of

Jim is fundamentally a respectable citizen

Two letters today, both of which concern Jim Morrison, frontman of The Doors, but each at different stages of his tragically short life. The first was lovingly penned by Morrison in 1954, then just 10 years of age, and is an incredibly sweet letter of thanks to his mother for having helped him “face all the

My favorite feature is the Obituary department

In 1961, the following submission letter — written by an aspiring author aged just 14 — arrived at the offices of Spacemen Magazine accompanied by a copy of “The Killer,” the polite youngster’s latest short story. Unfortunately for him the magazine’s editor, Forrest Ackerman, didn’t deem the tale worthy of inclusion at that point, and it would be another 33

Tchaikovsky was an awesome composer

In January of 2011, chief music critic at the The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, concluded a two week project in which he discussed the world’s finest composers by unveiling a list he had personally compiled: Top 10 classical music composers in history. (For reference, his top 10 went like this: 1. Bach; 2. Beethoven; 3. Mozart;

I am only 6 but I think I can do this job

The Director of Fun’s first day at work In July of 2009, having heard that the director of the National Railway Museum in York, Andrew Scott, was soon to retire after 15 years at the helm, 6-year-old train enthusiast Sam Pointon sent the following letter to the museum in an attempt to fill Scott’s shoes and land his dream job. Luckily

I think I no how to make people or animals alive

In June of 1973, spurred on by the recent discovery of a dying bird in his garden, 9-year-old Anthony Hollander wrote to the presenters of the BBC’s much-loved children’s television show, Blue Peter, and asked for assistance in his quest to “make people or animals alive.” Below is his letter, and the encouraging response written by the programme’s

Is there a Hustler for kids?

Back in 2001, writer and humorist Bill Geerhart posed as a 10-year-old boy and wrote to Larry Flynt, founder of the pornographic magazine Hustler. Below is his letter, and Flynt’s response. Thankfully Flynt wasn’t the only recipient of a letter from little Billy, and in fact Geerhart sent similarly amusing missives to a number of

Be your own self. Love what YOU love.

In 1991, schoolteacher William Stanhope wrote to a number of high-profile personalities and politely asked for the following: a description of an obstacle they had faced in their lifetime, big or small, and the story of their attempt to overcome it. He then collated the responses and used them to teach his class. The lovely

I love my Muppet life

Today, for no particular reason, I bring you a Muppet-themed extravaganza. Keep scrolling after the first letter — there’s more. First, a lovely, very funny internal memo from the late-Jim Henson in 1986 containing three commercial ideas for a Swedish Chef breakfast cereal. In fact what began as a parody eventually became a reality, with

You can beat it just like I did

On September 5th of 1994, eager to pose a question, 8th-grade student Branden Brooks found himself raising his hand during the Q&A session of a presentation by then-Senator Joe Biden. After the event, having noticed the young man’s stutter as he spoke, Biden pulled him to one side: Sen. Biden told me that he used to stutter

A Plea for a raise, By Jack Kennedy

Late-1927, having just become a Boy Scout and acutely aware that his weekly allowance wouldn’t cover the costs of such a lifestyle, 10-year-old John F. Kennedy approached his father and asked for a raise of 30¢. Keen to teach the future President a quick business lesson, Kennedy Sr. immediately told him that, unless his plea

However, since you are twelve…

These days Bill Dobrow is a successful drummer, having recorded and toured with a whole host of successful acts that include The Black Crowes, Sean Lennon, and Martha Wainwright; however a career in music wasn’t always his dream, as evidenced by the following rejection letter he once received after applying to become a Marine. Hats off to

Dear Sixteen-Year-Old Me

In 2009, a gaggle of notable personalities were asked to contribute to a book entitled Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self in order to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation; the idea being for each celebrity to write a letter to themselves, aged sixteen. Below is a charming example of such a missive,

Have you heard about the Toad?

Whilst holidaying with his wife in May of 1907, Kenneth Grahame wrote the first of fifteen letters to his son and ended it with mention of Toad, a fantastical character recently introduced to seven-year-old Alistair‘s bedtime stories, in part to better teach him right from wrong. His son was delighted and, over the coming weeks, his

All the ladies like whiskers

In 1860, having recently seen a picture of him without facial hair, an 11-year-old girl named Grace Bedell decided to write to Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln with a suggestion: to grow a beard. Her letter, and Lincoln’s reply, can be seen below. She met Lincoln a few months later, as the President-elect travelled victoriously to Washington,

To the Boy Scouts

According to his wife, Olave, an envelope marked ‘In the event of my death’ was carried by Robert Baden-Powell whilst on his travels in later life. Inside, along with various other important documents, was the following undated letter; written by Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout Movement, and addressed ‘To the Boy Scouts’. It was read

The Little People’s Petition

Image: Library of Congress Early-1864, frustrated and saddened that the recently introduced Emancipation Proclamation only guaranteed the freedom of slaves in the Confederate States, 195 schoolchildren of Concord, Massachusetts signed the above “Petition of the children of the United States; (under 18 years) that the President will free all slave children” and, with the help

Love, Corey

Back in 1985, Corey Feldman already had an impressive number of acting credits under his belt, and although he was yet to be seen in such classics as The Goonies, Stand By Me or The Lost Boys, parts in Gremlins, Mork & Mindy, Cheers, The Fox and the Hound and various other projects had already resulted in a

Some mean man killed my dady too

Above: Monroe Young Jr. III On November 22nd of 1963, whilst travelling through Dealey Plaza in an open-top limousine, then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy was tragically shot dead; millions of stunned people around the world immediately began to mourn. On December 1st, 1963, just over a week later, a young empathetic schoolboy named Monroe Young Jr. wrote the following heartbreaking

Be an unbeatable person and avenge my death

On the evening of May 23rd, 1945, in the Japanese town of Chiran, Masanobu Kuno sat down and hand-wrote the following farewell letter to his 5-year-old son, Masanori, and 2-year-old daughter, Kiyoko. The next day, Captain Kuno proudly boarded his explosive-laden aircraft, took to the skies and, as did thousands of other Kamikaze pilots during World War

Dear 8 year-old Teresa

In 1988, aged just 8 but already a fan of the teen actor due to Stand By Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation and his “awesome smile,” an excited Teresa Jusino saved up the $12.00 membership fee and applied to join “WilPower,” then-15-year-old Wil Wheaton‘s official fan club. She then waited. And waited some more. And then gave up

This little girl has her Walters crossed

Thanks to the endearingly confused efforts of a young cartoon fan in 1964, we have the following charming sequence of letters to enjoy. The fan in question — Wendy — fancied acquiring some pictures of Woody Woodpecker and the character’s creator, and so attempted to ask him directly. Indeed the request reached Walter Lantz, but not

Doctors always know best

The publication of Blaggard Castle – a 1932 comic book featuring Mickey Mouse and sidekick Horace Horsecollar, in which three mad scientists (Professors Ecks, Doublex and Triplex) claimed that X-rays, if fired at someone, would burn their brains – caused so much unease amongst young patients in Pennsylvania that a Dr. Reuben G. Alley was

The Little Rock Nine

On September 25th of 1957, under the watchful eye of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, nine black teenagers nervously entered the previously all-white Little Rock High School to become students. A similar but unguarded attempt weeks earlier had been alarmingly unsuccessful, and even this subsequent military intervention – ordered by President Eisenhower no less

Walt Disney’s 25 million reasons to re-release Snow White

Here’s a quick, easily digestible business lesson, brought to you by Walt Disney. It was 1952, and a recent visit by Walt to a local hospital had inspired one of the young patients to subsequently send him an inquisitive letter. The child, Blaine, simply wanted to know why Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – originally

Don’t keep remembering what you’ve lost

In 1964, more than forty years after losing his own leg in a childhood accident, award-winning cartoonist Al Capp – creator of the wildly successful Li’l Abner strip – generously sent the following letter to a young fan who had recently become a fellow amputee. It’s beautifully written, and one can only imagine just how

I am a fat boy now

Below are two messages from the 1920s, both sent to the same man — Frederick Banting — as a result of his enormous contribution to a scientific development which to this day continues to save the lives of many. That development was the discovery and isolation of insulin. The first is a letter of thanks

All you speak of is real to me

The late, great, Forrest J. Ackerman – legendary science fiction fan; originator of the phrase ‘sci fi’; editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland; unstoppable collector of memorabilia, and creator of Vampirella – once wrote a charming letter to novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs. Ackerman was 14 years of age at the time, and had just spent

Ym raed Yssac

A fleeting glance at the following, beguiling letter would more often than not result in the assumption that it had been penned in a foreign language, when in actual fact it is a charmingly coded message – hint: try reading each word backward – sent playfully to an eight-year-old girl named Cassandra in 1817, by

A charming apology from Lewis Carroll

As Tim Burton’s take on the story consumes moviegoers across the world, it seems a good opportunity to read a letter or two from the original creator of Alice in Wonderland: Charles Dodgson. Both letters were written by Dodgson – better-known by most under his pseudonym, Lewis Carroll – to a young friend called Isabel

I hadn’t any idea that I talked about my guitar so often

Saul was just 14 when he wrote and illustrated the following letter to Michelle Young — an ex-girlfriend who had just recently ended their relationship and, in a previous letter, blamed the decision on Saul’s unending talk of his guitar. The guitar obsession never ended and Saul soon became Slash, one of the world’s most admired

I had seen Amelia Earhart!

On July 2nd of 1937, 39-year-old Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean whilst attempting to circumnavigate the globe in a Lockheed Model 10 Electra, just five years after famously becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Despite multiple search efforts, neither Earhart or her navigator Fred Noonan were ever found. Weeks

A cunning suggestion

In a valiant attempt to keep her father at home during World War II, ten year old Carolyn Weatherhogg sent the following letter to the White House in October of 1943. Since 1942 the U.S. Army had drafted new recruits by way of a lottery system, and as luck would have it Carolyn’s father had

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

In 1897, on the advice of her father, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a short letter to the editor of New York’s now-defunct newspaper, The Sun, in which she sought confirmation of Santa Claus’ existence. In response, Francis Pharcellus Church published an editorial on September 21st — entitled ‘Is There a Santa Claus‘ — which went on to

You make school a perfect misery

Whilst a pupil at Rockdale Public School in Tasmania, schoolboy Athel Margett was so unhappy with the conduct of his teacher that he wrote the following letter of complaint to the man in question: Mr. Broome. The beautifully written protest eloquently offered the teacher a glimpse of life from the viewpoint of his humiliated, dejected

You gave me a valuable gift: you took me seriously

During an illustrious career which saw him win multiple awards and worldwide recognition, Theodore Geisel published over 60 books, the majority of which he wrote and illustrated under the pen name Dr. Seuss. Despite his busy schedule, and just months after the release of The Cat in the Hat, Geisel set aside time to write

Daddy, my Poppy hasn’t grown yet

On May 11th, 1964, the following heartwarming letter was written by war veteran David Bailey in relation to a missing Returned from Active Service badge. I’ll offer no more details so as not to spoil the story. Transcript follows. Thanks to Linda for the tip.  Source Transcript 16 Lambeth Street,PANANIA.11th May, 1964 The Officer in

Thousands of other Daddies went too…

On October 21st of 1942, not long after being called to New Guinea to fight the Japanese forces during World War II, a young Australian soldier named John Byrnes decided to write to his 2-year-old daughter in an effort to explain his situation. His letter can be seen below. It’s beyond beautiful. (Update: It seems

The Cottingley Fairies

In July of 1917, teenage cousins Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths took two photographs – the first of Frances with a group of Fairies, the second of Elsie with a Gnome – in the garden of Elsie’s home in England. Three years later, after various experts had incorrectly confirmed the photographs’ authenticity, Sherlock Holmes creator

Prom is right around the corner

In April of 2008, hundreds of Oregon families – the children of which all attended Lincoln High School in Portland – began to receive the following letter in the post prior to an upcoming school prom. The letter, written on the school’s official letterhead, recommended that parents prepare for the event by supplying their kids

Please clean up the oil spill

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker collided with Bligh Reef and proceeded to spill 40 million litres of crude oil into the sea, ultimately leading to one of the most devastating man-made disasters in history. According to the BBC, approximately ‘250,000 seabirds, nearly 3,000 sea otters, 300 harbour seals, 250 bald eagles

I miss my brother

Thomas Hampton, a teenager from Leeds, England, moved to South Australia in 1922 in order to work as a Barwell Boy on a farm, owned by a Mr. Poysden. A year later he sent the following letter to the South Australia Immigration Department with a view to bringing his 12-year-old brother over from an orphanage

You are a decoration, you little witch!

Mark Twain wrote this truly lovely letter to 9-year-old Enid Jocelyn Agnew in 1907. Enid, also known as Joy, was the daughter of Punch Magazine‘s Managing Director, Philip Agnew. Philip had recently honoured Twain by throwing a bash at Punch’s offices, a gathering at which Joy had presented Twain with a drawing by Punch cartoonist

Vote for me I will help you out

When 13 years of age and a pupil at Perkins School for the Blind, John Beaulieu wrote the following Braille letter to then President Dwight D. Eisenhower after winning a mock stump speech contest in school. With assistance from his teacher – she wrote out the words above the Braille – John’s letter even illicited

I can pay you back with penny stamps

Ann Kemp sent the following ‘secret’ letter to her father in 1945 while he was at war. She was 12yrs old at the time and clearly had problems budgeting. Source Transcript 4-12-45Tuesday. Dear Daddy This is just a very secret letter between you and I. I really do not like asking you, but do you

And don’t get me started on the Scoutmasters

To conclude today’s child-centric trio of letters, I present to you a beautifully observant, expertly written complaint from a schoolboy by the name of Richard Millington which verges on comedy gold. The letter was sent to President Kennedy in February of 1963, just a few years after the U.S. government introduced the President’s Council on

A Call For Equality

Back in 1974, a gang of third grade children from Deal School, New Jersey, huddled together and produced the following letter after discovering one of life’s many injustices. After being signed by all eighteen complainants, it was then sent to President Ford. Transcript follows. Image courtesy of the National Archives. Image: National Archives Transcript DEAL

Regarding that pardon

On September 8th, 1974, newly appointed President of the United States, Gerald Ford, issued Richard Nixon a full pardon, thereby precluding future prosecution for crimes he committed during the Watergate scandal. The move was an extremely controversial one. Just days later, schoolboy Anthony Ferreira sent the following letter to the White House. Source Transcript H.B.

My good friend Roosvelt

In November 1940, thirteen years before spearheading the revolution that would ultimately see him replace dictator Fulgencio Batista as leader of Cuba, a teenage Fidel Castro—aged fourteen, not twelve as he inaccurately claimed—wrote a somewhat cheeky letter to the then president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and asked him for some money: a

My dear little one day old baby

Lilian Gollan wrote the following letter to her new daughter Wendy on November 29th, 1934, just a day after giving birth to her at Jessie McPherson Hospital in Melbourne. A photo of the mother and daughter can be seen here.  Source Transcript “purity, truth and love.” CuriosityAmbitionImagination My own dear Baby,My dear little one day

TO A TOP SCIENTIST

In 1957, following the announcement that the Soviets had trumped the U.S. with the successful launch of Sputnik 1, Australian schoolboy Denis Cox sent this urgent letter to the Royal Australian Air Force’s Rocket Range at Woomera, in an attempt to enter Australia into the Space Race. Much to Denis’ dismay, his letter, addressed to

A killer logo

10 years ago Bill Geerhart decided to pose as a child and write advice-seeking letters to murderers and celebrities. Whilst all the responses are fascinating for varying reasons, I’ve chosen to post the reply given by Richard ‘NightStalker’ Ramirez – a Texas born, Satan-worshipping serial-killer convicted of 13 murders – purely as a result of