Barbarous Saxons

In 1400, a middle-aged Welshman named Owain Glyndŵr spearheaded the Glyndŵr Rising—an ultimately unsuccessful but initially promising independence movement intended to shake Wales free from the ruling grip of Henry IV‘s England. The revolt started well, and within a few years Glyndŵr, now Prince of Wales, had control of the majority of the country and valuable

May I submit UTOPIAN TURTLETOP?

In 1955, while attempting to find a name for their hugely anticipated new car, Ford decided to approach the most unlikely of people to assist in the matter: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Marianne Moore. Moore, who was known by the wife of one Robert Young, an employee in the car manufacturer’s marketing research department, was soon

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

My dear little grandfather

Marcel Proust was undoubtedly a gifted author, known largely for his classic multi-volume novel, In Search of Lost Time, a mammoth piece of work believed by some to be one of the greatest books ever written. More importantly, he was also, it is said, obsessed with masturbation. As a teenager this caused problems for his family, not

The Outsiders

In March of 1980, a school librarian by the name of Jo Ellen Misakian wrote to Francis Ford Coppola and, on behalf of the students at Lone Star School in Fresno, California, asked him to consider adapting their favourite novel, S. E. Hinton‘s The Outsiders, for the big screen. Also included with her letter were a copy of the book, and

My name is Sidney Poitier

In January of 1943, 15-year-old Sidney Poitier left his poverty-stricken family in Nassau and headed for the United States, the “land of opportunity,” in search of a better life for himself and, ultimately, his loved ones. Months of low-paying jobs in Miami followed, and then countless nights sleeping rough as he slowly made his way to Harlem. Once

Please send in your letters

When, in September of 1965, it was suggested to Charles Bukowski that a collection of his letters would be an attractive proposition for publishers and the reading public, the legendary poet quickly set about recovering as much material as he could by way of the following form letter — written in his own inimitable style

Sure, go ahead

In February of 1945, James Thurber — much-loved New Yorker cartoonist and author of, most notably, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty — delivered, quite brilliantly, a playful jab to his attorney and friend, Morris Ernst, by way of the following letter — written in response to a request from the lawyer to reprint some of Thurber’s drawings in a forthcoming book. (Source:

I feel every cut

In August of 1985, many months after its successful release outside of North America, Terry Gilliam‘s iconic movie, Brazil, was still being cut for the U.S. market. Universal head Sid Sheinberg wanted a shorter, happier film; Gilliam, on the other hand, could think of nothing worse. He wrote the following letter to Sheinberg on the 8th

Hitchcock for Bond?

In September of 1959, as he began to assemble a cast and crew for the first James Bond movie, Ian Fleming sent the following telegram to fellow novelist Eric Ambler, and asked him to find out whether his friend, Alfred Hitchcock, would like to direct. Hitchcock, who had recently wowed audiences with his action-packed thriller,

Be Prepared

In March of 1861, renowned novelist Anthony Trollope sent the following letter to a Miss Dorothea Sankey. To this day, it’s unknown whether he was joking. It’s worth noting that Trollope remained married to the wife in question, Rose Heseltine. In fact, she also outlived him. (Source: The Letters of Anthony Trollope; Image: Anthony Trollope, via

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

Butt-Head Astronomer

Late-1993, renowned astronomer Carl Sagan learnt that Apple’s forthcoming computer, the Power Macintosh 7100, had been given a codename of “Carl Sagan” — the joke being that they would sell “billions and billions.” This was mentioned in a MacWEEK article some time later, to which Sagan sent the following letter in response. Apple soon changed the

No Ovaries Removed

On April 28th of 1952, medical staff at the Cedars of Lebanon hospital in L.A. wheeled an extremely nervous Marilyn Monroe to surgery where she was to have her appendix removed. Some time later, with Monroe unconscious and the procedure about to begin, doctors pulled back her gown to find the following note taped to her stomach. It was

I should like more money

The great Al Hirschfeld had been supplying his much-loved caricatures to the New York Times for 37 years when, in 1962, tipped over the edge by the newspaper’s accounting department, he sent the following amusing letter to the Sunday editor, Lester Markel. His request for a raise was granted. Transcript follows. (Source: The Paper’s Papers: A

Damn

In 1939, two months prior to the release of Gone With the Wind, an American censor named Joe Breen decided that the word “damn,” as used in the now legendary line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,” should be removed from the movie. Breen’s decision was based on the Hays Code, a set

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

Herbs is his Majesty’s

On January 16th of 1980, Japanese customs officials found 7.7 ounces of cannabis in Paul McCartney‘s luggage as he entered the country, resulting in a 10-day stay in a Tokyo prison and the cancellation of the Wings tour of Japan. After being released, he was told never to return.  The highlight of the whole ordeal came five days

Here are the pictures

Jimi Hendrix sent the following letter to Reprise Records in September of 1968. It was essentially a set of fairly strict instructions with regard to the sleeve design of his forthcoming record, Electric Ladyland: a photo of the band surrounded by kids in Central Park, taken by Linda McCartney, was to feature on the front

Who do you think you are — Marilyn Monroe?

Amusing proof, if it were needed, that Marilyn Monroe was difficult to pin down at times, even for New York Times journalists on deadline. The month after this letter was sent, Monroe began shooting her final movie, The Misfits, and not long after that she was admitted to a psychiatric clinic in New York. She described

Don’t hesitate — Do it now!

Here we have a real piece of cinema history in the form of a hugely important letter from 1924, written by Walt Disney, in which he urges his good friend, the great Ub Iwerks, to up sticks and join him at the recently formed Disney Productions in Hollywood. Luckily for him — and us —

We want more Coca Cola

[We now have a postal address. More details here.] As World War I continued in April of 1918 and temperatures soared in Waco, Texas, 4’000 U.S. soldiers at Camp MacArthur faced a morale-denting dilemma in the form of a Coca Cola shortage. Obviously this was an unacceptable situation, and so, as troops faced “defeat at

Please ask Ike to bring Elvis back

The following pleading letter is just one of thousands sent by desperate fans of Elvis Presley to the White House in the late-1950s, in an effort to have the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll returned to the United States from Germany, where he was posted with the U.S. Army. This particular missive was sent by

My Pilot days are closing in

Late-2000, in an effort to find a sponsor for his act, stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg wrote to the makers of his new favourite pen, The Uni-Ball Gel Impact, and suggested such a partnership. His amusing letter — or, more specifically, a draft of it as written on tour with his wife, Lynn — can be seen below.

The Factory

The Factory, c.1966 | Image: Tuscene One can only imagine the parties that occurred on the fifth floor at 231 East 47th Street during the 60s, for this was Andy Warhol‘s Factory, the very studio in which his famous silkscreens were created on a daily basis; a veritable hot-spot that welcomed a steady stream of visitors that

John Denver’s Nightmare

According to this illustrated letter to Seattle-based band Aerobic Death in 1984, Dave Grohl was compiling and selling mixtapes with his friends at the age of 15 — this particular compilation bearing the name “John Denver’s Nightmare.” Two years later, 17-year-old Grohl dropped out of school to become the drummer for punk band Scream. A few years after

Permission to Synchronise

Tom West, c.1966 | Image: Jessamyn West, at Flickr When he wasn’t designing incredibly precise clocks at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in the 1960s, Tom West could often be found travelling the world with one in his possession, on his way to accurately set the time at a foreign satellite observatory. Unsurprisingly, suspicions were sometimes aroused

On bureaucratese and gobbledygook

As a result of his influential stint as chairman of the now-defunct Civil Aeronautics Board in the 1970s, economist Alfred Kahn rightly became known as the “Father of Deregulation.” However, he also made a lasting impression on many due to the wider publication — initially in the Washington Star, and then the Post — of the following internal

IN MEMORY OF A ONCE FLUID MAN

On January 31st, 1967, during a break from filming his role as Kato in Green Hornet, Bruce Lee wrote and illustrated the following letter to friend and metal-worker George Lee, the man responsible for crafting the Jeet Kune Do founder’s weaponry and other fighting equipment. This was the year Bruce Lee’s new, dynamic martial arts system

My husband John Lennon was a very special man

In October of 2000, 20 years after shooting and killing John Lennon, Mark Chapman became eligible for parole whilst imprisoned at Attica Correctional Facility. Below is the poignant 3-page letter sent to the parole board by Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, in which she eloquently opposed his release. Of course, Chapman was denied, and has since been refused

11 ALIVE…NEED SMALL BOAT…KENNEDY

On August 2nd of 1943, whilst serving as commander of the PT-109 during World War II, John F. Kennedy and crew  (pictured above, JFK on the right) were rammed by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri; their boat instantly halved by the impact and two of the crew killed. Six days later, stranded in the Solomon Islands with

Permission to land

Top-left: A Huey thrown overboard; Top-right: Buang-Ly lands safely; Bottom: A rapturous welcome On April 30th of 1975, with the Vietnam War coming to a close and the U.S. evacuating as many people as possible from South Vietnam in Operation Frequent Wind, crew aboard the USS Midway were surprised to see a small two-seat Cessna O-1 Bird

The Court would like to balance the scales

In November of 2010, upon realising that the forthcoming birth of his grandchild would probably occur midway through the mortgage-fraud trial on which he was working, Manhattan defence attorney Bennett Epstein wrote the following letter to the judge presiding over the case, Kimba Wood. The reason? To apply for a recess mid-trial so that, should

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

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

Dear Princely person

In a bid to drum up support for the soon-to-open Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in 1996, its lead patron, Paul McCartney, wrote to a variety of high profile ‘friends and good people’. Below is his letter to fellow musician, Prince. The Fame-inspired institute was successfully opened by McCartney and friend of George Martin, Mark Featherstone-Witty,

Playboy #1

In November of 1955, collector John Basil aimed for the top and wrote to Playboy‘s founder, Hugh Hefner, and offered him $5.00 in a bid to get his hands on the only issue he didn’t own: Playboy #1; originally published December, 1953, and starring Marilyn Monroe as centrefold. Below is the kind reply he received a

The Death List

On August 9th of 1969, four members of Charles Manson‘s ‘Family‘ followed his orders and carried out the murders of actress Sharon Tate and four of her friends. Three months later it was revealed that Steve McQueen – a friend of the victims who, since the murders, had carried a gun at all times – featured on a hit-list of

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

24 beers in a case, 24 hours in a day. Coincidence? I think not.

On the Friday closest to January 26th, in a tradition that began in the mid-1970s, students at Bates College in the U.S. take part in a drinking ritual: over the course of 24hrs, each participant must consume a total of 24 beers whilst carrying on with their daily routine. Known as Newman’s Day, the ritual

You’re chaining up far too many women

Particularly during its infancy in the 1940s, the sight of its numerous characters being bound, dominated and disciplined was an incredibly common occurrence for readers of the Wonder Woman comic. However, it was a certain method of restriction – being chained, specifically – and its repeated usage that sparked the following glorious letter to the strip’s

A tomb of the mind and a dungeon of the body

Deafblind author Helen Keller spent her lifetime campaigning on behalf of various causes, in particular the American Foundation for the Blind. It was therefore with great satisfaction for Keller that, in 1950, a committee specifically dedicated to the study and support of the deafblind population was set up within the AFB, and in typical fashion Keller immediately set about

We are sinking fast

Two telegrams, both sent within hours of each other and both painting an entirely different picture of the same tragic situation. The first, received by S. S. Birma at approximately 01:40hrs on April 15th, 1912, is the last complete distress call to have left the radio room of RMS Titanic, the passenger steamship which –

To All Potty-Mouthed Inbetweeners

At the risk of featuring too much Disney-related correspondence within such a short space of time, here we have an intriguing inter-office memo passed on to all members of the studio’s Inbetween Department in 1939 due to an influx of ‘gross language’ amongst certain artists. It seems the management were concerned about the impact of

Will you please have a brilliant idea?

From the office of author Ian Fleming in 1961, below is a letter requesting the services of artist Richard Chopping, the man responsible for creating the iconic dust jacket illustrations that helped strengthen the James Bond brand. Chopping’s trompe l’oeil paintings – each of which took a month to produce – had already featured on

Come on now Marlon, put up your dukes and write!

Late-1957, with his newly released novel attracting near-universal praise from critics, Beat author Jack Kerouac aimed for the sky and wrote the following passionate letter to Marlon Brando in an effort to bring his work to the big screen. The novel in question was On the Road, and Kerouac — desperate to capitalise on the incredibly

Fancy a game of baseball?

During the sport’s infancy, prior to the days of schedules and organised fixtures, American baseball teams formally arranged games by way of the postal system, in the form of the ‘challenge letter’. Below is one such charming invitation, sent in 1860 by Jersey City’s Hamilton Base Ball Club to the New York Knickerbockers; a team

FOR HEAVENS SAKE STOP IT

October, 1918: Trapped behind enemy lines in Charlevaux, France, and surrounded by hundreds of German troops, the few hundred surviving members of the Lost Battalion soon had another problem to deal with in the form of friendly fire. His men rapidly succumbing to the onslaught and with two birds already shot down, Major Charles Whittlesay

The crime of being a Negro was far more heinous

Henry Ossian Flipper became, in 1877, the first African American to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point – an admirable achievement given both his being born into slavery in 1856 and the abhorrent treatment he received during his military training – and subsequently was the first African American commissioned officer in

The Birth of Public Enemy No.1

In March of 1933, eight years after being jailed for a failed attempt to rob a local grocery store, future ‘public enemy‘ John Dillinger wrote the following demanding letter to his father in an attempt to secure his own early release. Luckily for Dillinger, but not so much for the rest of the population, his

Why should I?

Sensing an opportunity, the UK government’s marketing department approached the incredibly popular novelist Agatha Christie in 1961 in an effort to drum up some publicity; the assumption being that Christie, having just been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Exeter, would in return be more than happy to help. Christie’s response was humorously

It’s a good script

A job offer from Francis Ford Coppola. With the benefit of hindsight it seems like the easiest decision, but remember this was very early-1970s. Lee Marvin was an Oscar-winning leading man and as such able to pick and choose his next role; Francis Ford Coppola on the other hand, although respected, was yet to win acclaim

You are doomed to deserved failure

(…and we’re back. Many, many heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of well-wishers; Karina and baby are doing extremely well. I literally don’t have the time to reply to you all individually, but your messages were very much appreciated. Thanks again.) An attempt to secure the writing talents of George Bernard Shaw in 1924 initiated a

Joan of Arc’s Call for Arms

November 9th, 1429, with her forces’ weaponry and other supplies severely depleted following months of successful fighting, Joan of Arc dictated and signed the following letter to the population of Riom in the hope of rounding up replenishments in time for the Siege of La Charité. Approximately 17 years of age and illiterate, Jeanne was more

Beloved Father

Wishing for some form of acknowledgment from her estranged father in 1702, twelve-year-old Jahanna wrote the following heartbreaking letter to Peter Besallion, a French Canadian who at the time was a successful Indian trader living in newly-formed Philadelphia. Unfortunately any response that may have been sent is yet to be unearthed, but it is known that young

Send cask arsenic exterminate aborigines

This 1907 telegram was sent by a Charles Morgan to Henry Prinsep, a man seemingly based 2200km away in Perth who at the time was Chief Protector of Aborigines for Western Australia. Following the arrival of British settlers in the 18th century, Australia’s indigenous population were slowly faced with disease, loss of land, stolen generations and general

Respectfully yours, Clint Eastwood

On October 26th, 1954, 24-year-old aspiring actor Clint Eastwood — yet to make his debut on the big screen — penned the following extremely polite letter to Billy Wilder and warned the director of his poor performance during an on-screen interview; footage he feared Wilder would use in lieu of a screen test. The week

What does all this stuff about flying saucers amount to?

It wasn’t until 1947, following an apparent mid-flight sighting by respected pilot Kenneth Arnold, that the American public were introduced to the term ‘Flying Saucer‘. Other sightings were reported almost instantly, and within weeks the whole world was awash with stories of contact from other planets. Five years later, following another intense bout of activity

Don’t F*ck With The Quote

In 1992, prior to the release of Connie Willis‘ new novel, Doomsday Book, Random House editor Amy Stout approached multi-award winning – and notoriously blunt – science fiction author Harlan Ellison for a quote. The following letter was sent to Stout in reply and includes the blurb as requested, plus explicit instruction with regards to

Where do you expect our children to live?

Believing such a novel and symbolic form of correspondence more likely to reach and influence its intended audience, L. McKenzie wrote the following plea in 1980 to then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter on a piece of 2×4, and mailed it to the White House. McKenzie built houses for a living and as such was particularly affected

John Lennon signed my album

On the afternoon of December 8th, 1980, outside his apartment in New York, John Lennon, one of the most famous and recognisable faces on Earth, was approached by an autograph hunter who silently handed him a copy of Lennon’s album, Double Fantasy, to sign (see photo above). Lennon obliged. In roughly the same area just

Ordinary standards do not apply to Tesla

On January 4th, 1943, Slovenian-American author Louis Adamic wrote the following heartfelt letter to ex-President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. The letter concerned the alarming treatment and general well-being of Adamic’s friend, Nikola Tesla; an immeasurably important inventor whose impact on the modern world is still difficult to appreciate and who, despite his numerous

Please Miss Hindley help me

In 1964, 22 years prior to her writing the following letter, Winnie Johnson’s 12 year old son went missing as he walked the short distance to his grandmother’s house in Manchester, England. Johnson’s worst fears were confirmed in 1985 – 21 years later – when ‘Moors Murderer‘ Ian Brady confessed to a journalist that he

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow

In 1934, four years before the superhero finally found a home at National Allied Publications, Jerry Siegel desperately needed an artist to work on his as-yet-unsuccessful Superman strip as a result of Joe Shuster‘s temporary departure. In an effort to secure his services, Siegel wrote the following letter to Buck Rogers artist Russell Keaton. Ultimately he

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

Pardon me

Sensing an opportunity to be pardoned of all previous crimes, William Bonney – a man of many names, now best known as Billy the Kid – approached Governor Lew Wallace in 1878 and offered to stand as a prosecution witness. Bonney had recently observed the murder of a lawyer during the final stages of the

I want to buy it

In August of 1982, aged 22, Marvel Comics fan Randy Schueller received the following letter from then editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics itself: James Shooter. The letter, which boasts a stunning letterhead and simply begins ‘I want to buy it’, was sent in response to an idea Randy had submitted to Shooter’s offices; an idea which

This rain of atomic bombs will increase manyfold in fury

At 11:00am on August 9th, 1945, just a minute before the second atomic bomb in the space of three days was dropped on Japan, a B-29 bomber named The Great Artiste quietly dropped three canisters from the sky. Inside each of the canisters, alongside a shockwave gauge designed by American physicist Luis Alvarez, was an

Name your price

On January 17th, 1874, 62-year-old North Carolina resident Chang Bunker passed away in his sleep after having contracted pneumonia. Tragically, within a few hours, his brother Eng also died. Less than two weeks later, the widows of Chang and Eng Bunker received the following letter from Brooklyn-based ‘Rozell, Horton & Gray’ in which the they

Disney, Day 1

On October 16th of 1923, just hours after striking a distribution deal with M. J. Winkler, near-penniless brothers Walt and Roy formed the company we now know as Disney. On the very same day, 21 year old Walt desperately wrote the following persuasive letter to the mother of Virginia Davis, a 5 year old girl

I’m sorry. My friend got me drunk.

Despite his fame, writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe struggled financially throughout his entire career, even following the publication of his much lauded poem, The Raven. He also enjoyed a drink or two, to a dangerously extent during later life. The following letter was written by Poe in July, 1842, and sent to his publishers

“He is a second Dirac, only this time human.”

Whilst heading up the Manhattan Project during World War II, theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer quickly became aware of a promising young physicist by the name of Richard Feynman. Sensing that Feynman would be incredibly valuable at UC Berkeley come the end of the war, Oppenheimer wrote the following letter to then chairman of its physics

You are Elvis Presley. I am Andy Kaufman.

On February 27th, 1969, 20-year-old Andy Kaufman wrote the following letter to his idol, Elvis Presley, and spoke of both his admiration for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and his desire to meet him in person. It would be another 3 years until Kaufman’s now famous Elvis act was first televised—a performance which Presley himself later

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

Dear Mayor of New York City

It’s no wonder that in a city as large and populous as New York, a steady stream of letters are written to the Mayor throughout the year by its citizens, the majority having been penned for different reasons. Below are just four such letters that I have plucked – with permission – from a truly

Al Capone is coming home

Following his release from prison late-1939, Al Capone returned to his home in Palm Island, Florida, and lived the last 7 years of his life in a state of confusion and bad health, brought on by a neuropsychiatric disorder caused by syphilis. Prior to said release, Miami Police Lieutenant James Barker caught wind of Capone’s

Full Metal Jacket offers no easy answers

On September 30th, 1988, a full year after controversially being classified VM18 by Italian authorities, Full Metal Jacket was reclassified and given a VM14 rating in Italy, effectively allowing anyone over the age of 13 to watch the movie. The original decision in 1987 had sparked much debate in the media, mainly as a result

I feel like an egg in a whisk

Jessie Corbett waited until 1924 to propose to the love of her life, John Wilks, and only chose that particular date as it was a leap year; a point in the calendar when, as a result of years of tradition, it wasn’t frowned upon for a woman to ask for a man’s hand in marriage.

Whatever you do, don’t touch his hair

On January 8th, 1957, a press conference confirmed millions of music lovers’ worst fears: that Elvis Presley would soon be drafted into military service. For the next 14 months – at which point his induction took place – countless Presley fans became consumed with panic and spent much of their time speculating about the King

Stop making “bums” of the school boys

The following plea was sent to then Postmaster General James Farley in 1934, at the height of the Great Depression. At this time especially, many men – particularly those out of work – were of the opinion that all employed females should be stripped of their jobs and replaced by men.  Source Transcript Jackson, Miss.8/2/34

Describe The Sky

Over the course of four years in the 1970s, artist G. C. Haymes sent approximately 500 letters to a wide-ranging selection of high profile people as part of a project entitled Skymail. Enclosed alongside the letters were return postcards, upon which the recipients were asked to ‘describe the sky’. Below is the original letter and

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

I can’t spell. I’m very upset

April 1964: The U.S. Department of Labor introduces new rules relating to foreign musicians entering the country, in effect making it more difficult for them to do so unless they can demonstrate a unique talent. The very recent onset of Beatlemania in America, coupled with misleading reports by the American press regarding this issue, results

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

I can and will do more good as a Federal Agent at Large

Elvis Presley was an avid collector of police badges and the owner of dozens from departments and agencies the length and breadth of the United States. But, there was one badge in particular that he was desperate to get his hands on—one which had, for a long time, proven elusive: a badge from the Bureau

The child is in gut care

Toddler Charles Lindbergh Jr., son of famous pilots Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow, was abducted from his crib on March 1st, 1932. The following ransom note was found at the scene. Although the ransom was paid a month later, the child’s body was discovered just miles from the Lindbergh’s home on May 12th. The exposure

For the sake of humanity

On July 23rd of 1939, as tensions mounted in Europe following Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia, Mohandas Gandhi, the famously non-violent leader of the Indian independence movement, wrote a letter to the man who was orchestrating what would become World War II: the leader of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler. As it happens, Gandhi’s letter—a clear and

I wrote a book called THE GODFATHER

In 1970, before Coppola had taken the helm, author Mario Puzo scribbled and sent the following letter to Marlon Brando in an effort to cast him in the movie adaptation of his novel, The Godfather. However, the studio, well aware of Brando’s recent bad form and notoriously overbearing demands, were less enthusiastic and refused to cast