Dear Person

It’s difficult to overstate my love for this wonderful letter of thanks, written in 1982 by the late Jack Lemmon. It was sent to friend and fellow actor, Burt Reynolds, in response to a donation made to the Jack Lemmon Burn Center—one can only hope that Lemmon thanked all donors in a similarly amusing manner. This precious

Ladies & Gentlemen of A.D. 2088

Back in 1988, as part of an ad campaign to be printed in Time magazine, Volkswagen approached a number of notable thinkers and asked them to write a letter to the future—some words of advice to those living in 2088, to be precise. Many agreed, including novelist Kurt Vonnegut; his letter can be read below. (Source: TIME,

Very untruly yours

In March of 1987, having paid a hefty licensing fee of $500’000 to Capital Records and Michael Jackson for the privilege, Nike released the first ever television commercial to feature a song from the Beatles‘ sacred back catalogue—in this case, Revolution. Rather unsurprisingly, the move was seen by many as a controversial one, particularly by

There’s no hope in war

In November of 1967,  Kurt Vonnegut wrote the following letter to the US government in defense of his son, Mark, who had recently refused to fight in the Vietnam War. (Source: Kurt Vonnegut: Letters–reprinted with permission.) November 28, 1967 To Draft Board #1, Selective Service,Hyannis, Mass. Gentlemen: My son Mark Vonnegut is registered with you. He is now

I am a human being

In October of 1989, two weeks after a heated meeting in which he informed his hugely influential agent, Michael Ovitz, that he would soon be leaving CAA to join rival agency ICM, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (Flashdance, Jagged Edge) wrote Ovitz the following defiant letter and stood firm. What was seen by many to be a brave letter quickly circulated Hollywood, and soon

Our Frank

On the night of December 21st, 1988, a bomb exploded on board New York-bound Pan Am Flight 103 and ripped the aircraft apart, its wreckage then raining down on the sleepy Scottish town of Lockerbie below. All 259 passengers and crew perished, as did 11 local residents. One of the passengers, 45-year-old Frank Ciulla (pictured above), had been travelling

People simply empty out

In 1969, publisher John Martin offered to pay Charles Bukowski $100 each and every month for the rest of his life, on one condition: that he quit his job at the post office and become a full-time writer. 49-year-old Bukowski did exactly that, and just weeks after leaving work finished writing his first book, Post

I am desperate to have some real fun

In January 1960, 9 years and 250 episodes after first being introduced to a baffled but delighted audience, The Goon Show’s final installment was broadcast on BBC radio, much to the dismay of its many fans. Written chiefly by Spike Milligan, the show’s 10 series had been a surreal mixture of sketches, music and general

What did you say? I can’t hear you…

On June 10th of 1967, Spencer Tracy — a Hollywood star who was nominated for nine Best Actor Oscars during his career, two of which he won — passed away after suffering a heart attack at the home he shared with his partner, Katharine Hepburn. Eighteen years later, Hepburn wrote him a letter. The clip above shows Katharine

I’m unhappy, hope you’re unhappy too

Here we have the first letter sent by 21-year-old Morrissey to his Scottish pen-pal, Robert Mackie in 1980, in response to a personal ad in Sounds magazine. His note was written on the back of a James Dean photo (James Dean was of course the subject of a book written by Morrissey around that time), and

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,

Steve, I’ve got news

In July of 1988, a lawyer named Becky Klemt (above, pictured in 1990) of law firm Pence & MacMillan in Laramie, Wyoming, contacted several California attorneys and asked for assistance in collecting some outstanding child support on behalf of her client — a lady whose husband, the debtor, had recently moved to Los Angeles. Six weeks later, by which

I AM the boss

In 1970, three years after co-founding Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner hired 21-year-old Annie Liebovitz as a staff photographer; her work impressed, and in 1973 she was named “Chief Photographer” at the title. Nine years later, by which time the magazine had become widely read — thanks in some small part to Leibovitz’s numerous iconic cover shots — the following exchange

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

The most beautiful work of all

Punk pioneer Patti Smith and influential photographer Robert Mapplethorpe enjoyed a close, often intense relationship that began in 1967 when 20-year-old Patti moved to New York City. The pair hit it off immediately, and for the next seven years they lived together in Manhattan. In 1989, 22 years after first meeting and by which time

John Cleese vs The Sun

In 1982, British tabloid The Sun reported that filming on Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life had been marred by an incident involving John Cleese and a group of extras dressed as Zulu warriors. According to the article, Cleese, frustrated that bad weather was slowing the shoot, had “leaped about among the extras demanding ‘Which one

The end of the world of books

In 1975, Norman Maclean‘s book, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, was rejected by publishers Alfred A. Knopf after initially being green-lit — thankfully it was eventually released by University of Chicago Press, to much acclaim. Six years after the rejection, in 1981, an editor at Knopf named Charles Elliott wrote to Maclean and expressed

Apple must make Macintosh a standard

In June of 1985, 30-year-old Microsoft CEO Bill Gates sent the following remarkable memo to both the then-CEO of Apple, John Sculley, and then-head of Macintosh development, Jean Louis Gassée, and urged them to spread their wings by licensing their hardware and operating system to other companies. Apple ignored his advice. Five months after he sent the

The other guy just blinked

In April of 1985, in a misguided attempt to revitalise the brand, The Coca-Cola Company stunned millions by announcing their decision to change the formula of Coca-Cola. Almost as soon as “New Coke” was unveiled, the backlash began, and in fact the reaction was so negative that within three months the old formula had been

New Year Greetings

Here we have a wonderful New Year’s greeting from the early-1980s, written on an exposure sheet by the late-Norman McLaren—a pioneering animator who in 1941 established an animation studio at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, a studio in which he produced numerous award-winning films and taught countless aspiring animators until his retirement in

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

Don’t say it

Back in the mid-1980s, a young man in his early-20s named James Harmon began writing to a huge number of notable people — authors, academics, actors, thinkers; all of whom he admired — and asked, “If you could offer the young people of today one piece of advice, what would it be?” Over the coming

When are you going to release my film?

Terry Gilliam faced a problem in 1985: Although it had been released without a hitch by distributors outside the US, his final cut of Brazil was deemed unfit for release in North America by executives at Universal. Faced with Gilliam’s stern refusal to re-edit his work and craft a more commercial movie as proposed, a

I was 2 busy listening 2 the grass grow

Here’s a sweet little handwritten letter from Prince in June of 1984, to a young fan named Annalisa Masters. Prince was 26-years-old at the time and had just released his incredible sixth album, Purple Rain; a month later, the movie to which it was the soundtrack was also unveiled. Until recently this letter was on

Charles Bukowski on Censorship

In 1985, following a complaint from a local reader, staff at the Public Library in Nijmegen decided to remove Charles Bukowski‘s book, Tales of Ordinary Madness, from their shelves whilst declaring it “very sadistic, occasionally fascist and discriminatory against certain groups (including homosexuals).” In the following weeks, a local journalist by the name of Hans van

I love life too much

In 1985, 24-year-old Kirk Bloodsworth was sentenced to death after being wrongly convicted of the rape, mutilation, and first-degree murder of a 9-year-old girl named Dawn Hamilton. He spent the next eight years in jail — two of which he spent on death row, awaiting execution — until, in 1993, he became the first such

Frank Sinatra on Crossword Puzzles

When he wasn’t charming audiences with his singing and acting skills, the inimitable Frank Sinatra could often be found with his head buried in a crossword puzzle. In fact, such was his love of the trusty crossword that, when he was referenced in the New York Times crossword in the early 1980s, he wrote a

SEVEN LITTLE MEN HELP A GIRL

When, in early-1986, Disney executives decided to change the title of their upcoming animated feature from ‘Basil of Baker Street’ to the less ambiguous ‘The Great Mouse Detective‘, its production team were less than pleased. One animator in particular, Ed Gombert, harnessed his displeasure to comical effect by creating, and circulating, the following: a fake memo

We must stop not meeting like this

The following ridiculous letter — and I mean that in the best possible sense — was written in 1982 by chat show host Michael Parkinson, and sent to a friend and much-loved comedian who was an interviewee of his on numerous occasions: Spike Milligan. I’m afraid I have nothing to offer in terms of context, however

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 pity you

A highly unflattering Rolling Stone article about Queen‘s South American tour in 1981 — excerpt here — prompted the following scathing letter; originally written in a fit of rage by the band’s drummer, Roger Taylor, on an airline sickness bag. Unfortunately I’m unable to locate a picture of said sick-bag, so this image of the

I need a monkey

Early-1983: Steven Spielberg writes a short note to Forrest Ackerman — editor of film magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland — and speaks briefly of the “insane” casting process on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions. Image: Heritage Auctions Transcript Dear Forry, Thank you for your kind and very amusing note the other

We get a kick outa being flattered!

Back in 1986, some years after first becoming a fan of the character as a child, Dale Lund wrote a letter of thanks to Hank Ketcham, the cartoonist responsible for originally creating, drawing, and writing the Dennis the Menace cartoon strip. This charming, illustrated note was Dennis’ reply. Transcript follows. Image courtest of Dale Lund. Image:

I was sickeningly awful

December 1984: During the run-up to the release of A Passage to India, one of its supporting cast, Alec Guinness, writes an embarrassed letter of congratulations to director David Lean. Even before the movie’s initial reviews — many of which quickly questioned the strange casting choice of Guinness as the Indian professor Godbole — Guinness had

Please don’t let this go to your head

Early-1980, whilst sitting in an Advanced Chemistry class at Laney High School in North Carolina, a clearly smitten, 18-year-old Michael Jordan wrote the following cheeky letter of apology to then-girlfriend Laquette, after recently making her “look pretty rotten.” Transcript follows. Image courtesy of Lelands. Image: Lelands Transcript Michael Jordan My Dearest Laquette How are you and your

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

The links between science fiction & science are well established

The following stirring open letter was written by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry in 1980, and was essentially a rare public endorsement of the then-newly formed Planetary Society, an organisation started as a means to support the exploration of the Solar System and search for extraterrestrial life. Founded by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman in 1980, the

I may be killed in my attempt to get Reagan

On March 30th of 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley wrote the following letter to actress Jodie Foster. In it, Hinckley—a man so obsessed with Foster as a result of her role in Taxi Driver that he had previously followed her to Yale University, enrolled in a class, and proceeded to stalk her—made clear his immediate plan:

We are the suicide beat of the NON-GENERATION

In 1988, having just self-financed and produced their debut single, Suicide Alley, the Manic Street Preachers began to send copies to numerous music publications in an effort to spread the word. The following impassioned letter — in which James Dean Bradfield sells the band’s vision and disassociates them from those other acts who had “become a stagnant, caricatured

If membership is restricted to men, the loss will be ours

Early-1981, following IBM’s withdrawal of support due to the organisation’s continued exclusion of women within its ranks, renowned astronomer Carl Sagan sent the following impassioned letter to each and every fellow member of The Explorers Club—an international society dedicated to scientific exploration since its inception in 1904—and argued for a change of policy. Later that

The Birth of Steampunk

Writing to science fiction magazine Locus in April of 1987, author K.W. Jeter responds to Faren Miller‘s review of his new novel, Infernal Devices, and in the process coins the term ‘steampunk‘ to describe the sub-genre of work then-written by just a trio of authors that included, alongside himself, Tim Powers and James Blaylock. As we

siseneG

Not a missive per se but close; so close that I’m willing to bend my own rules just this once. This incredibly short story was sent by Arthur C. Clarke to the editor of Analog magazine in March of 1984, along with a short handwritten note on its cover. The humorous 31-word tale – siseneG

I do not feel that Madonna is ready yet

1981: Not believing her to be “ready yet”, then-President of Millenium Records Jimmy Ienner politely turns down an aspiring singer by the name of Madonna after listening to four or her songs; his least favourite of which – Love On The Run – can be heard above. Her debut album was released by Sire Records just two years

A lot of people believe that beauty is some kind of conspiracy

August 1981, in a bid to gain some high-profile support for a fledgling theatre company with which he was involved, John Carey wrote a letter to author Kurt Vonnegut and asked for his backing. Below is Vonnegut’s generous, insightful reply. Transcript follows. Image courtesy of John Carey. Image: John Carey Transcript 228 E 48 NYC

Don’t do it for anyone else

It’s incredible to think that Keith Haring was only alive for 31 years, given the impact of his work. In New York particularly, his public pop-art greeted many thousands of people every day, and internationally he was, and still is, highly regarded. He also left behind a valuable legacy that includes, alongside his artwork, the

Together we can “BEAT IT”!

I’m suffering miserably from a bout of man-flu at the moment. As a tribute to its seemingly monstrous grip – and due in no small part to the fact that very little research is required when writing the introduction – I bring you a brief but endearing ‘get well soon’ letter, written by Michael Jackson

Remembering John Peel

When he wasn’t on-air, championing the music of previously unheard bands to an adoring audience, the late, great John Peel could often be found responding personally to the warm mountain of feedback his pioneering broadcasts generated. Below is one such reply: a brief and typically charming letter, typed in 1985 below a picture of a tractor cab

Barfly, I love you

Prior to the release of Barfly in 1987, its writer – the late, great, Charles Bukowski – wrote the following ‘letter from a fan’ as a public show of support for the film’s production. In it, he speaks highly of the filming process under Barbet Shroeder‘s direction; makes clear his admiration for Mickey Rourke, the

The good of the Universal Church

First ordained in 1972, it was six years later, in 1978, that then-31-year-old priest Stephen Kiesle was first arrested after tying up and molesting two boys in a San Francisco church rectory. In 1981, at which point his probation came to an end, he, with the help of Bishop John Cummins, requested to leave the

Oh what an angry person you are!

In 1982, aged 17, Andrew Humphrey decided to send one more letter to Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal. Says Andrew: We are the same age, and I had written her a couple of fan letters in my early teens, but had no reply. When clearing out my desk before heading to university in 1982, I found

Your Dalek blueprints are enclosed

From the production offices of the BBC in the early-1980’s, we have a rather cute, and for some reason – to me at least – highly amusing letter informing an avid Doctor Who fan named Ronald that his request for Dalek blueprints had been successful. It’s also a form letter, meaning the BBC must have

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

Accept me for what I am – completely unacceptable

Late-1980, in an effort to strike up conversation with fellow music lovers, Glasgow-based Robert Mackie placed a personal ad in Sounds magazine and, before long, had a new pen-pal in the form of 21-year-old Steven — a highly opinionated, often sarcastic writer from Manchester who was undeniably passionate about music. They exchanged letters for 18 months. Shortly afterwards, in 1983,

I was not an actress but rather a victim of degradation

October, 1986: In response to an autograph request from a fan, actress Linda Boreman writes the following angry note. Fourteen years previous, in 1972, Boreman, under her stage name Linda Lovelace, had starred in a hardcore pornographic movie that would go on to become the highest grossing x-rated film of all time: Deep Throat; it

STAR TREK/Casting

It could have been so different. From the archives of Paramount we have a memo—written in April of 1987 to the studio’s Head of Network TV—detailing the acting talent then being considered for various roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation, a programme that would begin to grace the small screen just five months later. A

Fraternally, Brother Vonnegut

In 1989, eager to seek feedback from an established, highly influential author, and in an effort to simply reach out to a long-time inspiration, first-time novelist Mark Lindquist wrote to his idol, Kurt Vonnegut. Some time later a reply materialised in the form of the admirably gracious typewritten letter seen below, in which Vonnegut spoke of

Characters are more important than jokes

In the 1980s, intrigued as to the techniques employed when producing one of the world’s most adored comic strips, aspiring artist and Calvin and Hobbes fan Todd Church took a chance and sent an inquisitive letter to the offices of the strip’s Kansas syndicate. A few weeks later – much to his surprise – Todd

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

Try not to make an ass of yourself

On the evening of July 6th, 1984, The Jacksons reunited and embarked on a 55-date tour of the U.S. and Canada. Prior to the Victory Tour‘s first show, the following “Good Luck” telegram was sent to Michael Jackson by his friend, Marlon Brando. Transcript follows. (Source: Heritage Auctions; Image of Brando & Jackson, via.) Transcript

Marvel Editors…you are the droppings of the creative world

Mid-1987, after nine years as editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter was fired from his position at Marvel Comics and almost immediately, Vince Colletta – an oft-criticised Marvel inker and friend of Shooter who, it is suggested, had long been given work only due to his strong bond with the boss – found himself ostracised by his remaining

I am excited about going into space

In 1985, having been selected by NASA from a pool of thousands, 37-year-old social studies teacher Christa McAuliffe began preparations in an effort to become the first ‘teacher in space’. The project was the result of a very successful effort by the U.S. government to provoke wider public interest in the STS-51-L space program, and

Could you send me a little something?

Hot on the heels of Steve Martin’s personal letter comes another fan mail response — again with a humorous post-script — but this time courtesy of Martin’s sorely missed Planes, Trains and Automobiles co-star: the late, great, John Candy. It was sent in December of 1984, just months after Candy’s breakout role in Splash had hit the screens, and

You don’t understand “ordinary people”

Unhappy at being treated “increasingly badly” at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1985 and as a result eager to begin an institute of his own within which to continue his research, 26-year-old computer scientist Stephen Wolfram looked to ex-colleague and physics Nobelist Richard Feynman for advice. Feynman’s honest, humorous, and less than encouraging response can

A Personal Letter From Steve Martin

Celebrities are faced with a dilemma as their star ascends: the fan mail that used to trickle to the front door now needs its own home, and replying to those messages of support is suddenly a full-time job of its own. A small few battle on valiantly, determined to respond personally to each and every

It is my dream and goal to capture TRUTH

In 1988 as his record-breaking Bad World Tour rolled on, Michael Jackson penned a rare note to Bill Pecchi, a camera operator who, due to his recent work on the movie Moonwalker, had been asked to film crowd reactions prior to and during each of the 123 concerts. The letter followed a clearly emotional conversation between the

Supermensch

From the archives of Heritage Auctions comes what appears to be the hilarious last page of a letter from Comic-Con co-founder and letterer Shel Dorf to legendary DC Comics editor Julie Schwartz. Usually I’d refrain from posting less than the entire missive but this particular sheet, written on Dorf’s early ’80s letterhead and bearing a striking

I cannot conceal my annoyance

As you read the following letter from Harlan Ellison – particularly the incredible first paragraph – bear in mind that Thomas Pluck, the letter’s recipient, was an avid fan of Ellison’s at the time and had previously paid good money to become a member of the Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, thereby gaining access to more

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

I felt the risk of being overwhelmed by Giger

Considering the hugely positive reaction to his incredible, Oscar-winning work on the film’s predecessor, it’s little wonder that H. R. Giger was “disappointed” not to be contacted when production began on Aliens, the second installment in what is one of the most successful movie franchises in cinema’s history. Indeed, Giger, the celebrated Swiss artist who famously

You’re boring

Studio head Harvey Weinstein sent this fantastically blunt letter to Errol Morris in 1988, following the director’s recent promotional interview for The Thin Blue Line. Morris’s documentary eventually went on to win multiple awards and much acclaim, and the subsequent exoneration of the movie’s “star” earned Miramax — Weinstein’s company — invaluable publicity, but at

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

No wonder Mary Poppins was awful in this regard

Following its release in 1988, the production team responsible for Who Framed Roger Rabbit were instantly applauded by the millions of stunned moviegoers who subsequently saw the film, and rightly so, as even now (an unbelievable 22 years later) the most hardened critic would have difficulty finding fault with the near-seamless interactions between live-action and

Anything which weakens you, weakens America

Just a few days after appearing before the Tower Commission as a result of his involvement in the Iran-Contra arms scandal, Ronald Reagan received the following handwritten letter of support from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. In it, Thatcher empathises with ‘Ron’ over his harsh treatment by the press, informs him that his previous achievements

Hostages For World Peace

Circa 1986, Jeremy Stone (then-President of the Federation of American Scientists) asked Owen Chamberlain to forward to him any ideas he may have which would ‘make useful arms control initiatives’. Chamberlain – a highly intelligent, hugely influential Nobel laureate in physics who discovered the antiproton – responded with the fantastic letter seen below, the contents

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

Just personal enough

For authors as notable as the late Robert Heinlein, the practice of replying to fan-mail can be an incredibly time consuming affair. Some take the easy route and don’t respond at all, whilst others make a valiant effort to reply to as many as humanly possible. Up until 1984 – at which point ‘the advent

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

SAY YES I NEED A JOB

In 1989, at the end of a disastrous telephone interview in which he alluded to playing pirated versions of their games, Tim Schafer was advised by David Fox to send in his resume and a covering letter relating to the role of Assistant Programmer/Designer at LucasArts (at the time still named Lucasfilm). Schafer, in an

Number One Snoopy Place

A couple of days ago, as the axe was barely settling in the head of Charlotte Braun, I was alerted to another letter by Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. He wrote this one back in 1986, in response to an inquisitive letter from a 15 year old boy named Randee. Randee had questioned Schulz regarding what

The result would be a catastrophe

Just 73 seconds after launch on January 28th, 1986, the Challenger space shuttle broke apart over the coast of Florida and ended the lives of all seven crew members. A subsequent investigation determined that an O-ring failure on one of the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters, coupled with extremely cold weather around the time of launch,

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 refuse to allow Stanley to get away with his robbery

Whilst serving as a combat correspondent during the Vietnam War, U.S. Marine Gustav Hasford began to write a semi-autobiographical novel entitled The Short-Timers. Released in 1979 to critical acclaim and later picked up by Stanley Kubrick, the book was adapted to become Full Metal Jacket, but not without problems, as disputes arose between Hasford and

Tobacco Placement, 1983

Here’s an interesting glimpse into the world of product placement. As you can see, in the early 80s, now defunct tobacco giant Brown & Williamson hired a company by the name of Associated Film Promotions (also now defunct) to secure screen time for their cigarettes in major motion pictures. This particular letter outlines their plan

Let the stillborn midget rest in peace

A fantastically informal letter from Richard Nixon to President Reagan in August of 1987, almost a year after the Iran-Contra scandal was uncovered. No stranger to scandal himself, Nixon commends Reagan’s most recent speech, offers some advice and proceeds to end the note with a creative reference to the Tower Commission. Source Transcript RICHARD NIXON

Blade Runner will prove invincible

In 1968, author Philip K. Dick’s post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?—the story of a bounty hunter, Rick Deckard, whose job is to find and “retire” rogue androids—was published, almost immediately generating interest from film studios keen to adapt it for the big screen. Early talks and screenplay drafts failed to

DON’T BEND OVER FOR THE WIVES OF BIG BROTHER

The PMRC, formed in 1984, are the committee responsible for the introduction of Parental Advisory stickers on CD covers. The committee was formed by the ‘Washington Wives’; four women who are also married to members of government, most notably Al Gore’s wife, Tipper Gore. Musician Frank Zappa strongly opposed this form of censorship and sent