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President Roosevelt Letter to Reverend Peabody
Regarding Wartime Manufacture of Devotional Medals (SOLD)
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FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT. Typed Letter Signed as President, to Reverend Endicott Peabody. Washington, D.C., December 29, 1942. With two holograph changes. 1 p., 8 x 10½ in. On White House stationery.

Inventory #21981       SOLD — please inquire about other items

Complete Transcript

 December 29, 1942

My dear Dr. M. Peabody:

            Your letter of December 10th, enclosing one from the right Reverend Henry K. Sherrill, D.D., has been received. I can well understand that the crosses mentioned mean a great deal to the men in service.

            On inquiry, it has been brought to my attention that while steel is indeed a critical material, nevertheless, arrangements have been made that strips such as are required can be obtained for the manufacture of church medals which have a definite devotional value.

            As a matter of procedure, I would suggest that you have Bishop Sherrill place his order with the Whitehead & Hoag Company, instructing them to file the necessary forms with the War Production Board asking for the material required. I am sure that their application will receive prompt attention.

            With the best wishes and regards to Mrs. Peabody and yourself, I remain,

Sincerely,Affectionately,

            President F. Roosevelt

Reverend Endicott Peabody, D. D.

Groton School

Groton, Massachusetts

Historical Background

With American entry into World War II barely a year past, the nation faced the substantial challenge of ramping up its armed forces. The United States military ranked 17th in the world before the war, and faced deficiencies of every kind, from personnel, to vehicles, tanks, planes, arms, and ammunition. To overcome these gaps, all segments of society were engaged in the war effort, and rationing and production on the home front were as important as the actual boots on the ground. Here, Roosevelt responds to Reverend Endicott Peabody, founder of the Groton School for Boys, that despite wartime shortages and rationing of metal, religious medals would remain available for soldiers, noting the value to morale that such devotional objects provided.