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Presidents and Elections

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While Running for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Senator Barack Obama on Transparency and Limiting the Power of Special Interests

BARACK OBAMA, Typed Manuscript with autograph corrections. [Chicago, Ill., ca. May 21, 2007]. 2 pp, 8 ½ x 11 in. With 112 handwritten words in Obama’s red ink and pencil and 3 holes punched at left edge of each sheet. Published on the “Commentary” page of the Chicago Tribune, May 21, 2007.

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“When it comes to reforming Washington … Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis had the right idea. Sixty years ago he said, ‘Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.’ Brandeis was a progressive responding to the excesses of the Gilded Age. Nearly a century later, we find Washington in need of a lot of sunlight and disinfectant….

I’m not perfect. In my current pres. campaign, I shall have to raise money, and still have relationships w/lobbyists. But at least people will know who those relationships are...”

Over a year before he became the Democratic candidate for President, Senator Barack Obama addressed the issue of lobbyists, special interest groups, and campaign financing.  Obama’s message was published in the Chicago Tribune on May 21, 2007.  Obama’s careful edits, with over 100 words and many strike-outs in his hand, likely came too late for the editorial page deadline of this major metropolitan newspaper. Most of the text Obama wished to be struck remained, and several phrases he did not strike through (noted below in parentheses) were removed, possibly by the editorial page editor.

Item #22930, $7,500

Harry S. Truman on His 1948 Proclamation Recognizing Israel

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed, Independence, Missouri, March 25, 1970. 1 page. With envelope with printed free frank. [7.25”x10.5”]

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As for your interest in the proclamation of May 14, 1948, any document or statement issued by the President goes through a series of statements to make certain of its accuracy and clarity of meaning. I continue to hope that a reign of peace will soon come to pass ...

Item #21308.01, $20,000

Governor Ronald Reagan Opposes Withholding of State Income Tax

RONALD REAGAN, Autograph Letter Signed as governor of California, to Mary Boatman, June 2, 1967. 1 p. 8 x 10 in. Address penned by secretary, and then letter penned by Reagan.

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The poll this time was most interesting, particularly on 'Withholding.' This is the one area I feel it's necessary to hold out even if the poll is against me. Withholding may make it easier to pretend you aren't being taxed but it's also easier for govt. to raise taxes without getting a protest from the people....

Item #24387, $3,500

Ronald Reagan — The Great Communicator — Shares His Love of Horses with a Little Girl Who Wants One

RONALD REAGAN, Autograph Letter Signed with Initials, to Carol ?, ca. 1967-1975. 2 pp., 6 x 9 in.

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Horses have been a large part of my life and I love them as much as you do…. Being a father myself I know how very much your father would like to be able to help you realize your dream but sometimes we have to wait for the good things. If it will help to know this I didn’t have a horse of my own until after I was grown up. You’ll do better than that so keep on riding & studying….

Item #24844, $2,200

Lyndon B. Johnson on Civil Rights

LYNDON B. JOHNSON, Typed Letter Signed, to Michael J. Kirwan, March 17, 1965. 1 p., 6½ x 8½ in., with original envelope (7 x 4½ in.).

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there are few issues before the people of this country that are so rooted in rightness - constitutionally, morally, and humanly.

Just ten days after the “Bloody Sunday” confrontation at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, drew national attention to civil rights, President Johnson thanks a Congressman for his approval of Johnson’s major voting rights speech to Congress. Five months later, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

Item #24790, $6,500

Robert Kennedy Discourages a Write-In Campaign in 1964

ROBERT F. KENNEDY, Typed Document. Draft press release, extensive corrections and addenda in Robert Kennedy’s hand. n.d., [ca. March 5, 1964]. 1 page, 8 x 8 5/8 in.

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“President Johnson should be free to select his own running mate”

Item #22827, $5,500

Teletype Roll Reporting
President John F. Kennedy’s Assassination

[JOHN F. KENNEDY], Original teletype roll from UPI reporting the assassination of John F. Kennedy. [Dallas, Tex.], November 22, 1963. Single continuous roll, 8½ x 142 in. Tape repair to approximately first 12 inches, not affecting assassination reporting.

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Beginning with reports of peaceful protesters, this roll quickly descends into the horrific details of Kennedy’s murder in Dallas in as close to real-time as possible. Nearly everyone alive on November 22, 1963, remembers where they were upon hearing the news Kennedy was dead. This teletype roll—the very source of the report remembered by everyone—freezes that pivotal moment in time.

Item #23022, $5,000

JFK Photographs and Ephemera Collection

[JOHN F. KENNEDY], Archive. This amazing collection includes many original photographic prints of the Kennedy family, and an assortment of Kennedy-era White House ephemera including note cards and official funeral programs and material.

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Item #20708, $3,000

Former President Truman Praises Kennedy’s Far Reaching 1960 Democratic Platform on the Rights of Man and the Need for Security; Immigration; Health Care; Minimum Wage; Equal Work for Equal Pay; Civil Rights and Voting Rights

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Pamphlet Inscribed and Signed. 1960 Democratic National Convention program, Los Angeles, signed in 1964. “To Robert William Bean Kindest regards 1/22/64 Harry Truman / It’s a great platform!” 3¾ x 8½ in.

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Before John F. Kennedy could defeat Richard Nixon in the election of 1960, he had to win his party’s nomination against veteran Senator Lyndon Johnson and perennial candidate Adlai Stevenson. Kennedy did so handily, one the first ballot of the convention.

Item #23216, $1,650

Hawaii Statehood - Honolulu Star-Bulletin

[HAWAII], Newspaper. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Honolulu, Hawaii, March 12, 1959.

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A landmark issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin celebrating the imminent achievement of statehood for Hawaii after sixty years of territorial status. The huge banner headline reads “STATEHOOD!”, with related pictures and reports. The caption, “First Class Citizens Now,” is written above several images of common Hawaiians, neatly encapsulating the arguments against continued territorial status, which left Hawaiians significantly disenfranchised. Hawaii would officially become the 50th state in the Union in August 1959.

Item #21403, $395

John F. Kennedy Draft Speech Celebrating Israel’s 10th Anniversary

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Draft Typed Speech, as U.S. Senator, at the Greater Washington Observance of Israel’s Tenth Anniversary, Washington, D.C., May 11, 1958, with handwritten emendations. 6 pp. (lacking page 3 of 7). 8½ x 11 in.

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“It is heartening beyond words to spend a day where the focus is set upon works of peace and human achievement…. The years of crisis… have left no more bitter heritage than the homelessness and landlessness of millions. Yet the people of Israel, who have combined the loftiest idealistic vision with the greatest practical vigor, have proven that the human spirit – even under the cruelest suffering – has a power of endurance which no tyranny can extinguish.

            Israel is a land of many paradoxes, yet it has an inner strength and harmony which few nations of our time possess. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion observed some years ago: “If you don’t believe in miracles here, you aren’t a realist.”

John F. Kennedy first visited Palestine in 1939, and was an early and steadfast supporter of Israel. As a presidential candidate in 1960, he boldly declared, “Israel is here to stay.” President Harry Truman had formally recognized Israel within minutes of its Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, but Kennedy became the first U.S. president to create a military alliance and to openly supply arms to Israel.

Item #24386, $4,800

Margaret Truman’s Wedding Waltz

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Document Signed as former President, March 21, 1956. 1 p.

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“She lived in the White House / With her Dad and Mother / For her father was President / Better than any other…”

Item #21485, $2,500

Truman Refuses HUAC Subpoena Over Appointment, Despite FBI Warning, of Russian Spy to Lead IMF

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Typed Letter Signed (“Harry S. Truman”), as former President, to Congressman Harold H. Velde, chairman of the Committee on Un-American Activities, November 11, 1953. 2½ pp., 4to, marked “For Immediate Release.” With clipping of New York Times account of November 13, 1953. Signed copy of his letter to chairman Velde, evidently prepared for the press, explaining why he will not appear for the hearing.

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The doctrine [of separation of powers] would be shattered, and the President, contrary to our fundamental theory of Constitutional Government, would become a mere arm of the Legislative Branch of the Government if he would feel during his term of office that his every act might be subject to official inquiry and possible distortion for political purposes.

While the committee is now infamous for encouraging false accusations, it appears that in this case, the Congressional committee was indeed on the trail of a highly placed Soviet Spy.

Item #23659, $9,000

Reagan’s Pitch for a Reality Radio Series Based on His Yearling Row Ranch

RONALD REAGAN, Autograph Manuscript, c. 1953, unsigned, in pencil, on Reagan’s “Yearling Row” stationery. 13 pp.

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Do you know what it is like to be awakened at 2 AM of a dark foggy night by a telephone call from the Sheriff’s office? Your cattle have gone through the fence and are blissfully headed for Ventura blvd.’”

Item #24285, $8,000

John F. Kennedy Seeks to Set the Historical Record Straight on Munich

JOHN F. KENNEDY, Draft Typed Letter (unsigned), to the Editor of Time Magazine, June 13, 1952, with handwritten emendations. 4 pp. 8½ x 11 in, but for p. 4 which is cropped at bottom.

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Randolph S. Churchill denounces the ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude adopted by some Americans towards the English in regard to Munich and states that England ‘had no more moral or legal obligation’ to defend Czechoslovakia than had the United States.... Three days before the Munich Conference (September 26) the French received Chamberlain’s solemn pledge of absolute and immediate, as opposed to probable and eventual military action if France went to the Defense of Czechoslovakia….

That the British chose peace at this time rather than war is not, in my opinion, to their discredit, considering the poor condition of their armaments. As I stated in my book, While Why England Slept, the criticism directed against Munich could have been directed with more accuracy at Britain’s tardiness in rearming than against the pact itself…”

Item #24385, $2,500

Harry Truman Presidential Appointment to UN Agency for Palestinian Relief

HARRY S. TRUMAN, Signed Presidential appointment to a UN agency for Palestinian relief. February 21, 1952 [23”x19”]

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Item #21308.02, $2,000

President Harry S. Truman’s Presidential Proclamation Announcing the End of the War in Europe

HARRY S TRUMAN. [WORLD WAR II], Printed Document Signed as President. Washington, D.C., May 8, 1945. 1 p., 15 x 21½ in.

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“The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender … The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed…”

Item #24220, $20,500

Eisenhower Signed D-Day Message

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, Broadside Signed in dark blue ink. Statement to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force on June 6, 1944. Document is approx. 5¾ x 9½ in., archivally framed to approximately 22 x 14 in.

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From a limited edition of Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe, (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1948), limited to 1,426 copies. The war had ended only three years earlier, and Eisenhower must have been looking towards politics - he was elected to the Presidency in 1952.

Item #24122, $6,500

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Criticizes Thomas Paine on Opposing George Washington

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, Typed Letter Signed as President, to Frederic A. Delano. Washington, D.C., August 25, 1942, 1 p., 7 x 9 in. On White House stationery.

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Item #22923, $6,500

First Edition of FDR’s Committee for Civil Service Improvement Report, Signed by Three Supreme Court Justices

[FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT] [SUPREME COURT], Signed Book. Report of President’s Committee on Civil Service Improvement. [Washington, D.C.]

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This presentation copy to William H. McReynolds, the Liaison Officer for Personnel Management, is signed by all the committee members, including the chairman, Justice Stanley Reed, Justice Felix Frankfurter, Justice Frank Murphy, Attorney General Robert H. Jackson, Leonard D. White, General Robert E. Wood, and Cooper Union President Gano Dunn.

Item #22512, $3,500
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