Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Children's Letters to the President

There was an article in Prologue about children's letters to the President. Did you ever write the President as a child? I know I did! Now, while my letter didn't make the article, this was still a great read.

Some of the letters mentioned were (I tried to give you a variety...there were lots more mentioend):
  • One from 12-year-old Fidel Castro to FDR
  • One from 9-year-old Bobby Kennedy to FDR
  • One to Eisenhower from some girls in Montana protesting the draft of Elvis Presley
  • One from an 8-year-old boy who commiserated with Nixon about his bout of pneumonia.

While all the letters are fun and worth the read, I'm including my favorite in this post for you:

Sometimes, the personal and the political come together. In 1984, Andy Smith, a seventh-grader in South Carolina, wrote to President Ronald Reagan about a problem that plagues children everywhere: a messy room. Andy wrote, "Today my mother declared my bedroom a disaster area. I would like to request federal funds to hire a crew to clean up my room."

The President sent back a full-page handwritten letter brimming with tongue-in-cheek humor. "Dear Andy," he wrote. "Your application for disaster relief has been duly noted but I must point out one technical problem; the authority declaring the disaster is supposed to make the request. In this case your mother."

Then he took the opportunity to apply one of his administration's political themes to Andy's personal situation:

May I make a suggestion? This administration, believing that govt. has done many things that could better be done by volunteers at the local level, has sponsored a Private Sector Initiative Program, calling upon people to practice volunteerism in the solving of a number of local problems. Your situation appears to be a natural. I'm sure your Mother was fully justified in proclaiming your room a disaster. Therefore you are in an excellent position to launch another volunteer program to go along with the more than 3000 already underway in our nation—congratulations. Give my best regards to your Mother.

So get your dose of presidential history through a child's eye today!

No comments: