Universal Translator

Showing posts with label letters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label letters. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

That Second Kind of Christmas




Author John Steinbeck wrote  to his friend, politician Adlai Stevenson in November 1959. At this time, it had been discovered that certain game shows had been rigging their outcomes, John wrote to his friend about the fact that maybe America itself was being rigged by a pervasive corporate and political immorality and being effectively dulled by increasing gluttony and want.



New York
1959
Guy Fawkes Day

Dear Adlai,

Back from Camelot, and, reading the papers, not at all sure it was wise. Two first impressions. First, a creeping, all pervading nerve-gas of immorality which starts in the nursery and does not stop before it reaches the highest offices both corporate and governmental. Two, a nervous restlessness, a hunger, a thirst, a yearning for something unknown—perhaps morality. Then there's the violence, cruelty and hypocrisy symptomatic of a people which has too much, and last, the surly ill-temper which only shows up in human when they are frightened.

Adlai, do you remember two kinds of Christmases? There is one kind in a house where there is little and a present represents not only love but sacrifice. The one single package is opened with a kind of slow wonder, almost reverence. Once I gave my youngest boy, who loves all living things, a dwarf, peach-faced parrot for Christmas. He removed the paper and then retreated a little shyly and looked at the little bird for a long time. And finally he said in a whisper, "Now who would have ever thought that I would have a peach-faced parrot?" 

Then there is the other kind of Christmas with present piled high, the gifts of guilty parents as bribes because they have nothing else to give. The wrappings are ripped off and the presents thrown down and at the end the child says—"Is that all?" Well, it seems to me that America now is like that second kind of Christmas. Having too many THINGS they spend their hours and money on the couch searching for a soul. A strange species we are. We can stand anything God and nature can throw at us save only plenty. If I wanted to destroy a nation, I would give it too much and would have it on its knees, miserable, greedy and sick. And then I think of our "Daily" in Somerset, who served your lunch. She made a teddy bear with her own hands for our grandchild. Made it out of an old bath towel dyed brown and it is beautiful. She said, "Sometimes when I have a bit of rabbit fur, they come out lovelier." Now there is a present. And that obviously male teddy bear is going to be called for all time MIZ Hicks.

When I left Bruton, I checked out with Officer 'Arris, the lone policeman who kept the peace in five villages, unarmed and on a bicycle. He had been very kind to us and I took him a bottle of Bourbon whiskey. But I felt it necessary to say—"It's a touch of Christmas cheer, officer, and you can't consider it a bribe because I don't want anything and I am going away..." He blushed and said, "Thank you, sir, but there was no need." To which I replied—"If there had been, I would not have brought it."

Mainly, Adlai, I am troubled by the cynical immorality of my country. I do not think it can survive on this basis and unless some kind of catastrophe strikes us, we are lost. But by our very attitudes we are drawing catastrophe to ourselves. What we have beaten in nature, we cannot conquer in ourselves.

Someone has to reinspect our system and that soon. We can't expect to raise our children to be good and honorable men when the city, the state, the government, the corporations all offer higher rewards for chicanery and deceit than probity and truth. On all levels it is rigged, Adlai. Maybe nothing can be done about it, but I am stupid enough and naively hopeful enough to want to try. How about you?

Yours,

John











(Source: America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction; Image: John Steinbeck, via lettersofnote.com .)


For more fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos; visit the Letters of Note archive here.



Monday, 19 September 2016

Mark Twain and his New-Fangled Writing Machine



"Few authors have made an impact as enduring as literary icon Samuel Clemens, a man who, under his pen name, Mark Twain, wrote such classics as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a book which has been read by many millions of people around the world since its publication in 1884. It was ten years earlier, whilst shopping in Boston, that a curious Clemens spotted and then bought a Remington No.1, the very first “type writer” to be produced by E. Remington and Sons, released to the public that year. The first letter he wrote on his “new fangled writing machine”--which, incidentally, could only produce upper-case characters--was to his brother, Orion. Nine years after this letter was typed, Twain became the first author to deliver a typewritten manuscript to a publisher. It was his memoir, Life on the Mississippi." (www.lettersofnote.com)


Transcript
BJUYT KIOP N LKJHGFDSA:QWERTYUIOP:_-98VX5432QW RT

HA
HARTFORD, DEC. 9, 1874
DEAR BROTHER:

I AM TRYING T TO GET THE HANG OF THIS NEW F FANGLED WRITING MACHINE, BUT AM NOT MAKING A SHINING SUCCESS OF IT. HOWEVER THIS IS THE FIRST ATTEMPT I EVER HAVE MADE, & YET I PERCEIVETHAT I SHALL SOON & EASILY ACQUIRE A FINE FACILITY IN ITS USE. I SAW THE THING IN BOSTON THE OTHER DAY & WAS GREATLY TAKEN WI:TH IT. SUSIE HAS STRUCK THE KEYS ONCE OR TWICE, & NO DOUBT HAS PRINTED SOME LETTERS WHICH DO NOT BELONG WHERE SHE PUT THEM.

THE HAVING BEEN A COMPOSITOR IS LIKELY TO BE A GREAT HELP TO ME, SINCE O NE CHIEFLY NEEDS SWIFTNESS IN BANGING THE KEYS. THE MACHINE COSTS 125 DOLLARS. THE MACHINE HAS SEVERAL VIRTUES I BELIEVE IT WILL PRINT FASTER THAN I CAN WRITE. ONE MAY LEAN BACK IN HIS CHAIR & WORK IT. IT PILES AN AWFUL STACK OF WORDS ON ONE PAGE. IT DONT MUSS THINGS OR SCATTER INK BLOTS AROUND. OF COURSE IT SAVES PAPER.

SUSIE IS GONE, NOW, & I FANCY I SHALL MAKE BETTER PROGRESS. WORKING THIS TYPE-WRITER REMINDS ME OF OLD ROBERT BUCHANAN, WHO, YOU REMEMBER, USED TO SET UP ARTICLES AT THE CASE WITHOUT PREVIOUSLY PUTTING THEM IN THE FORM OF MANUSCRIPT. I WAS LOST IN ADMIRATION OF SUCH MARVELOUS INTELLECTUAL CAPACITY.

                                  LOVE TO MOLLIE.
YOUR BROTHER,
           SAM.


[Letter taken from the More Letters of Note book. Image at www.lettersofnote.com courtesy of Vassar College; reproduced with permission of the Mark Twain Project. For more letters of note, click here.]




Saturday, 21 December 2013

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."



In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's now-defunct newspaper, The Sun, concerning Santa Claus' existence. In response, Francis Pharcellus Church published the editorial 'Is There a Santa Claus'.  The editorial became the most reprinted English-language editorial in history.


'



Virginia's great-grandson appeared with the letter on the Antiques Roadshow in 1997, where the letter was valued at $20,000 – $30,000. You can watch a clip in which the letter was valued here

Monday, 16 December 2013

Eight-year-old to President Kennedy: "Save Santa!"

Eight-year-old Michelle holding Kennedy's letter in 1961


In 1961, after hearing her parents discussing possible 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, asking him to sop nuclear testing for one special reason. Her letter, and the reply she received from the President, can be read below.






Dear Mr. Kennedy,

Please stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole because they will kill Santa Claus. I am 8 years old. I am in the third grade at Holy Cross School.

Yours truly,

Michelle Rochon

--------------------------

THE WHITE HOUSE

October 28, 1961

Dear Michelle:

I was glad to get your letter about trying to stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole and risking the life of Santa Claus. 

I share your concern about the atmospheric testing of the Soviet Union, not only for the North Pole but for countries throughout the world; not only for Santa Claus but for people throughout the world. 

However, you must not worry about Santa Claus. I talked with him yesterday and he is fine. He will be making his rounds again this Christmas. 

Sincerely, 

(Signed, 'John Kennedy')

Miss Michelle Rochon
Marine City, Michigan




(Source: The Letters of John F. Kennedy, published by Bloomsbury Press on October 29, 2013, via www.lettersofnote.com )

"Letter from Santa Claus" by Mark Twain

On Christmas morning of 1875, three-year-old Susie Clemens found this letter from "Santa Claus".  I'm guessing that her father Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) might have played "Santa's helper" that day. 




Palace of St. Nicholas.
In the Moon.
Christmas Morning.

My dear Susie Clemens:

I have received and read all the letters which you and your little sister have written me by the hand of your mother and your nurses; I have also read those which you little people have written me with your own hands—for although you did not use any characters that are in grown peoples' alphabet, you used the characters that all children in all lands on earth and in the twinkling stars use; and as all my subjects in the moon are children and use no character but that, you will easily understand that I can read your and your baby sister's jagged and fantastic marks without any trouble at all. But I had trouble with those letters which you dictated through your mother and the nurses, for I am a foreigner and cannot read English writing well. You will find that I made no mistakes about the things which you and the baby ordered in your own letters—I went down your chimney at midnight when you were asleep and delivered them all myself—and kissed both of you, too, because you are good children, well trained, nice mannered, and about the most obedient little people I ever saw. But in the letter which you dictated there were some words which I could not make out for certain, and one or two small orders which I could not fill because we ran out of stock. Our last lot of kitchen furniture for dolls has just gone to a very poor little child in the North Star away up, in the cold country above the Big Dipper. Your mama can show you that star and you will say: "Little Snow Flake," (for that is the child's name) "I'm glad you got that furniture, for you need it more than I." That is, you must write that, with your own hand, and Snow Flake will write you an answer. If you only spoke it she wouldn't hear you. Make your letter light and thin, for the distance is great and the postage very heavy.

There was a word or two in your mama's letter which I couldn't be certain of. I took it to be "trunk full of doll's clothes." Is that it? I will call at your kitchen door about nine o'clock this morning to inquire. But I must not see anybody and I must not speak to anybody but you. When the kitchen doorbell rings, George must be blindfolded and sent to open the door. Then he must go back to the dining room or the china closet and take the cook with him. You must tell George he must walk on tiptoe and not speak—otherwise he will die someday. Then you must go up to the nursery and stand on a chair or the nurse's bed and put your ear to the speaking tube that leads down to the kitchen and when I whistle through it you must speak in the tube and say, "Welcome, Santa Claus!" Then I will ask whether it was a trunk you ordered or not. If you say it was, I shall ask you what color you want the trunk to be. Your mama will help you to name a nice color and then you must tell me every single thing in detail which you want the trunk to contain. Then when I say "Good bye and a merry Christmas to my little Susie Clemens," you must say "Good bye, good old Santa Claus, I thank you very much and please tell that little Snow Flake I will look at her star tonight and she must look down here—I will be right in the west bay window; and every fine night I will look at her star and say, 'I know somebody up there and like her, too.'" Then you must go down into the library and make George close all the doors that open into the main hall, and everybody must keep still for a little while. I will go to the moon and get those things and in a few minutes I will come down the chimney that belongs to the fireplace that is in the hall—if it is a trunk you want—because I couldn't get such a thing as a trunk down the nursery chimney, you know.

People may talk if they want, until they hear my footsteps in the hall. Then you tell them to keep quiet a little while till I go back up the chimney. Maybe you will not hear my footsteps at all—so you may go now and then and peep through the dining-room doors, and by and by you will see that thing which you want, right under the piano in the drawing room-for I shall put it there. If I should leave any snow in the hall, you must tell George to sweep it into the fireplace, for I haven't time to do such things. George must not use a broom, but a rag—else he will die someday. You must watch George and not let him run into danger. If my boot should leave a stain on the marble, George must not holystone it away. Leave it there always in memory of my visit; and whenever you look at it or show it to anybody you must let it remind you to be a good little girl. Whenever you are naughty and somebody points to that mark which your good old Santa Claus's boot made on the marble, what will you say, little sweetheart?

Goodbye for a few minutes, till I come down to the world and ring the kitchen door-bell.

Your loving 

Santa Claus

Whom people sometimes call "The Man in the Moon"






(Source: Posterity: Letters of Great Americans to Their Children via www.lettersofnote.com )

Sunday, 20 October 2013

"Mark Twain Reviews Ambrose Bierce: 'The Laugh Is Too Expensive'"

Ambrose Bierce
Samuel Clemens








Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was asked in 1874 by his publisher 
to write a review of the book  Nuggets and Dust Panned Out in California by Dod Grille,  
written by Ambrose Bierce.   The publisher, Chatto & Windus
knew that Bierce and Clemens had known each other since the 1860s, and figured a quotable review by Clemens might boost lagging sales of the book.  They got a review, just not one they expected.  And, needless to say, Clemens and Bierce remained friends.





Farmington Avenue,
Hartford

4/8/74

Gentlemen:

"Dod Grile" (Mr. Bierce) is a personal friend of mine, & I like him exceedingly — but he knows my opinion of the "Nuggets & Dust," & so I do not mind exposing it to you. It is the vilest book that exists in print — or very nearly so. If you keep a "reader," it is charity to believe he never really read that book, but framed his verdict upon hearsay.

Bierce has written some admirable things — fugitive pieces — but none of them are among the "Nuggets." There is humor in Dod Grile, but for every laugh that is in his book there are five blushes, ten shudders and a vomit. The laugh is too expensive.

Ys truly

Samuel L. Clemens





(Source: Boston Public Library, via Lettersofnote.com)

Monday, 7 October 2013

"The Mind...Can Never Again Be Washed Clean"

Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain
In 1905,  Brooklyn Public Library ordered that all copies of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn be banned from the children's department, due to their characters' "coarseness, deceitfulness and mischievous practices." Asa Don Dickinson, a librarian, wrote to Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain to inform him of the ban.  Mr Clemens responded with his signature wit.


The Letter:

Sheepshead Bay Branch
Brooklyn Public Library
1657 Shore Road
Brooklyn-New York,

Nov. 19th, '05

Dear Sir:

I happened to be present the other day at a meeting of the children's librarians of the Brooklyn Public Library. In the course of the meeting it was stated that copies of "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn" were to be found in some of the children's rooms of the system. The Sup't of the Children's Dep't—a conscientious and enthusiastic young woman—was greatly shocked to hear this, and at once ordered that they be transferred to the adults' department. Upon this I shamefacedly confessed to having read "Huckleberry Finn" aloud to my defenseless blind people, without regard to their age, colour, or previous condition of servitude. I also reminded them of Brander Matthews' opinion of the book, and stated the fact that I knew it almost at heart, having got more pleasure from it than from any book I have ever read, and reading is the greatest pleasure I have in life. My warm defense elicited some further discussion and criticism, from which I gathered that the prevailing opinion of Huck was that he was a deceitful boy who said "sweat" when he should have said "perspiration." The upshot of the matter was that there is to be further consideration of these books at a meeting early in January which I am especially invited to attend. Seeing you the other night at the performance of "Peter Pan" the thought came to me that you (who know Huck as well as I—you can't know him better or love him more—) might be willing to give me a word or two to say in witness of his good character though he "warn't no more quality than a mud cat."

I would ask as a favour that you regard this communication as confidential, whether you find time to reply to it or not; for I am loath for obvious reasons to bring the institution from which I draw my salary into ridicule, contempt or reproach.

Yours very respectfully,

Asa Don Dickinson.
(In charge Department for the Blind and Sheepshead Bay Branch, Brooklyn Public Library.)

His Reply:

21 Fifth Avenue,
November 21, 1905

Dear Sir:

I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn for adults exclusively, and it always distresses me when I find that boys and girls have been allowed access to them. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean; I know this by my own experience, and to this day I cherish an unappeasable bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean sweet breath again this side of the grave. Ask that young lady—she will tell you so.

Most honestly do I wish I could say a softening word or two in defence of Huck's character, since you wish it, but really in my opinion it is no better than those of Solomon, David, Satan, and the rest of the sacred brotherhood.

If there is an unexpurgated Bible in the Children's Department, won't you please help that young woman remove Huck and Tom from that questionable companionship?

Sincerely yours,

S. L. Clemens

I shall not show your letter to anyone—it is safe with me.





 (Source: Mark Twain's Autobiography, Part 2)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

"Twenty Steps to Overcome 'Low-Spirits' "


 Essayist and clergyman Sydney Smith sent his good friend, Lady Georgiana Morpeth the following letter to help her overcome her depression:


Foston, Feb. 16th, 1820

Dear Lady Georgiana,

Nobody has suffered more from low spirits than I have done—so I feel for you.

1st. Live as well as you dare.
2nd. Go into the shower-bath with a small quantity of water at a temperature low enough to give you a slight sensation of cold, 75° or 80°.
3rd. Amusing books.
4th. Short views of human life—not further than dinner or tea.
5th. Be as busy as you can.
6th. See as much as you can of those friends who respect and like you.
7th. And of those acquaintances who amuse you.
8th. Make no secret of low spirits to your friends, but talk of them freely—they are always worse for dignified concealment.
9th. Attend to the effects tea and coffee produce upon you.
10th. Compare your lot with that of other people.
11th. Don't expect too much from human life—a sorry business at the best.
12th. Avoid poetry, dramatic representations (except comedy), music, serious novels, melancholy sentimental people, and every thing likely to excite feeling or emotion not ending in active benevolence.
13th. Do good, and endeavour to please everybody of every degree.
14th. Be as much as you can in the open air without fatigue.
15th. Make the room where you commonly sit, gay and pleasant.
16th. Struggle by little and little against idleness.
17th. Don't be too severe upon yourself, or underrate yourself, but do yourself justice.
18th. Keep good blazing fires.
19th. Be firm and constant in the exercise of rational religion.
20th. Believe me, dear Georgiana, your devoted servant, Sydney Smith



(Source, via lettersofnote.com: The Selected Writings of Sydney Smith; Image of Sydney Smith: Replica by Henry Perronet Briggs, oil on canvas, 1840 (1833) NPG 1475 © National Portrait Gallery, London.)




Saturday, 7 September 2013

Now for Something Completely Different: The Dam Blue Red Bull


 When I read it I imagined a Monty Python skit, but you can't really make this stuff up. 
 It's pretty much self-explanatory.  Just a slice of country life. 

Ajax by John Steuart Curry, 1937 at Smithsonian American Art Museum




To the Superintendent, Atlantic City Railroad, Sept. 1896

Dear sir,

On the 15th yore trane that was going to Atlanta ran over mi bull at 30 mile post.

He was in my Pastur
You orter see him

Yore ruddy trane took a peece of hyde outer his belly between his nable and his poker at least fute square and took his bag most off and he lost is seeds. I don’t believe hi is going to be any more use as a bull.

I wish you would tell the President he is ded, for he is as good as ded ever since he was hit by yore trane.

Yours respectfully

A.T. Harris

P.S.—Be sure and report him as ded as he has nothing left but his poker. He was a red bull but he stand around in these days looking dam blue.









Thursday, 15 August 2013

Twain to Keller: "...All Ideas Are Second-Hand..."


When she was 11-years-old, Helen Keller wrote a story called The Frost King.  The story was published in The Goodson Gazette, a journal on deaf-blind education. Keller was accused of plagiarism after someone accused her story of being very similar to Margaret Canby’s Frost Fairies.  There was then a tribunal to discover if she had knowingly plagiarized Canby’s story.  Ultimately, young Keller was acquitted.  However, it had been discovered that Keller had been read the story when she was very young by using finger spelling.  However, some came to Keller’s defense saying that she had adapted her own story out of the story by Canby.  Anne Sullivan said, “all use of language is imitative, and one's style is made up of all other styles that one has met.”  Margaret Canby herself stated that Keller's version was superior to her own.  Keller never wrote fiction again.

Mark Twain read about the event in Keller’s autobiography, and sent the following letter of support:


Riverdale-on-the-Hudson

St. Patrick's Day, '03



Dear Helen,—

must steal half a moment from my work to say how glad I am to have your book, and how highly I value it, both for its own sake and as a remembrance of an affectionate friendship which has subsisted between us for nine years without a break, and without a single act of violence that I can call to mind. I suppose there is nothing like it in heaven; and not likely to be, until we get there and show off. I often think of it with longing, and how they'll say, "There they come—sit down in front!" I am practicing with a tin halo. You do the same. I was at Henry Roger's last night, and of course we talked of you. He is not at all well;—you will not like to hear that; but like you and me, he is just as lovely as ever.



I am charmed with your book—enchanted. You are a wonderful creature, the most wonderful in the world—you and your other half together—Miss Sullivan, I mean, for it took the pair of you to make a complete and perfect whole. How she stands out in her letters! her brilliancy, penetration, originality, wisdom, character, and the fine literary competencies of her pen—they are all there.



Oh, dear me, how unspeakably funny and owlishly idiotic and grotesque was that "plagiarism" farce! As if there was much of anything in any human utterance, oral or written, except plagiarism! The kernel, the soul—let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances—is plagiarism. For substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources, and daily use by the garnerer with a pride and satisfaction born of the superstition that he originated them; whereas there is not a rag of originality about them anywhere except the little discoloration they get from his mental and moral calibre and his temperament, and which is revealed in characteristics of phrasing. When a great orator makes a great speech you are listening to ten centuries and ten thousand men—but we call it his speech, and really some exceedingly small portion of it is his. But not enough to signify. It is merely a Waterloo. It is Wellington's battle, in some degree, and we call it his; but there are others that contributed. It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite—that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that.


Then why don't we unwittingly reproduce the phrasing of a story, as well as the story itself? It can hardly happen—to the extent of fifty words except in the case of a child; its memory-tablet is not lumbered with impressions, and the actual language can have graving-room there, and preserve the language a year or two, but a grown person's memory-tablet is a palimpsest, with hardly a bare space upon which to engrave a phrase. It must be a very rare thing that a whole page gets so sharply printed on a man's mind, by a single reading, that it will stay long enough to turn up some time or other to be mistaken by him for his own. No doubt we are constantly littering our literature withdisconnected sentences borrowed from books at some unremembered time and now imagined to be our own, but that is about the most we can do. In 1866 I read Dr. Holmes's poems, in the Sandwich Islands. A year and a half later I stole his dedication, without knowing it, and used it to dedicate my "Innocents Abroad" with. Then years afterward I was talking with Dr. Holmes about it. He was not an ignorant ass—no, not he; he was not a collection of decayed human turnips, like your "Plagiarism Court;" and so when I said, "I know now where I stole it, but whom did you steal it from," he said, "I don't remember; I only know I stole it from somebody, because I have never originated anything altogether myself, nor met anyone who had."


To think of those solemn donkeys breaking a little child's heart with their ignorant rubbish about plagiarism! I couldn't sleep for blaspheming about it last night. Why, their whole lives, their whole histories, all their learning, all their thoughts, all their opinions were one solid rock of plagiarism, and they didn't know it and never suspected it. A gang of dull and hoary pirates piously setting themselves the task of disciplining and purifying a kitten that they think they've caught filching a chop! Oh, dam—


But you finish it, dear, I am running short of vocabulary today.


Every lovingly your friend,

Mark







(Source: www.lettersofnote.com; Mark Twain's Letters, Vol. 2 of 2; Image: Mark Twain, via.)


Friday, 26 July 2013

Letter to Dennis


In 1945 after Germany’s surrender, Lt. Richard Helms, intelligence operative with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), managed to get his hands on some of Adolf Hitler’s stationary from the remains of the Reich Chancellery. Helms, who later became a director of the CIA during the Watergate and Vietnam War eras, sent this letter back home to his three-year-old son, Dennis. The letter, which now resides in the CIA Museum in Langley, happened to have arrived there the day after Osama bin Laden was killed. Be sure to read the full story at The Washington Post (link below after letter and transcript).





Image: The Washington Post


OBERSALZBERG, DEN V-E day

ADOLF HITLER

Dear Dennis, 

The man who might have written on this card once controlled Europe — three short years ago when you were born. Today he is dead, his memory despised, his country in ruins. He had a thirst for power, a low opinion of man as an individual, and a fear of intellectual honesty. He was a force for evil in the world. His passing, his defeat — a boon to mankind. But thousands died that it might be so. The price for ridding society of bad is always high. 

Love, Daddy