Lot 175: ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D. Group of three Typed Letters Signed, "FDR" or "Franklin DRoosevelt," as President, to journalist Lowell Mellett,
November 1, 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: "GEORGE WASHINGTON HAD THE COURAGE TO ADMIT A SIN," UNLIKE HENRY LUCE ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D. Group of three Typed Letters Signed, "FDR" or "Franklin DRoosevelt," as President, to journalist Lowell Mellett, concerning Henry R. Luce and other publishers, and personal topics. Together 3 pages, 8vo or 4to, White House stationery; faint scattered staining on 1942 letter, horizontal folds. Washington, 31 December 1940; 5 May 1942; 22 March 1944
1940: Memorandum, concerning a meeting between Mellett and Luce, with a holograph correction: "I said on Sunday night that you cannot make an agreement with an incendiary bomb. He misses the point when he tries to argue as to whether you like TIME or not. You and I can admit that TIME makes false reporting extremely attractive.
"Henry Luce evades . . . when he even mentions rebutting . . . that particular story.
"George Washington did not rebut his father's objections to cutting down the cherry tree.
"George Washington had the courage to admit a sin. Henry Luce lacks that ability!"
1942: Memorandum, concerning a photograph understood to be a joke [not present]: ". . . I have but one final suggestion to complete the perfection of this Temple of that ancient god MEL-ET, and that is that we acquire from Messrs. Ringling Brothers an historic supreme Calliope to be put on top . . . in order that it may discourse sweet harmony capable of being heard in the Halls of the Congress. I suggest also that a special loud speaker from said Calliope be inserted into the offices of the Washington Post."
1944: ". . . I'm very much impressed by what you tell me concerning the readiness of The Washington Star, and perhaps other newspapers, to publish points of view contrary to their own. In these times, when it is more than normally necessary to achieve the fullest understanding of vital public issues, no greater service could be performed by the publishers, in my opinion. . . ."
with--Two items: Retained draft of a letter from Mellett to Luce in which Mellett accuses Luce of lax journalistic ethics, especially as concerns violations of responsibility for accuracy in Time magazine. 4 pages, 4to, rectos only. Np, 7 December 1940 * Henry R. Luce. Typed Letter Signed, his reply to Mellett's letter: ". . . You evidently don't like TIME. Is it necessary that you should? . . ." 1 page, 4to, "Time" stationery. New York, 24 December 1940.