Lot #12
Franklin D. Roosevelt Typed Letter Signed as President on Star Spangled Banner

Rare FDR letter on the "one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, inspired by the bombardment of Fort McHenry"

This lot has closed

Estimate: $1500+

Description

Rare FDR letter on the "one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, inspired by the bombardment of Fort McHenry"

Important TLS as president, one page, 7 x 8.75, White House letterhead, May 16, 1939. Letter to W. Tilghman Hemsley, chairman of the executive committee of the Star Spangled Banner Regatta. In full: "Please accept my thanks for your kind letter of May twelfth inviting me to attend the celebration of the one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, inspired by the bombardment of Fort McHenry. I regret exceedingly that circumstances make it impossible to accept this invitation to participate in person. I hope, however, the celebration will be a successful one and one that will inspire all who participate with a new sense of appreciation of the stirring events it commemorates." In fine condition, with light edge toning. Accompanied by photocopies of associated correspondence (Hemsley's letter inviting him to the event, an internal White House memo, and their retained copy of this reply), provided to the consignor by the FDR Presidential Library & Museum.

Francis Scott Key's 'Star Spangled Banner,' written after he witnessed the British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, had served as an unofficial anthem of most branches of the United States armed forces since 1889, and had been codified as such by Woodrow Wilson with a 1916 executive order. In 1931, an act of Congress signed into law by President Hoover officially made it the national anthem of the United States.

According to the consignor's research, this is the only presidential letter on White House stationery mentioning the 'Star Spangled Banner' ever to come up for auction. A remarkable and patriotic piece.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #639 - Ended July 13, 2022





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