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44   Franklin D. Roosevelt Document Signed  $200 $525 $578 9 You must login to place a bid.
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#44 - Franklin D. Roosevelt Document Signed Estimate: $1,000+

Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 19 x 14, November 24, 1936. Colorful Shellback certificate issued to Charles W. Fredericks, a Secret Service agent who served as FDR's bodyguard during WWII. In part: "To all sailors wherever ye may be, and to all Mermaids, Whales, Sea Serpents, Porpoises, Sharks, Dolphins, Eels, Skates, Suckers, Crabs, Lobsters and all other Living Things of the Sea, Greetings. Know ye that on this Twenty Fourth day of November 1936 in latitude 00000 and Longitude 37° W. there appeared within Our Royal Domain the U.S S. Indianapolis bound South for the Equator and for Rio de Janiero, the Inter American Conference at Buenos Aires, and for Montevideo, with the President of the United States embarked. Be it remembered…Charles B. Fredericks having been found worthy to be numbered as one of our Trusty Shellbacks has been duly initiated into the Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of Deep.” Signed by “Davey Jones” and “Neptunus Rex” in type, and in fountain pen by President Roosevelt just below the Navy Department seal. Also signed in ink by Captain Henry K. Hewitt, later a WWII Admiral, under the gold foil seal, which is intact and retains a remnant of the red, white, and blue ribbon. Double-matted to an overall size of 24 x 19. In fine condition, with scattered small stains along the top edge.

Roosevelt boarded the USS Indianapolis—his personal ‘Ship of State’—on November 18, 1936, for a ‘Good Neighbor Tour’ cruise to South America, including the Pan American Conference in Buenos Aires. The trip marked the first time that a sitting president had visited outside North America. It was the third crossing of the equator for the ship, and as was tradition, 'Father Neptune' initiated neophyte pollywogs into hardened shellbacks. Those lucky initiates, like Fredericks, a Secret Service Agent on the trip and who served as FDR's bodyguard from 1942 until his death, received their shellback certificates signed by FDR. Nine years later, the USS Indianapolis served as the delivery vessel for the world's first atomic bomb. After its drop-off, the heavy cruiser was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Most of the nearly 1,200 personnel on-board were able to abandon ship, where the shark-infested waters left just 317 survivors once rescuers finally arrived five days later.

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