April 8th, 2012

carole lombard 07
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A letter from the president

Less than a year after paying a call to the residence of a friend, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable received a letter from him. What makes this unusual is that the friend happened to be the president of the United States.

That's Carole chatting with Franklin D. Roosevelt following his "fireside chat" of Dec. 29, 1940, a radio address where the president spoke about national security and coined the phrase "arsenal of democracy" (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/73489.html). Less than a year later, the U.S. was thrust into World War II as a result of Pearl Harbor, and the Gables sent a letter to the White House a few days later pledging their support. FDR replied, in a letter sent Dec. 16:

This letter is now being auctioned at eBay, and as you might expect with the confluence of a Franklin Roosevelt signature on a letter sent to a pair of Hollywood icons, it's going for quite a lot -- in fact, the opening bid is a whopping $11,000. Bidding is slated to end at 7:08 p.m. (Eastern) April 17.

There probably aren't very many of us here who can afford to bid on such a valuable historical artifact, but there's no law against online window shopping, so if you'd like to check it out, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Franklin-D-Roosevelt-Signed-Letter-WWII-to-Clark-Gable-and-Carol-Lombard-/300692865369?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4602b10159.

One can imagine that both Clark and Carole were thrilled to receive a reply from Roosevelt, but little did they know that several weeks later, this would lead from a triumph...

...to a personal tragedy.
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