By Thomas F. Schwartz
On March 30, 1932, a letter was sent to President Herbert Hoover from a young boy in Jackson, Tennessee along with a photograph. Perhaps his first letter ever written to a President, the young man wrote:
Mr. Herbert Hoover
This letter is going to be different from any other I ever wrote because it has the same name at the end and beginning.
I have seen your picture in our history and the screen to. I am going to send you one of mine.
I had my eleventh birthday Easter Sunday and I am in the lower fifth grade.
I have one brother who is twelve years old and one who is eight.
I was less than three years old when my father died and so I don’t remember him.
We are a busy family for we three boys go to school and my mother to work at the same time.
The letter must have resonated with the President. Having lost his own father when he was six and a mother who was forced to find ways to supplement income for three children, President Hoover understood the emotion behind words penned by the eleven year old. Instructing Lawrence Richey, his secretary, to respond to the young Hoover, the President sent a photograph of himself with King Tut, his beloved dog.