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Richard M. Nixon

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 “With a war in the Gulf and a recession, it is difficult to make predictions as to how 1991 will sort out.”

Richard Milhous Nixon, 1913–1994.  37th President of the United States, 1969–1974.  Typed Letter Signed, RN, with holograph emendation, one page, 7¼ x 10½”, on engraved personal stationery, Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, January 28, 1991.  With original envelope.

Nixon refers to the two biggest problems that confronted President George H. W. Bush in 1990 and 1991:  the first Gulf War, code named Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and the economic recession that drove unemployment to close to 8%.  Looking to the unpredictable future, Nixon thanks his friend and supporter, William W. Stover, for a gift of navel oranges to begin 1991.  He mentions his wife, Pat, and the Nixon family.  He writes, in full:  “With a war in the Gulf and a recession, it is difficult to make predictions as to how 1991 will sort out.  But at least, thanks to you, the Nixon family and staff will enjoy our beginning the new year with oodles of vitamin C in its most delicious form.  /  I have always considered it obscene to juice a navel orange and consequently I will think of you and your thoughtfulness every time I peel one by hand.  /  Pat joins me in expressing our appreciation and our very best wishes.

The Gulf War began in August 1990 as Operation Desert Shield, the buildup of troops and the defense of Saudi Arabia following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990.  When Iraq refused to withdraw, the United States led a coalition of 35 countries to expel Iraq.  The shooting war began with aerial and naval bombardment on January 17, 1991, just 11 days before Nixon wrote this letter.  The ground assault followed on February 24.  It lasted four days.  On February 28, Bush declared a cease fire and announced that Kuwait had been liberated.

In January 1991, when Nixon wrote this letter, the United States was in the midst of what turned out to be a relatively short economic recession.  The economy weakened in 1989 and 1990, the result of the Federal Reserve Board’s effort to reduce inflation through a tight money policy.  In July 1990, the United States saw the end of the longest peacetime economic expansion in American history. The recession technically lasted eight months, until March 1991, although unemployment continued to rise, ultimately hitting 7.8% in June 1992.  The recession played a large role in Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton’s defeat of Bush in the 1992 presidential election.

Stover, with whom Nixon kept in regular contact, was a 1955 graduate of Stanford University Law School.  He also served as the chief of staff for California Senator George L. Murphy.

This is a beautiful letter.  Nixon has written the salutation, “Dear Bill,” by hand and has signed with his famous initials “RN” in bright blue rollerball.  The letter has two normal mailing folds, neither of which touches Nixon’s handwriting.  The letter is in very fine condition, and we would grade it extra fine were it not for the folds.  The accompanying mailing envelope was sealed only in one small spot; the glue on the envelope flap is virtually all untouched.  The envelope has ordinary postal markings and overall is in very fine condition as well.

Like all of our items, this letter comes with our written guarantee of authenticity without time limit to the original purchaser.

Unframed.  Click here to ask us about custom framing this piece.


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