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Robert F. Kennedy

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Robert Francis Kennedy, 1925-1968.  Attorney General of the United States; United States Senator from New York.  Typed Letter Signed, Robert F. Kennedy, one page, 8" x 10½", on stationery of the Office of the Attorney General, Washington, D.C., August 2, 1963.  With original envelope.

Kennedy invites Mrs. Joseph Goodfellow to a meeting of community leaders "to discuss a problem of importance in this community and to the country.  /  The President, as you know, has been extremely concerned about the number of school dropouts.  As many as seven and a half million teenagers may fail to complete their secondary education during the 1960's.  Much has been written about this problem—both nationally and locally—and it is our feeling that the time has come to take constructive action.

President John F. Kennedy often expressed his concern that the question of jobs was the most important issue confronting the United States—an issue, he said, that involved Americas position of leadership in the world.  Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, he pointed out, had said that the hinge of history would move when he was able to demonstrate that his system could out-produce ours. The hinge of history will move if we are not able to find jobs for our people, not only during recessions but also during periods of prosperity. 

Hence in a Chicago speech in March 1963, JFK declared that, just as during the Great Depression, "every effort must be made by all of us to strengthen the economy so that we can find work for the people who want it.  The challenge, he said, was unemployment among the post-World War II baby boom generation, which posed one of the most expensive and explosive social and economic problems now facing this country.

Thus, this call to community leaders by Robert Kennedy, his brother's de facto second in command, was an early step in the Kennedy Administration's effort to address the dropout problem—which President Kennedy connected directly to national security and international leadership.

Kennedy has signed this letter with a bold, black fountain pen signature.  The letter is in fine condition, with normal mailing folds that are not nearly as pronounced as the scan suggests.  Were it not for a name is written in the top margin in another hand, we would describe this letter as very fine.  The accompanying envelope has been opened, and a glue stain shows through on the back from the underneath side of the flap but does not affect the front.  It is in fine condition as well.




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