A signed letter by 14 U.S. presidents is now up for sale, with a six-figure price tag. This extraordinary document, featuring the autographs of almost all presidents from Herbert Hoover, holds the distinction of being the only one of its kind in the world. Notably absent are the signatures of John F. Kennedy and Joe Biden. The presidential parchment is being offered for sale through “Moments In Time” at a whopping price of $175,000.
A Fascinating Backstory
The story behind this letter is quite intriguing. As reported in Globe-News, it all began in October 1932 when a man named Richard C. Corbyn from Texas wrote a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, inquiring about a potential campaign stop in Arizona. Much to Corbyn’s surprise, Roosevelt not only responded but also signed the letter at the bottom. At the time, Corbyn was an 18-year-old, and little did he know that this exchange would set in motion a remarkable journey.
Thirty years later, in 1962, Corbyn realized that the letter would gain even greater value if he could get additional presidents to sign the same piece of paper. Thus began his mission to collect more signatures. The second president to sign was Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1962, followed by Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Herbert Hoover in 1963. Corbyn’s efforts to obtain JFK’s autograph were thwarted by the tragic assassination of President Kennedy.
It would take another twelve years before he could add another signature to the letter. Gerald Ford signed while in office in 1975, and Jimmy Carter followed suit in 1976. Richard Nixon signed in 1978, Ronald Reagan in 1980, George H. W. Bush in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1993, and George W. Bush in 2002. Securing Barack Obama’s signature proved to be more challenging, taking the Corbyns seven years until they finally obtained it in November 2015. The latest addition to the letter came from Donald Trump, who signed it in January 2020.
It is intriguing that the Corbyns seemingly have no interest in obtaining Joe Biden’s signature. Despite having diligently pursued and obtained the autographs of all the previous presidents, the absence of an attempt to secure Biden’s signature on the letter is puzzling. Perhaps they consider the collection complete without it, or there may be some other reason behind this omission.
Beyond its hefty price tag, this signed letter holds immense historical value. It is a testament to the continuity and legacy of the U.S. presidency, spanning several decades. The signatures of these fourteen presidents etched on a single piece of parchment symbolize the ideals, aspirations, and challenges that these leaders faced during their respective times in office.
Whether the letter finds a buyer willing to spend $175,000 for this unique piece of American history remains to be seen. However, there is no doubt that this rare artifact serves as a reminder of the remarkable journey undertaken by Richard C. Corbyn and the indelible mark left by each president on the fabric of America’s story.