Heritage

JFK Once Wrote a Sweet Letter to a Child Reassuring Her About Santa's Safety

It was only logical for her to worry about his welfare during the Cold War.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / BETTMANN
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There was a lot to be worried about in 1961. Cold War tensions continued to escalate—and one young girl, well aware of the geopolitical conflict, had some very practical concerns about how it might endanger one of her favorite people.

That person was Santa Claus, and thankfully, U.S. President John F. Kennedy—what with his access to the highest level of security information—was able to reassure her that Santa would be just fine. We've learned of this thanks to a 1961 letter that JFK sent to the girl, Michelle Rochon in Marine City, Michigan, in response to a message she sent to the White House.

"I was glad to get your letter about trying to stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole and risking the life of Santa Claus," Kennedy begins, before going on to explain that all will be well. "However, you must not worry... I talked with him yesterday and he is fine. He will be making his rounds again this Christmas." Read the letter, tweeted by presidential historian Michael Beschloss, in full below:

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Many commenters on the tweet, which has reached 39,000 likes to date, believed that it was a subtle, pointed critique of our current president.

Donald Trump made headlines this Christmas Eve for a fumble on the phone with a child. He and his wife Melania were answering calls from kids to NORAD, a government agency that, in a gesture of goodwill, administers a Santa tracker. Any youth on the phone must, by definition, be interested in Santa's overnight whereabouts.

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The Trumps take calls from children to Norad

Trump, hearing that one caller was seven years old, found this confusing. "Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at 7, it's marginal, right?" he asked. The Post and Courier tracked down the girl on the other end: Collman Lloyd in Lexington, South Carolina. Though she had never heard the word "marginal" before, she was still startled.

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"I was like, 'wow.' I was shocked," she said. "It wasn't really [nerve-wracking], I just had to think of what the truth was."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Chloe Foussianes
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