Kennedy, John F. Typed letter signed as President
, one page, on White House stationery, 9½ x 6½", Washington, Nov. 30, 1962. To Commissioner T.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission, regarding space communications. In part: "I am pleased…that you will be able to continue to serve the Commission and your Government as one of its key representatives at the forthcoming Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference on Space Communications in Geneva next October. As you know, all of us in this Administration place the highest priority on the program, already well-advanced, to bring into being at the earliest practicable date an operational global satellite communications system. In this, you have already played a most important role and it is, therefore, gratifying to know that we will continue to have the benefit of your years of experience and wise counsel in this highly complex field. The ultimate success of this program will depend upon our ability to secure international agreement upon frequencies to be allocated to this service. The fact that you are willing to undertake this added assignment after concluding over thirty-six years of distinguished federal service is indeed a tribute to your devotion to duty
As a senator, JFK had thought that the space program was a waste of money. Even as President, three weeks before Gagarin's flight, he had decided against funding the Apollo project, and, in fact, wanted to scrap NASA. What a difference the Russian's 108 minute orbit of the Earth made, or more precisely, the world's reaction to it. Winning in space suddenly became a political imperative.
The letter is matted with a color photo of JFK and a three-inch Presidential medallion and framed to an overall size of 23½ x 26¾". Buyer will probably want to replace the frame, which has numerous nicks, not affecting the very fine letter.
Estimated Value $3,000 - 4,000.
Ex Superior Galleries, Nov. 18, 1995, Lot 185 The Arden Family Holdings of Beverly Hills.