BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A working draft of a speech, heavily revised by Reagan in his own hand, on the JFK and RFK assassinations – both the result, Reagan said, of un-American influences. JFK's murder by Oswald, who renounced his American citizenship to embrace Soviet communism, brought "communist violence… to our land," and RFK's assassination, by a Palestinian, was due, he noted presciently, to "the violence of war in the Middle East imported by an alien."
- A dramatic handwritten message, written as Robert F. Kennedy lay dying in an L.A. hospital, to Kennedy's wife, offering whatever help he can.
- A handwritten letter, penned shortly after miraculously surviving an attempt on his life, typically saying he's doing fine - even better than expected!
- The day after Goldwater's epic loss to Lyndon Johnson, Reagan writes, "He [Goldwater] is so unlike the picture they've painted of him. He is one of the most honest and likable guys you could imagine and compared to that bum in the White House, well...if I let myself think about that I'll have an upset stomach."
- Reagan was no fan of JFK's presidency, but writing in June '67, he thought the world of him compared to Lyndon Johnson. Kennedy, he says, was "a much more intelligent & perceptive man than the present President."
- A Custer buff, President Reagan argues with a historian that Custer – whom Reagan had played in the movies – was a serious, sober officer and not the swashbuckler of lore. Indeed, he offers a novel defense of Custer's Last Stand: Custer, having in his command two brothers, a nephew and a brother-in-law – all of whom would die with him at the Little Bighorn - would never have knowingly placed in harm's way members of his own family.
- Making the case for capital punishment as Governor of California, Reagan notes that it is the King James version of the Bible, "interpreted from the ancient Hebrew language," which rendered the 6th Commandment "Thou shalt not kill," instead of the more accurate "Thou shalt not murder," as appears in the Torah.
- Reagan comments on Jewish survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising joining the Polish National Army in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, which claimed 200,000 lives and left 80% of the city in ruins. The lesson of totalitarianism, he states, is that "regardless of its form, governments will be administered by human beings & they will give orders to other human beings. The answer lies in restricting the power of government, protecting humans from each other."
On Loving Nancy
- A love letter from 1963… "This is really just an 'in between' day. It is a day on which I love you three hundred and sixty-five days more than I did a year ago and three hundred and sixty five less than I will a year from now. But I wonder how I lived at all for all the three hundred and sixty-fives before I met you." [Courtesy Mrs. Ronald Reagan and Random House, Inc.]
SOURCE Shapell Manuscript Foundation