Jewish Daily Forward: Liberate the Letter, Pt 2
On October 26, 1960, just days before Election Day, the two candidates for president issued statements commemorating the 170th anniversary of George Washington’s letter on religious pluralism to the Jews of Newport, R.I. The Republican, Vice President Richard Nixon, delivered his remarks in person, quoting from the letter’s definition of “toleration” and noting with pride that “after 170 years this letter still inspires us.” The Democrat, John F. Kennedy, could not attend and sent Eleanor Roosevelt to represent him. She referenced a different excerpt of the letter, its most famous, extolling the fact that America “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”
The 221st anniversary will be celebrated this August in Newport with a public reading of the letter; the governor of Rhode Island is scheduled to attend. But the honored guests won’t read from the original letter, because no one can read from the original letter. As the Forward has reported, it is locked up in an arts storage facility in suburban Maryland, and the private foundation that owns the iconic document has refused to allow it to be publicly shown and refused to say why.
comments powered by Disqus
- How Americans Feel About Religious Groups
- Tea Party support linked to educational segregation, new study shows
- History of Philly Rests Under I-95
- Agreement aims to protect North Shore wrecks from looters
- Award-Winning Filmmaker Kevin McCann to Produce the First Film about the Easter Rising in Ireland
- It's official: 2014 AHA election results are in
- In new book UC Berkeley historian Waldo E. Martin, Jr. takes Black Panther Party's point of view
- Economics historian finds that real social mobility takes hundreds of years
- Historian turns baker?