Life and Letters – 10 Letters to the President

I just love it when something I read, say in the New Yorker, resonates weeks later in a podcast I’m listen to or a TED Talk I watch.

This time the letter that Thomas Mallon then 11-year-old wrote to President Kennedy resurfaced when 99% Invisible did an episode on the 10 letters that President Obama gets every evening and the impact they have on keeping him in touch with the country.


111 Dover Parkway

Stewart Manor, L.I.

June 28, 1962

President Kennedy

White House

Washington D.C.

Mr. President:

I was very disappointed when at your news conference (June 27) you talked in favor of abolishing the prayer we say in our fifth grade class every morning.

I feel that the Supreme Court made a very grave mistake abolishing this prayer and that you made a very bad error supporting them.

If the country can’t pray in public how come In God We Trust is written on our money which circulates openly, and daily.

This is your administration’s most terrible mistake.

Yours truly,

Tom Mallon

The episode interviews Fiona Reeves, Director of Presidential Correspondence at the White House, and details out the meticulous work of her Office so that these 10 letters can reach the President’s folder every evening.


Worth a listen!