Online Collection

Letter to Congressman Bruce Alger from resident of Mesquite, TX

Object Number: 2014.003.0121.0002
Category: Documents
Original owner: Bruce Alger
Type of Object: Letter
Dimensions: 11 × 8 1/2 in. (27.9 × 21.6 cm)
Medium: Paper
Description
Handwritten letter to Congressman Bruce Alger from Mesquite, Texas, resident Mrs. W. M. Grisham, dated "11-5-63." (The letter was written after President Kennedy's death, so the author may have intended to write "12-5-63.") Grisham writes to request that Alger use his influence to back some legislation and to vote against others. She lists several bills she wants Alger to vote against, including civil rights legislation, "Federal Aid to Public & Private Schools; Mrs. Kennedy's mail postage for Free; $50,000 for a staff for Mrs. Kennedy; and Payment of Kennedy's death expenses." She concludes by asking Alger to use his influence "to keep am radio & newspapers for free speech."

Curator's Notes

Bruce Alger (1918-2015) was one of the larger-than-life ultraconservative personalities that dominated the political image of Dallas in the years before the Kennedy assassination.  In 1954, the Dallas native became the first Republican congressman from Texas since Reconstruction.  During his decade in Congress, he was considered one of the most conservative members of the U.S. House.  For example, in addition to sponsoring a bill for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations, he was the only congressman to oppose a federally-funded school lunch program.  Alger was particularly critical of the Kennedy administration and was present when Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson were accosted in Dallas during the last days of the 1960 campaign. - Stephen Fagin, Associate Curator

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