Online Collection

Letter to Reverend William A. Holmes from Mrs. Lyndon O. Larson

Object Number: 2007.016.0310
Category: Documents
Original owner: Rev. William A. Holmes
Type of Object: Letter
Dimensions: 11 x 8 1/2 in. (27.9 x 21.6 cm)
Medium: Paper
Letter sent to Reverend William A. Holmes of Northaven Methodist Church in Dallas from Mrs. Lyndon O. Larson of Phoenix, Arizona.

Letter is typewritten on white typing paper and reads as follows:

"2520 West Coolidge
Phoenix, Ariz. 85017
December 3, 1963

Rev. Holmes
c/o First Methodist Church
Dallas, Texas

Dear Sir:

Have you heard the expression, "Half a truth is worse than a lie."?

It has been reported that you were speaking from your pulpit and made reference to the report that some school children had cheered when told of the death of the President.

I don't understand how anyone could believe such a report. Furthermore, I don't see why anyone, especially a minister, would repeat such a report without first looking into the report more closely.

The principal of that school said that the children did cheer when told that school would be dismissed, but that he never mentioned the death of the President because he felt that the parents of the children should be the ones to tell them.

Please correct this half-truth if you have not already done so.

Mrs. Lyndon O. Larson"

Envelope is type addressed to:
"Rev. Holmes, Methodist Minister
c/o First Methodist Church (changed in ink to Northaven)
Dallas, Texas (9018 Aldwick added in ink)"

"Mrs. Lyndon O. Larson
2520 West Coolidge
Phoenix, Ariz. 85017"

Envelope is postmarked: " PHOENIZ, ARIZ. / PM / 4 DEC 1964 / 1B" and "DALLAS, TEX. / PM / 5 DEC 1964" and stamped with a 5 cent U.S. postage stamp depicting George Washington.
Curator's Notes

When I first interviewed Rev. Holmes in March 2007, he was surprised to hear that there was still historical interest in his controversial sermon from the weekend of the Kennedy assassination. He and his wife soon decided to donate to the Museum the collection of more than 450 letters and cards that they received from around the world after excerpts of the sermon were broadcast on CBS.

Although several letters were critical of Holmes, the vast majority supported his beliefs as expressed in the sermon. Holmes was most proud of the letter he received from Christian philosopher Paul Tillich (1886-1965), while his children were thrilled with the letter from actor Hugh Brannum (1910-87), who played "Mr. Green Jeans" on the children's program "Captain Kangaroo." - Stephen Fagin, Associate Curator

All requests for permission to reproduce, publish or broadcast materials in this collection must be submitted to the Museum's registrar, using the Rights & Reproductions Request Form. Inquiries may be sent to