In 1961, immediately after overhearing her parents discuss the possibility of Soviet nuclear tests at the North Pole, 8-year-old Michelle Rochon grabbed a pencil and wrote a letter to U.S. President John F. Kennedy, in which she asked him to prevent the tests for one particular reason. Her letter, and the reply she soon received from Kennedy, can be read below.
(Source: The Letters of John F. Kennedy, published by Bloomsbury Press on October 29, 2013; Photo above: 8-year-old Michelle holding Kennedy's letter.)
Dear Mr. Kennedy,
Please stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole because they will kill Santa Claus. I am 8 years old. I am in the third grade at Holy Cross School.
THE WHITE HOUSE
October 28, 1961
I was glad to get your letter about trying to stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole and risking the life of Santa Claus.
I share your concern about the atmospheric testing of the Soviet Union, not only for the North Pole but for countries throughout the world; not only for Santa Claus but for people throughout the world.
However, you must not worry about Santa Claus. I talked with him yesterday and he is fine. He will be making his rounds again this Christmas.
(Signed, 'John Kennedy')
Miss Michelle Rochon
Marine City, Michigan