Tasty fruitcake vs. distasteful advertising

The Library of Congress has in its files, even the digitally available ones, quite a selection of correspondence to and from the Coolidge White House. In the roaring 20s, many enterprising companies sought the president’s endorsement. Unfailingly, Coolidge’s secretaries would respond that the president viewed any involvement of his person and his office in advertising “distasteful” and politely but firmly decline.

Here is one such exchange

A Waco, TX confectionery had sent the Coolidges a basket of their undoubtedly fine products (“fruit cake and other confections”) in October 1927. The following June, they asked for permission to use Coolidge’s letter of thanks for advertising purposes (click on pics for better readability):

They enclosed the letter – and we may be assured that it came from the heart, as Coolidge was an inveterate nibbler:

Acting secretary Edward Clark, Everett Sanders having left the White House meanwhile, sent back the standard form letter:

Which the Gross girls had no choice but to accept just as politely. Never mind the occasional typo, I like their statement that they “regard Coolidge as distinguished in the affairs of his Country” and as “beloved and respected by all who may have followed his unostentatious and able public career.”

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