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US JFK letter promising Santa safe during Cold War on display

15:41  25 december  2019
15:41  25 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

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‘They will kill Santa ’: In 1961, JFK assured a third-grader that Kris Kringle was safe from the Russians. As the Cold War escalated, an 8-year-old girl fretted over the fate of the North Pole . So she wrote a a heartfelt letter to the president. The Kennedy family at Christmas in 1962.

In 1961, JFK reassured a young writer to the White House that Santa Claus was still coming to town. And Santa Claus continues to make his rounds. To learn more about Michelle Rochon and her letter to John F . Kennedy , check out this 2014 Boston Globe article featuring our archives!

BOSTON (AP) — In the throes of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was planning to test a massive nuclear bomb in the Arctic Circle.

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2006, file photo, a portrait of former President John F. Kennedy, framed by Christmas decorations, hangs in the White House in Washington. A copy of Kennedy's 1961 letter reassuring an 8-year-old Michigan girl, who had written him concerned that Santa would be killed if Russia tested a nuclear bomb at the North Pole, is being featured in December 2019 at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)© Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2006, file photo, a portrait of former President John F. Kennedy, framed by Christmas decorations, hangs in the White House in Washington. A copy of Kennedy's 1961 letter reassuring an 8-year-old Michigan girl, who had written him concerned that Santa would be killed if Russia tested a nuclear bomb at the North Pole, is being featured in December 2019 at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds, File)

But in a letter to then-President John F. Kennedy, a young Michigan girl was most concerned about the North Pole's most famous resident.

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Kennedy wrote the letter , re-released Friday by the John F . Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, in response to Michelle’s fear that Santa would be killed It was during the Cold War , of course,” said Michelle, who is now 61 and whose last name is now Phillips. “I was just worried about Santa Claus.”

Who knew Santa was a Cold War target? 19, the John F . Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum posted a YouTube video featuring the president’s reply to Michelle. “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,” Kennedy

“Please stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole,” 8-year-old Michelle Rochon, of Marine City, pleaded, according to news reports at the time. "Because they will kill Santa Claus.”

Kennedy's brief, but reassuring response to Rochon is part of a trove of holiday-themed archival materials being featured this month at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

“You must not worry about Santa Claus," the president wrote on Oct. 28, 1961. "I talked with him yesterday and he is fine. He will be making his rounds again this Christmas.”

Kennedy also told Rochon that he shared her concern about the Soviet Union’s test, “not only for the North Pole but for countries throughout the world; not only for Santa Claus but for people throughout the world.”

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Cold War . Conflict between U.S. and Soviet Russia without military. Stalin broke promises to hold free elections in Eastern Europe and give up control of the Soviet zone in Germany. During the 1950's, both the U.S. and Soviet Union raced to perfect and build newer and more powerful weapons.

The Swedish military situation during the Cold War period was characterised by political neutrality, but it was also a strategic location in the front line with the Soviet Union. Military ties with Nato were therefore kept secret by the Swedish government because of its official policy of neutrality.

Photos of the Kennedys celebrating Christmas in the White House and copies of the family's Christmas cards are among the other holiday keepsakes being highlighted in a seasonal display in the library's lobby.

Rochon, who now goes by the last name Phillips, told The Boston Globe in 2014 that she never thought the letters would resonate the way it did back then, when it turned her into something of a national sensation.

"I was just worried about Santa Claus,” she told the Globe.

The Soviets, meanwhile, made good on their threat to bomb the North Pole. Two days after Kennedy penned his letter, they dropped the "King of Bombs,” as it was dubbed in Russian.

Reportedly 1,570 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined, it shattered windows as far away as Norway and Finland. It's still considered the most powerful man-made explosive ever detonated.

Kennedy and other world leaders were quick to denounce the bomb test, The Washington Post reports. None of the officials statements, however, addressed Santa's fate.

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