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Lot 102

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Description:

Herbert Hoover WWII-Dated TLS Re: Creation of Army-Navy Production Award

A 1p typed letter signed by former 31st U.S. President Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) as "Herbert Hoover" at right center. Written at the Waldorf-Astoria Towers Hotel in New York City on June 5, 1944, one day before D-Day. On a single leaf of "Herbert Hoover" letterhead. Expected light paper folds and a few extra wrinkles, else near fine. 7.125" x 10.5."

Ex-President Hoover wrote this letter of congratulations to his longtime friend and colleague Lewis L. Strauss (1896-1974). "I notice that they are giving you proper credit for the Navy E awards," Hoover wrote. He continued, "I think you should get an award for your good deeds."

The Army-Navy E Awards, also known as the Army-Navy Production Award, was given to American companies to recognize their "Excellence in Production" of war materiel. During its lifespan between July 1942 and December 1945, the Army-Navy E award was bestowed upon only 5% of American companies manufacturing war equipment. (In some rare instances, universities and individuals were also awarded.) Companies were awarded for quantity and quality of output, but also for maintaining good labor relations and safe working conditions. Captain Strauss was revealed to be the originator of the Army-Navy E Award in May 1944, when his identity was confirmed in the Congressional Record and in the "New York Times."

Strauss, a U.S. Naval Reservist, was called for active duty in 1941 to serve in the Bureau of Ordnance. Logistics was something that Strauss was very familiar with. Between 1917-1919, Strauss had served as Hoover's assistant and then private secretary in the U.S. Food Administration and then American Relief Association. Strauss spent two years observing Hoover in his role as wartime "food czar."  While at the U.S.F.A., Hoover implemented a voluntary system of limited public rationing or "Hooverizing," and regulated businesses through price controls and production yield quotas; twenty years later, Strauss took steps to ensure similar results could be achieved during World War II.

In civilian life, Strauss was a banker in the firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. and the president of the New York Congregation of Emanu-El. In 1954, he sat on the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission to determine if the security clearance of lead nuclear scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer should be revoked.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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