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Lot 254

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Reagan the Conservationist: Preserving the Redwoods

"Actually we’ve done a remarkable job in Calif. over the years protecting our Redwoods."

California governor Ronald Reagan explains his position on preserving California’s redwoods to a couple in Ohio.

RONALD REAGAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Stanley E. Seebohm and Virginia Seebohm, ca. 1967. 1 p., 8ʺ x 10ʺ. Excellent. Ex. The Forbes Collection.

Complete Transcript:

Stanley E. Seebohm
P.O. Box 15302
Cincinnati, Ohio 45215

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Seebohm
Thanks for your good letter & kind words. It was good to hear from you again.
I’m happy to have a chance to straighten out the question on the Redwoods. Very simply I just never made the remark. It was attributed to me by my opponent during the campaign.
Actually we’ve done a remarkable job in Calif. over the years protecting our Redwoods. We have 28 state parks containing 115,000 acres of the big trees & this is all but about 5000 acres of the truly park like groves. The Nat. park they are talking about will actually consist of two of our state parks. You can rest easy though—even without a Nat. park we’ve saved the Redwoods
Again thanks & Best Regards

Historical Background:

In 1967, Governor Ronald Reagan supported a Congressional plan to create a national park to protect coastal redwood trees in northern California. However, he wanted the federal government to reimburse California for state lands included in the new park through a land exchange. Many of the largest redwoods were protected within three state parks. By July 1967, discussions between federal and California authorities had reached an impasse. On November 1, the U.S. Senate passed a bill creating a national park covering more than 61,000 acres in northern California. After much controversy and some compromise with timber companies, Congress finally approved a federal park, and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the act that established Redwood National Park on October 2, 1968, placing 58,000 acres in the care of the National Park Service. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed legislation adding an additional 48,000 acres to the park.

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) was born in Illinois and graduated from Eureka College in 1932. After working as a radio announcer for several years, he took a screen test in 1937 that led to a contract with Warner Brothers Studios and an acting career in film and television. Reagan served as governor of California from 1967 to 1975. He won election over two-term incumbent Pat Brown. As governor, he opposed the idea of the welfare state and favored less government regulation of the economy. After an unsuccessful attempt to recall him in 1968, Reagan won reelection in 1970 for a second term. He did not seek reelection in 1974, but went on in 1976 to seek the Presidency. He narrowly lost the Republican nomination to incumbent Gerald Ford, but went on to win in 1980 over Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter to become the 40th President of the United States (1981-1989).

Stanley E. Seebohm (1903-1980) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lived there for his entire life. He was a volunteer fireman and sold firefighting equipment through the Stanley E. Seebohm Company. In 1936, he married Virginia Johnson (1909-1969).

Ex. The Forbes Collection. Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990), American owner-publisher of Forbes magazine, and consummate collector, amassed one of the most substantial and broad collections of such breadth and depth that it filled a half-dozen residences, and sat on three continents. Many of his manuscripts were sold in multi-million-dollar sales by Christie's in the early 2000s. The Forbes name is considered to be the apex of provenance when attached to an item like the one above. We are honored to have been chosen by the family to sell at auction the substantial balance of the collection.

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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