by Esther Mackintosh, President of the Federation of State Humanities Councils
Esther Mackintosh, President of the Federation of State Humanities Councils, explains how a single letter from her father offered solace during an especially trying period of her life.
As a graduate student facing an uncertain future, Mackintosh took refuge in her father’s written words, which described his own challenges as a newly married farmer during the Great Depression. His letter concluded with a question posed to his daughter: “Would it help you to know that things usually turn out alright?” Thanks to her father’s words,…
by Steve Earle, singer-songwriter
Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Steve Earle discusses the impact of witnessing his father write a letter to the Texas governor on behalf of a condemned man in San Antonio. Having already begun to reflect on the importance of political engagement and the ethics of capital punishment, Earle felt especially moved by both the book and film version of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood
in the late 1960s. In tandem, these experiences contributed to his becoming a passionate advocate against the death penalty.
In a time when wives were treated like property, Abigail Adams insisted that her husband “Remember the Ladies” when writing the laws of the country and warning him, that “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” Full text of some of her letters can be found athttp://americainclass.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/AAdams-StudentVersion.pdf
by Ina Dixon
A letter from Ina's grandfather, written just before the Battle of the Bulge in WWII.