The year was 1961.. The Soviet Union was rumored to have begun a plan to test nuclear weapons at the North Pole. An 8-year-old named Michelle Rochon was motivated by the fear of this potential issue and she wrote then President John F. Kennedy a letter. Her words were simple.. she was a child with a pencil and a nerve-wracked mind.. She said,
Dear Mr. Kennedy,
Please stop the Russians from bombing the North Pole because they will kill Santa Claus. I am 8 years old. I am in the third grade at Holy Cross School.
John F. Kennedy responded to that letter after she wrote it..
The full text was republished this week by the Kennedy Library:
I share your concern about the atmospheric testing of the Soviet Union, not only for the North Pole but for countries throughout the world; not only for Santa Claus but for people throughout the world.
However, you must not worry about Santa Claus. I talked with him yesterday and he is fine. He will be making his rounds again this Christmas.
The year when Santa is saved.. Kennedy made certain that be reassuring a young girl of Santa’s safety, he was also reassuring a nation. Perhaps even his own children–maybe himself.
The notion of nuclear war or other catastrophe destroying every basic fabric that holds us together is something we cannot escape. The possibility is always around us.. tragedy abounding when we least expect it, horrors and heartaches developing each day on the nightly news. But a few things hold true.. the sun will rise, the seasons will change, and Santa Claus will be coming ..
Clearly John F. Kennedy also took the matter very seriously, as well..
The future is dim, so often. People want to also rob our children each day of their innocence, take the goodness from their hearts and replace it with the depravity of this planet’s worst people. Kennedy did something else, though, with this letter. He replaced fear with hope.. He gave meaning to a child’s imagination and wonder, belief and innocence.
I would hope that any other president including our current would reassure the nation in the same way that Kennedy did.
With the news of the day and the fears of the age, it’s time for a national convergence on the principle that, above all else, we will ensure a safe passage each and every year for Santa Claus. No terrorist will take him down, and no weather system will hold him up.
His mission each year is with immense importance. There are millions of people who rely on him and his safety.
He was safe in 1961..
Let’s hope he is still delivering in 2061 and beyond..
Even is NORAD is long gone and they are replaced by robots.
Transhumanist Santa!? Never.
But maybe a 3D printed version of him and his reindeer..?