PROCEEDINGS AT THE CEREMONY IN COMMEMORATION OF THE ONE HUDRED AND FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE FIRST CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, AT A JOINT SESSION OF THE CONGRESS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, MARCH FOURTH, NINETEEN THIRTY-NINE - INSCRIBED TO HIS YOUNGEST SON, JOHN
Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1939. First Edition. The fifth and rarest of FDR's Christmas books, bar none. Unlike all of the other books in the series, this one has neither a printed nor an autographed colophon. A June 26, 1939 letter from Pete Jarman, Vice-Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Printing to Steve Early states that he directed the Public Printer "to deliver to your office twenty-five copies of a deluxe edition of House Document No.212...entitled, Proceedings at the Ceremony...". Seven of those copies are accounted for in the FDR Library. There is an inadvertent touch of comedy in the splendid photographs included in this volume. Three speakers preceded Roosevelt to the House rostrum, with FDR waiting in a seat just to the right of the lectern. The photo of Speaker Bankhead shows the President sitting alert and erect. When Majority Leader Barkley spoke, the President's head was resting in his hand, but his eyes were still fastened on the speaker. By the time Charles Evans Hughes stepped up to the microphone, Roosevelt seems to be slumping on the table, his gaze absently fastened on the floor! All eyes were locked on him, however, when he gave his address. At one point, he spoke about the "freedoms that are inherent in the right of free choice by free men and women," including the freedom of speech and religion. Two years later, in his January message to Congress, the President elaborated upon the "essential human freedoms" – freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear – which illustrator Norman Rockwell immortalized on four front covers of the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. See Halter, p.193. Item #6046
One of 25 copies. Octavo (23.5cm); full indigo morocco, with titles stamped in gilt within gilt borders on front cover; blue silk doubloures, with presidential seal in gilt on front pastedown; [ii],47,pp; illus. Presentation copy, inscribed by Roosevelt to his youngest son, John, on the front endpaper: "John / from FDR / 1939." Spine skillfully rebacked, corner tips refurbished, else contents fresh; Very Good+. Housed in a custom half morocco slipcase and chemise.