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President Kennedy Has Young Pen-Pal

Mar. 16, 1963 - A 10-year-old boy asked President Kennedy about the “little people.” Today the President’s reply (right) was received by Mark Perdue (left) in Fremont, Calif. “This is really a thrill in my heart,” Mark said. “I did not expect it would get through to the President, and he might not have time to read it if it did. But now that he did — I guess I’m the luckiest kid in town.” On March 5, apparently thinking of St. Patrick’s Day, Mark wrote: “Dear President Kennedy, I like you very much. I am in special class in Fremont, Calif. I am 10. Where do the little people live? Under bushes? Do they have horses? Can only the Irish see them? You are an Irishman. Can you see them? Mark Aaron Purdue.” Here is the President’s reply, dated March 14:

“Dear Mark:

I want to thank you for your nice letter. I enjoyed hearing from you and hearing about your school. Your questions are quite pertinent, coming as they do just before St. Patrick’s Day. There are many legends about the ‘little people,’ but what they all add up to is this: If you really believe, you will see them.

My ‘little people’ are very small, wear tall black stovepipe hats, green coats and pants, and have long white beards.

They do not have houses. I have never been able to determine where they live. They are most friendly, and their message is that all the peoples of the world should live in peace and friendship.

Since you are interested in the Irish, I want to wish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day.

With every good wish to you and your brothers, Chris and David.


John F. Kennedy”


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