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Between The LinesA unique look at this day in history

The Dreyfus Degradation Ceremony - Paris, France
A Defiant Dreyfus, Publically Degraded, Swears to Clear His Name From the Unjust Stain of Treason
When a Jewish French Army officer was publicly humiliated in a degradation ceremony, cries of “Judas” and “Kill the Jews” rained down upon him. In the crowd was Theodor Herzl...
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California Earthquakes
The 20th Anniversary of the Great Northridge Earthquake
The Great Northridge Earthquake of 1994 was largest to occur along California's infamous San Andreas Fault since the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906...
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150 Years Ago This Month, Booth Plans Ahead
A Rare John Wilkes Booth Letter, Suspicious and Portentous, Written Just Two Months Before Lincoln’s Assassination
Late in the summer of 1864 the actor John Wilkes Booth, at the height of his fame, stopped working. He began, instead, his career as a kidnapper...
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Lincoln's Birthday
Lincoln Declares He is Not a “Man of Great Learning, or a Very Extraordinary One...”
Presidents look to Lincoln as a model of virtue and dedication. This letter demonstrates that he saw himself as completely unexceptional; just a common man.
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Valentine's Day
Beauty and the Beast: President Cleveland Writes a Love Letter to His Young Bride-to-Be
The girl was 21, the President 49; almost no one in the White House had an inkling. But not all presidential intrigues end in scandal: President Cleveland's led to the altar...
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George Washington's Birthday
Washington, Dreading The Presidency, Feels As If He's Being Led To His Execution
The unanimous choice of “the people” had no choice at all. In this dark letter, Washington writes of his dread of the presidency: he feels as if he’s being led to his execution.
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Read Across America Day
Mark Twain Lists His Favorite Books For Children - and Himself
The great American humorist Mark Twain was vitally interested in reading, and here lists these books - for young people - which he felt most likely would keep them at it.
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St. Patrick's Day
Kennedy on His Historic Trip to Ireland: “It Couldn't Have Been Better. We Loved It”
John F. Kennedy's Irish heritage was, to him, no small thing. Ireland, he famously said, visiting there in 1963, "...is the land for which I hold the greatest affection."
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Celebrating the Publication of Jonathan Sarna's "When General Grant Expelled the Jews"
The Infamous "Jew Order" - the most sweeping anti-Jewish regulation in American history
New to bookstores this week is a landmark work about General Grant’s infamous 1862 Order No. 11.
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The 125th Anniversary of the First Presidential Typed Letter
Benjamin Harrison: The Earliest Known Example of a Typewritten Presidential Letter
When did presidents stop handwriting their letters, or have others write on their behalf? Up until, it appears, when President Benjamin Harrison sent out this first typewritten one
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Holocaust Remembrance Day
Had Even a Tiny Jewish State Been Established in 1937, Ben-Gurion Laments, Millions of Jews Would Not Have Died in the Holocaust
What Ben-Gurion was referring to was the British Peel Commission which had proposed, in 1937, the partitioning of the Mandate into Jewish and Arab states...
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The 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the RMS Titanic
President William Howard Taft, Heartbroken at the Loss of His Military Aide on the Titanic, Writes An Emotional Eulogy
Shortly before midnight on the fourth day of its maiden voyage, the greatest ocean liner in the world, built to be unsinkable, hit an iceberg...
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George W. Bush Presidential Library Dedication Ceremony
Presidential Enmity: Taft on Roosevelt and Roosevelt on Wilson
The idea of a Presidents Club, wherein the spirit of Kumbaya prevails, is a new notion, as these spirited Presidential letters reveal...
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Mother’s Day
Lincoln's Famous Letter to Young Fanny McCullough About Death, Loss & Memory
“All that I am or hope ever to be,” Abraham Lincoln famously said, “I get from my mother – God bless her.”
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The 150th Anniversary of the Death of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Franklin Pierce on The Death of His Dearest Friend, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Pierce and Hawthorne were profoundly attached to each other for almost all their lives. Here, a broken-hearted Pierce tells how only hours before he discovered Hawthorne’s body.
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John F. Kennedy's Birthday
The Only Known Evidence That JFK Knew to Fly: His 1944 Flight Logbook
The man who, for an entire generation embodied youth and vigor, would have been 96 this year. This pilot log is thought to be the only proof of this hitherto-unknown fact...
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The 10th Anniversary of the Death of Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan Tries to Save the Mortally Wounded Robert F. Kennedy
When Reagan heard RFK was shot in the head after declaring victory in the CA Democratic presidential primary, he sent this to Kennedy's wife, as the Senator lay mortally wounded...
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The 25th Anniversary of Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” Speech
Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall
Ronald Reagan, standing in front of the Berlin Wall that divided Germany into free and communist sectors, spoke four words which would forever be identified with his legacy...
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Father's Day
A Gift in Wartime: Lincoln Requests “A Map or Two” for His Youngest Son, Tad
By 1865, "Father Abraham" was burdened beyond imagination, having no respite from the war, nor comfort from his family, save his one personal joy, his little son, Tad...
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The Anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn
A Band of Brothers: Custer and the Little Bighorn
When General Custer’s Cavalry was decimated by 1,000 Plains warriors– no one knows exactly how - at the Battle of Little Bighorn, an entire field of historical endeavor rose up.
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The 120th Anniversary of Cleveland's Great Deception: the Birth of a Precedent
Cleveland Celebrates The One Year Anniversary of His Secret Cancer Surgery
As people argue about executive deceit, a core contention is emerging: the public's right to know vs. a President's responsibility to protect. Cleveland set a momentous precedent-
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The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg
A Jewish Soldier Writes Home: "The Battle of Gettysburg is Fought and Thank God The Army of the Potomac Has Been Victorious"
At Gettysburg, 170,000 men fought for three days in encounters so epic they are known by name. Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War and its turning-point...
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The Centennial of the Birth of President Gerald R. Ford
Excessively Rare Ford Presidential Autograph Letter Written Just After His “Tough and Traumatic” Defeat By Jimmy Carter
As the man who was never elected President - nor Vice President - Ford wanted to be remembered, he said, as a dedicated, hardworking, honest person who served constructively.
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The Library of Congress Releases Harding's Love Letters
President Harding Tries to Get a Job for His Alleged Mistress, Nan Britton: Excessively Rare Documentation of Their Relationship
Susie, Carrie, Grace, Nan, Rosa, Augusta, Ruby, Maize, Blossom... Blackmail was paid, child support sent, appointments made, favors granted, vacations provided, jobs found...
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The President is on Vacation: Three Letters from August
A Brief Look at Presidential Vacations
The Dog Days of Summer are here: so warmed up and slowed down, that even Congress has stopped doing nothing and gone home. The President is likewise decamping to a cooler clime...
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The 40th Anniversary of the Nixon Resignation
Nixon, Six Months After His Resignation, on Watergate: He Took One for The Team
When a tape recording revealed Nixon's cover-up of the Watergate break-in he was forced to resign. He rarely spoke about the scandal, yet here he mentions giving up the presidency.
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Back to School
John F. Kennedy Advises a College Student What Classes to Take For a Life in Politics
The fall semester about to start, some are unsure which classes to take. Those interested in jobs that pay $174K, with months of vacation, & require no special skills, take heed.
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The McKinley Assassination
Vice President Roosevelt Wires for News…. And Predicts McKinley’s Recovery
McKinley's assassination shocked everyone. Here, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, though stunned, immediately wired for more information before rushing to the President’s side.
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September 19, 1881 & September 14, 1901: Assassinated Presidents Garfield & McKinley Succumb To Their Wounds
Robert Todd Lincoln on Presidential Assassinations
Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest son of Abraham Lincoln, was not only on the scene at the assassination of his father in 1865, but of Garfield in 1881, and McKinley in 1901.
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150 Years Ago This Day, An Assassin Prepares
John Wilkes Booth Arranges With the Owner of Ford’s Theatre to Appear in a Play There - Which Abraham Lincoln Would Come to See
Famous people, as a general rule, do not become assassins. But John Wilkes Booth was different. The most adored actor of his day, his favorite role was spy...
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The 1st 2012 Presidential Debate
Lincoln, in a Prelude to the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Shadows Douglas Around the State
Lincoln in 1858, challenged Douglas "for you and myself to divide time, and address the same audiences." What came of their debates, is the story told Between the Lines here...
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Herbert Hoover, the 31st President, Dies at Age 90
Former President Hoover: "Once of Washington D.C. - Now Fortunately Elsewhere”
Hoover had longer than most presidents to vent a sentiment many of them felt: “once of Washington D.C. - now fortunately elsewhere.” Why that was so, is the story told here...
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The Anniversary of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
Wyatt Earp: An Incredibly Rare Letter
The most famous gunfight in Western history was at the OK Corral, Tombstone. That epic shootout was the reason why Wyatt Earp, 40 years later, wrote this incredibly rare letter.
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The Better Angels, a Film About Lincoln's Childhood, Opens
Lincoln in Indiana: A Rare Mention of His Childhood There
The film focuses on Lincoln's years in Indiana. He almost never spoke of his time there, but writing here to an old neighbor, he makes a rare reference to his childhood...
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Anniversary of Kristallnacht
An Assistant Secretary of the Interior Tries to Stop the Annihilation of German Jews
"What was coming," Hitler declared, was "the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe." Few in the U.S. government were concerned, but Oscar Chapman was different...
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Steven Spielberg's Lincoln Opens
Lincoln Asks Grant, Not As President But As a Friend, For a Favor: Find a Place For His Son, Robert, on His Staff
Spielberg's film Lincoln has opened, raising some questions. One is about the relationship of Lincoln to his son, Robert - which looks difficult and strained. But was it?
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The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
A Last Thing Signed: John F. Kennedy Autographs a Dallas Newspaper on the Morning of His Murder
As President John F. Kennedy rode with his wife Jackie in an open limousine in Dallas, waving - three shots rang out from a nearby building...
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The UN General Assembly Adopts the Partition Plan
Weizmann Thanks Clark Clifford for His Help In Getting Truman to Support and Recognize Israel
With U.S. recognition of the Jewish state on the line, little-known White House aide Clark Clifford worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes to bring about the creation of Israel.
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Winter Holidays, 2014
Rare Original Watercolor by John F. Kennedy of the Kennedy Palm Beach Beachfront Home
Painter presidents: George W. Bush, Grant, Eisenhower, Carter. Jack Kennedy, too, lifted brush to paper - a story told here, Between the Lines...
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The Wright Brothers: Inventing the First Successful Airplane
An Extraordinary Orville Wright Letter: How Watching Birds Led to Manned Flight at Kitty Hawk
How the Wright brothers invented the first airplane is told in this incredible letter, but an even more fantastic tale emerges: their success came from watching birds…
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Abraham Lincoln Swears to Uphold the Emancipation Proclamation
Lincoln Writes the head of the New England Anti-Slavery Society
When on New Year’s Day, 1863, Lincoln signed his Proclamation of Emancipation, he was sure that he had done the right thing. If slavery was not wrong, he said, nothing was wrong.
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Holiday Merry Making
Presidential Pouring in the White House
Washington distilled his own; Lincoln "hated the stuff. It wasn't until Hayes, that the White House went dry - when 8.2 gallons was the per capita alcoholic consumption a year.
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Dreams and Diplomacy in the Holy Land

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The Shapell Manuscript Foundation is an independent educational organization dedicated to the collection and research of original manuscripts and historical documents. The Foundation's focus is on the histories of the United States and the Holy Land, with emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries.


The collection includes original manuscripts and documents of leading political figures and world-renowned individuals such as American presidents, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Theodor Herzl, and more.


The Foundation exhibited some of its original documents in the year 2009 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., playing a major role in the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition. The Foundation will cooperate with the Smithsonian Institute in an exhibit opening in December 2012, and has a number of exhibitions in development with American presidential libraries throughout the U.S. Internationally, the Foundation has exhibited with the Tsarkoye Selo State Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and has a permanent exhibition at the National Library of Israel at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with themed exhibits that display manuscripts and letters. 

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Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray

Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray

Presented by SMF – An Indigo Films Production
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