Letter to President John F. Kennedy from the NRA
March 7, 1961
The Honorable John F. Kennedy
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. President:
In a recent address you referred to the need of a nation of Minutemen. In the category of "bearing arms" the Minuteman heritage is preserved today in its basic form by the members of the National Rifle Association of America. Thoughout its long history of almost a hundred years, this Association has been dedicated to the promotion of the social welfare and public safety, law and order, and the national defense; and to the education and traning of citizens of good repute in the safe and efficient handling of small arms. Through our 400,000 individual members, 10,000 chartered clubs and close affiliation with the Armed Forces, we encourage rifle and pistol shooting and conduct competitive contests to further these objectives.
Our endeavors involve individual participation in an art which historically bears the burdens of defense in times of crisis. Traditionally, Americans have been renowned in their skill with firearms in conflicts past. Now, through competitive shooting and the hunting sports, we are increasing the knowledge of young Americans in these important skills through our dynamic program. This is a tremendous asset in our arsenal of democracy and represents a strength of citizenship in being.
In the spirit of Minutemen of 1776, and to your leadership of today in calling for a nation of Minutemen, "citizens who are not only prepared to take up arms but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as a basic purpose of their daily life," we pledge our unstinting efforts.
We would be highly honored if you would accept a Life Membership in the National Rifle Association of America in support of our endeavors to contribute to this concept.
Franklin L. Orth
Executive Vice President
Letter from President John F. Kennedy to the NRA
March 20, 1961
Dear Mr. Orth:
On the occasion of Patriots Day, I wish to offer my contgratulations and best wishes to the National Rifle Association of America which over the past years has done credit to our country by the outstanding achievements of its members in the art of shooting.
Through competitive matches and sports in coordination with the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice, the Association fills an important role in our national defense effort, and fosters in an active and meaningful fashion the spirit of the Minutemen.
I am pleased to accept Life Membership in the National Rifle Association and extend to your organization every good wish for continued success.