Readings — From the June 2009 issue

G.O.P.Y.T.

A letter from Ronald Reagan to Michael Jackson, dated February 1, 1984, five days after the singer’s hair was set afire by pyrotechnics during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. The letter was among belongings Jackson offered for sale at auction in April in an attempt to pay off an estimated $24 million in debts, including legal fees incurred during his trial for child molestation. The auction was canceled after Jackson’s representatives claimed that some of the items for sale were “irreplaceable.”

Dear Michael,

I was pleased to learn that you were not seriously hurt in your recent accident. I know from experience that these things can happen on the set—no matter how much caution is exercised. All over America, millions of people look up to you as an example. Your deep faith in God and adherence to traditional values are an inspiration to all of us, especially young people searching for something real to believe in. You’ve gained quite a number of fans along the road since “I Want You Back,” and Nancy and I are among them. Keep up the good work, Michael. We’re very happy for you.

Sincerely,
Ronald Reagan

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