One of my favorite sites these days is Letters of Note, a blog about really interesting or unusual correspondence from years gone by. The story of the Troy, Michigan Public Library is a great example of what the site does:
Early-1971, in an effort to attract as many youngsters to the premises as possible, Marguerite Hart — children's librarian at the newly-opened public library in Troy, Michigan — wrote to a number of notable people with a request: to reply with a congratulatory letter, addressed to the children of Troy, in which the benefits of visiting such a library were explained in some form It's heartening to know that an impressive 97 people did exactly that.
And we're talking some pretty prominent people here - in addition to authors like Dr. Seuss and Isaac Asimov, the library got letters from First Lady Pat Nixon, Vice President Spiro Agnew, and California Governor Ronald Reagan. Helen Gurley Brown of Cosmo is in there too! The library is adding the letters to a photo set on Flickr, which you can (of course) read.
If nothing else, it proves right the words of comedian Don Novello's letter-crazy alter ego, Lazlo Toth: "You send out letters, you get back letters!"
[Letters of Note]
Thanks to Eileen for suggesting this link on the Word of Mouth Facebook page! You're invited to share an awesome link of your own in the comments. Or ask one of your favorite authors or public figures to do it, if you'd rather.