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A holiday greeting…and an emphatic RSVP “Yes!” Correspondence from two of America’s leading journalists

From his days at the New York Sun to inviting Gilbert Grosvenor of National Geographic to join the 1915 Mather Mountain Pary, Stephen Mather knew the impact of the press and, as NPS Director, he recognized the benefits the press could bring to his vision for the national parks.   From two notes from the Berkeley archives, we know that the press felt a closeness and warmth toward Stephen Mather as well.


In a Christmas telegram greeting, Franklin Pierce Adams simply writes: “LOVE AND GREETINGS TO THE MATHERS ON CHRISTMAS EVE. FRANKLIN AND HARIET”

Adams was a nationally syndicated columnist, member of the Algonquin Round Table, and once dubbed “the godfather of the contemporary newspaper column.”


H.V. Kaltenborn, also a nationally syndicated columnist as well as radio commentator, sent his acceptance to a dinner hosted by the Mathers to honor National Park superintendents.  To the acceptance he added…


“…If you want something like a seven minute talk from your Official Dedicator, I will be glad to give it to you, but don’t make me responsible for dragging out what ought to be a brief and therefore happy occasion, as you and I both know, the fault of most public dinners is their length.  They should all be run with a “stop-and-go” sign at the speaker’s table.  It will be a great pleasure to greet you and the superintendents…”



Franklin Pierce Adams, or F.P.A. as he was known to readers in his lifetime, was best known for his witty and satirical column “The Conning Tower,” which was syndicated in the New York Tribune, the New York World, the New York Herald Tribune, and the New York Post. In his column, to which he had a cult-like following, Adams wrote limericks, puns, and satirical prose to dissect political events, review books and plays, and parody ‘the age.’


Hans von Kaltenborn 1878-1965

Known as "The Dean of American Commentators," Kaltenborn was a veteran colum-nist for The Brooklyn Eagle when he began his radio career at WEAF/New York in 1923. One of the first newscasters to offer commentary rather than simply relaying the day's events, Kaltenborn joined the fledging CBS Network in 1927.   Kaltenborn's ability to speak thoughtfully at a moment's notice put him at the center of some of the biggest news stories of the 1930s and '40s.

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