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GOVERNOR LESTER G. MADDOX - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 10/29/1969 - HFSID 277612

Maddox signed this letter, on the letterhead of the Atlanta Governor, to astronaut Richard Gordon, Jr. in 1969. He signed this letter, which declares Gordon an honorary admiral in Georgia's navy, two weeks before Gordon left for the moon on NASA's Apollo 12 mission.

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LESTER MADDOX
Maddox signed this letter, on the letterhead of the Atlanta Governor, to astronaut Richard Gordon, Jr. in 1969. He signed this letter, which declares Gordon an honorary admiral in Georgia's navy, two weeks before Gordon left for the moon on NASA's Apollo 12 mission. Accompanied by identification card for Gordon's new position and original mailing envelope.
Typed letter signed"Lester Maddox". Also with notation in upper right corner in unknown hand in blue ink. 1 page, 7x10, on letterhead of Georgia's Office of the Governor in Atlanta. Oct. 29, 1969. Addressed to Lt. Commander Richard F. Gordon, Jr., Astronaut Office, Manned Spacecraft Center, NASA, Houston, Texas. In full: "Dear Commander Gordon: I am delighted to use this means to advise you of your appointment as an honorary Admiral in the Georgia Navy. Attached is your wallet identification card evidencing your appointment. You will receive, in the near future, your formal commission which has already been forwarded to the printer for engraving. We are moving Georgia forward to her greatest heights in all history and appreciate the support and confidence of you and others across this great country as we work together in seeking our common goal of making ours a greater and freer Nation. I consider it a real privilege to be associated with you in this effort and trust that when you have sug-gestions or information that may be helpful to our common cause you will please so advise me. With best wishes to you and yours, I am Sincerely Lester Maddox LM/lw Attachment" . Lightlysoiled and creased.Paperclip impression on left edge. Folded twice and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition. Accompanied by two items: 1) Identification card with facsimile signature of Maddox and the George Admiral of the Fleet, 3¾x2½, appointing Richard F. Gordon, Jr. an "Admiral, Georgia Navy". Lightlyscratched. Light dent in upper edge. Clip impressions in upper edge and lower left corner. Otherwise in fine condition. 2) Georgia Office of the Governor envelope addressed to Gordon at above address, postmarked Nov. 6, 1969, Atlanta, Georgia. Neatly torn open at top, otherwise in fine condition. Gordon was pilot on NASA's Gemini XI mission in 1966, which successfully docked with an Agena target vehicle in orbit, and later was pilot of the Command Module during the Apollo 12 mission, NASA's second manned mission to the moon. The Apollo 12 mission launched on Nov. 14, 1969, about two weeks after this letter was dated, and returned to Earth on Nov. 24. Maddox (1915-2003) became famous in the 1960s when he closed and then sold his Pickrick fried chicken restaurant in Atlanta rather than serve Blacks. He was charged with assaulting five black ministers who tried to eat at his Atlanta Restaurant the day after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights act. (He was subsequently acquitted by an all-white jury.) Maddox, who wielded an axe handle as a symbol of his opposition to desegregation but never actually used it on anybody, was later elected Governor of Georgia (1967-1971). Prohibited from a second term by Georgia's constitution, he was elected Lieutenant Governor (1971-1975), often opposing the policies of his successor as Governor, Jimmy Carter.

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