Large folio scrapbook; 22 1/2 X 14 1/2 inches; Leather covered heavy boards; Heavy paper leaves held by brackets; 100+ folio pages containing notes, clippings, show programs, cards, notes and other ephemera glued or taped on leaves; almost all items are meticulously notated with dates and other commentary. Scrapbook of Mark Freeman Gillette (1929-2013), son of Senator Guy M. Gillette (D-Iowa) who served in the U.S. Congress (1932-1936) and in the U.S. Senate (1936-1944 and 1949-1955) for a combined 18 years. His son, Mark F. Gillette (keeper of the scrapbook) and his mother accompanied the Senator to Washington D.C., residing there for much of Mark’s childhood. The scrapbook is compiled by the young Gillette and spans the years when his father served as Senator from Iowa. The front flyleaf of this large folio scrapbook is festooned with scribbled writings and “dedications” by the teenage Gillette (1944) and conveys a hopeful and patriotic outlook. The second page contains a memorial dedication to President Franklin D. Roosevelt written by the sixteen-year-old Mark Gillette on the day of FDR’s death. Under the memorial is written: “Events in this Book take place between January 20, 1937 and Dec. 14, 1949.” It is unclear if these notes were added after the contents had been compiled or if the scrapbook was assembled in the later years. A number of pages throughout this large folio have ripped from the weight of the items taped on both sides of the scrapbook pages, but the items, themselves, are almost all intact. Although a Democrat, Senator Gillette was often at odd with the policies of FDR; regardless of this, young Gillette held FDR in high regard. He states that he never met FDR personally, but prizes a particular memento from a visit to the oval office (when he was about 11 years old) which he describes in detail in his notation next to a hand-drawn diagram (leaf 19) which Gillette claims to have pocketed from the desk of the President during a visit to the White House. In his notation, Mark Gillette clearly states that he was not given the piece of paper, but that he took it from the President’s desk because he wished to have the drawing made by FDR (the drawing is undated – but Gillette states that it was drawn in 1941 prior to the United States entering World War Two; Gillette himself speculates that it could be a drawing of Pearl Harbor). The sketch does seem to resemble Ford Island and the ovals may represent ships in Battleship Row. The 'X's' indicating ships that were attacked. This is a speculation on our part. Other notable items contained in the scrapbook include: playbills from the original productions of CAROUSEL (1945) and OKLAHOMA (1946), as well as many other playbills from original productions of notable Broadway shows of the 1940s; matchbook covers; soap wrappers; college sports memorabilia; campaign materials; ration stamps; high school memorabilia; color postcards from 1940’s; letters on Senate stationary; Western Union telegrams congratulating the Senator on his return to Senate in 1948; and twelve (12) 8x10 black and white photos taken during the Senator’s final Senate campaign which include pictures of the senator’s son and wife.
Archives, Photograph Albums, Scrapbooks, Manuscripts, and Autographs