• Birth Control Advocate Margaret Sanger Sends Thanks For A Birthday Greeting

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    MARGARET SANGER (1879-1966) was the founder of the American birth control movement.  The sixth of eleven children, Sanger attributed her mother’s death from tuberculosis at age 50 to her many pregnancies. After studying nursing, Sanger gravitated toward the Bohemian culture of New York’s Greenwich Village and began associating with radicals, political agitators and commentators such as John Reed, Upton Sinclair and Emma Goldman.


    Sanger began writing a sex education column for the New York Call in 1912, which led to the first of many charges of obscenity.  She coined the term “birth control” and called for family limitations as a path to women’s liberation. She challenged the Comstock Laws that banned distribution of contraception information.  Her ongoing legal troubles led her to live abroad while continuing to rally support on both sides of the Atlantic.  Upon returning to New York, she opened the first American birth control clinic in 1916 in Brooklyn.  The clinic was quickly shut down and legal proceedings ensued. On appeal, the court ruled that physicians were exempt from laws prohibiting distribution of contraceptive information.  In response, Sanger established the Clinic Research Bureau, the first legal birth control clinic in the nation. 

    Offering a one-page, ANS, written in the lower margin of a typed letter signed from ARNOLD F. GATES (1914-1993), noted Civil War scholar and autograph collector, wishing Sanger a happy birthday.  He writes on September 14, 1939, in part, “…I wish you all the best the years can hold.  May you win out in the great fight you are putting up. You deserve the victory coming your way…”  Sanger writes at the bottom, “Thank you for your kind wishes. Its shocking that anyone but ones Mother should remember a birthday.  Anyway I do thank you for this. Margaret Sanger.”


    Folded with normal wear and in very good condition.


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