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Rare Presidential Pardon for a Louisiana Food Distributor Who Violated the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942

Signed by Harry S Truman

Item: 20533
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TRUMAN, HARRY S. (1884-1972). Thirty-third president of the United States. DS. (“Harry Truman”). 3pp. Folio. Washington, January 15, 1952. To New Orleans businessman NICK CHRISTIANA, SR. (1911-1970). Countersigned by Truman’s Attorney General J. HOWARD McGRATH (1903-1966, “J. Howard McGrath”).


Whereas Nick Christiana was convicted in the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on ten counts of an information (No. 21871), charging violation of Sections 904 and 925, Title 50, Appendix, United States Code, and, on June twenty-seventh, 1945, was sentenced to imprisonment for three years, to pay fines aggregating Eight thousand four hundred ninety-seven dollars and forty cents ($8,497.40), to stand committed, and also placed on probation for five years on condition that the fines be paid; and

Whereas the said Nick Christiana was received at the Federal Correctional Institution, Texarkana, Texas, the designated place of confinement, on July twenty-fourth, 1945, and released on parole July twenty-fourth, 1946, from the Federal Correctional Institution, Seagoville, Texas; and

Whereas the said Nick Christiana was discharged from parole supervision by expiration of sentence; and

Whereas it has been made to appear to me that the said Nick Christiana has been making payments of one hundred dollars ($100.00) per month for application on the aforesaid fines; and

Whereas it has been further made to appear to me that the said Nick Christiana, since his release from confinement, has conducted himself in a law abiding manner:

[Verso] Now, therefore, be it known, that I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America in consideration of the premises, divers other good and sufficient reasons me thereunto moving, do hereby grant unto the said Nick Christiana a full and unconditional pardon. In testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name and caused the seal of the Department of Justice to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington this Fifteenth day of January in the year of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifty-two and of the Independence of the United States the One Hundred and Seventy-sixth [signed] Harry Truman By the President [signed] J. Howard McGrath Attorney General

[On an attached blue 4to] Department of Justice

Washington, January 20, 1952, 194_

To Mr. Nick Christiana

823 Slidell Avenue

New Orleans (Algiers), Louisiana

Sir: Herewith receive Warrant of Executive Clemency

Please sign and return the attached receipt. By direction of the Attorney General. Very respectfully Daniel … Pardon Attorney.”

Photo of Harry Truman

Harry S. Truman

Photo of a wartime grocery signage promoting the Price Control Act of 1942

Wartime grocery signage promoting the Price Control Act of 1942

After serving as a county judge, senator and Franklin Roosevelt’s vice president for less than 100 days, Truman became the 33rd U.S. president on April 12, 1945 upon FDR’s sudden death. President Truman guided the United States through the end of World War II and into the nuclear age by deciding to use the atomic weapon (about which he had no knowledge prior to entering the Oval Office) recently developed under the Manhattan Project. He also implemented the Marshall Plan which rebuilt Western Europe and established the Truman Doctrine and NATO as bulwarks against Communism, culminating in American participation in the Korean War. His 1948 defeat of Republican Thomas E. Dewey is considered one of the most unexpected victories in presidential history.

During his two terms in office, Truman granted a total of 1,913 pardons, including 192 during 1952. He also granted blanket pardons to veterans of World War II and the Korean War who were convicted of federal offences prior to their military service. The recipient of our pardon was the proprietor of F. Christiana food distributors in Marrero, Louisiana. Christiana started the business in 1934, selling eggs and wholesale poultry but was convicted in 1945 of violating the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942, meant to dampen inflationary pricing. Our document notes that Christiana served time in prison for his offence. By 1952, he was a pillar of his community, being voted “Chief” of the Mardi Gras Krewe of Choctaw that year.

McGrath was governor of Rhode Island, senator and chairman of the Democratic National Committee before joining Truman’s cabinet in 1949. He resigned in April 3, 1952 after he refused to cooperate in an investigation into corruption. Bearing a blind-embossed red paper seal. Folded with some creasing, scattered staining and wear. In very good condition.

Rare Presidential Pardon for a Louisiana Food Distributor Who Violated the Emergency Price Control Act of 1942

Signed by Harry S Truman

$2000 • item #20533

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