Rhode Island Stamp Issues and Covers 1951 to the Present
Personal Signed Letter from Senator John O. Pastore
Sent June 26, 1967 on Senate Stationary
Acknowledgement of Condolences - Death of Senator's Mother

(Scroll Down for Text of letter and Senator Pastore Bio)

This letter was sent to friends of the family in Cranston, RI.  The Senator's mother had just passed away and this letter is in acknowledgement of  Mr. and Mrs. James Pryor's thoughtful tribute. Although, the letter doesn't say, it was most likely for a floral arrangement sent to the family. Senator Pastore was one of the most able and honest politicians that Rhode Island ever produced. The letter was sent paid
"First Class" although the Senator probably could have slipped it through as a "Free Frank," if he had wanted to. Note the crossed out "Free" and the 5 cent Washington definitive on the cover. The signature on the cover is a facsimile rubber stamp, however the signature at the bottom of the letter is authentic.

Senator John O. Pastore

Giovanni Orlando Pastore was born in Providence, Rhode Island on March 17, 1907 to Michel Pastourel (b 1876 Potenza, Italy) and Erminia Asprinio.  During the early years, his family lived in a tenement apartment on Federal Hill, which was known as "Little Italy" because of the many Italian immigrants that made this area their home at the turn of the century. John's father, died in 1916 and his mother had to take in sewing jobs to support the family. John helped out the family during these hard years by working in a jewelry factory and as a drug store delivery boy.

After finishing high school, John attended law classes at the YMCA while working as a clerk at the local electric company. He later graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in law.

John O. Pastore was first elected to public office in 1934 as a member of the Rhode Island General Assembly and again in 1936. He served as the Assistant Attorney General for the state of Rhode Island from 1937 to 1938 and from 1940 to 1944. He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1944 and in 1945 he assumed the role Governor after Governor McGrath resigned from office. He was reelected in 1946 and again in 1948. In 1950 John was elected to the United States Senate where he served until 1976. Senator Pastore was the first Italian-American to serve as Governor and the first to serve as a United States Senator.

While in the senate, Senator Pastore served as the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and the TV Regulatory Committee. He was one of the prime movers in working for the passage of the first "Nuclear Test Ban Treaty."

Senator Pastore was known as a natural and eloquent speaker. He was selected to give the keynote speech at the 1964 Democratic Convention. His speech; a critical and biting commentary on Lyndon Johnson's opponent, Senator Goldwater, drew a standing ovation. The Associated Press in their article on the speech wrote, "The Little Rhode Islander, who stands no taller than a two pound keg of mail-it-home salt water taffy, was in the grand tradition of convention orators." 

Senator Pastore retired to the Cranston area in 1976. He died on July 15, 2000 of kidney failure and Parkinson's Disease at the age of 93. During the last three years of his life he resided at Scalabrini Villa Nursing Home in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. The senator married Elenora Caito in 1941 and they raised three children; two sons and a daughter. 

The full text of the letter follows:




Dear Jim and Mrs. Prior:

In our sorrow, there is to us of the Pastore family
a special comfort in our spiritual remembrance
for our beloved mother, whose soul at  God's alter
will find its eternal light and peace in the prayers
of the Mass of your blessed and beautiful tribute.




Gratefully and Sincerely
For the Pastore Family,

John Pastore

Mr. & Mrs. James J. Pryor, Jr.
20 Woodhill Drive
Cranston, Rhode Island 02909

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