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Famous Letters


  1. Who exchanged no less than 1,400 letters with his friend, the botanist Joseph Hooker, including an 1844 letter in which he wrote that 'the idea that animals can change over time was almost like confessing a murder'?
  2. An anonymous letter, sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, was instrumental in revealing what?
  3. Who wrote an open letter from his Birmingham jail to fellow clergymen, which included the line: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"?
  4. The most famous letter in Scottish history was written on the 6th April 1320 and is known as the "Declaration of..." where?

  5. Written in response to a letter by eight-year-old Virginia, finish the line published in a New York Newspaper in 1897… "Yes, Virginia, there is a…"?
  6. On the eve of World War II, who famously signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning him about the potential of a German nuclear weapons program?
  7. Which British Prime Minister wrote the letter: "Dear Mr Baird, I must thank you very warmly for the television instrument you have put into 10 Downing Street. What a marvellous discovery you have made!"?
  8. Who wrote the Bixby letter, which is a brief, consoling message to Lydia Bixby, a widow living in Boston, Massachusetts, who had lost five sons in war?
  9. A famous open letter by Emile Zola to the President of France, accused the French government of wrongfully convicting who for alleged espionage?
  10. In 1527, Henry VIII signed off a letter with the words: "written with the hand of him who wishes he were yours." Who was the letter written to?
  11. Who sent a letter to Adolf Hitler in 1939 with the opening line: "Friends have been urging me to write to you for the sake of humanity."?
  12. Known as the "Letter to Christina", who wrote a letter in 1615 to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany defending his scientific view that the Earth revolves around the sun?
  13. The Declaration of Independence was primarily written by which American statesman?
  14. The "Open Letter from Malala", was a letter written by Malala Yousafzai in 2012 to which political movement?
  15. 'The Cuban Missile Crisis Letter' is a letter that President John F. Kennedy sent to which Soviet Premier?
  16. What book was inspired by an illustrated letter Beatrix Potter wrote to a son of her former governess in 1893?
  17. Who did Ernest Hemingway call "my dear Kraut" in a flirtatious letter written in 1955?
  18. Shortly after whose death did Queen Victoria write in a letter: 'Perhaps never in history was there so strong and true an attachment, so warm and loving a friendship between the sovereign and servant...'?
  19. The first attested use of the abbreviation O.M.G. was in a letter from John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher to who in 1917?
  20. Who was Isaac Newton writing to in 1975 when he wrote: "if I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of gianta"?


  1. Charles Darwin
  2. The Gunpowder Plot (1605)
  3. Martin Luther King, Jr. (the jail was in Birmingham, Alabama)
  4. The Declaration of Arbroath
  5. "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
  6. Albert Einstein
  7. Ramsay MacDonald
  8. Abraham Lincoln
  9. Alfred Dreyfus
  10. Anne Boleyn
  11. Mahatma Gandhi
  12. Galileo Galilei
  13. Thomas Jefferson
  14. The Taliban
  15. Nikita Khrushchev
  16. The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  17. Marlene Dietrich
  18. John Brown
  19. Winston Churchill
  20. Robert Hooke