Letter given to Mary Hammersbacher from John Sandy Eiler, Camp Shriver director

Letter given to Mary Hammersbacher from John Sandy Eiler, Camp Shriver director

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Description (Brief)
Letter dated May 1964, given to Mary Hammerbacher (Manner) from John Sandy Eiler, director of Camp Shriver, requesting information from her so as to pair the counselors with a specific camper. The letter is typewritten on Joseph P. Kennedy letterhead and is signed by John Sandy Eiler, director of Camp Shriver. The original envelope is included with the letter. As the camp prospered, organization was needed to ensure the camp's success so a director was appointed to run the day to day activities.
Camp Shriver began in Eunice Shriver’s backyard at her Timberlawn estate in 1962. Shriver, the sister of President John F. Kennedy and Rose, an intellectually disabled sister, decided to hold a day camp for intellectually disabled kids from DC and Maryland. The high school age counselors were taught how to teach the campers different skills through play and introduced them to horseback riding, swimming, canoeing and group games, many of the campers experiencing these activities for the first time. Camp Shriver continued each summer until 1968 when the first Special Olympics Games were held in Chicago which has grown into the largest organization for intellectually disabled athletes in the world. Mary Hammerbacher (Manner) applied to be a volunteer at the camp through her parochial high school and worked there from 1962-1967.
From its beginnings as Camp Shriver in Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s backyard, to the first international games in 1968, Special Olympics has been about giving people with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in sport. This participation builds confidence, provides emotional support and offers social opportunities for the athletes and their families. With state chapters and a global presence through its World Games, “Special Olympics is the largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities with 5 million athletes in 170 countries worldwide.”
Currently not on view
Object Name
letter with envelope, special olympics
letter with envelope
date made
Manner, Mary H.
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 11 in x 8 1/2 in; 27.94 cm x 21.59 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Special Olympics
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Sport and Leisure
Sports & Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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