Evergreen Park, IL: State Department of Celestia. The following items are included in this sale:
-2 copies of Report to the Universe (1956) pamphlet. Extremely scarce, the only known copies.
-State of the Sky (1958) pamphlet.
-Passport to the Moon (1955).
-Official license for “Banking on the Moon,” issued to Beverly Bank (1966).
-You Ought to Know (1947) advertising pamphlet.
-2 original Chicago News Bureau file photos with press tags.
-Christmas card from Carol and Jim Mangan.
-Business card of Celestia’s current Prime Minister, Dean Stump.
-1960 newspaper article (facsimile).
-1962 “Thank you” letter from John Glenn on NASA letterhead (facsimile).
-Revised edition of The Knack of Selling Yourself (1968) book by James T. Mangan. An unremarkable copy, but fine condition and an interesting companion to the other items.
All items except the photos (with captioned press tags and paste residue) and banking license (with mildly tattered edges and a staple hole) are in fine condition. State of the Sky is unbound with uncut pages. One copy of the Report has a thin red mark on the Space House Boat page. An absolutely unique collection.
This is a collection of papers, pamphlets, and ephemera related to the Nation of Celestial Space, a micronation encompassing the entire universe outside of the planet Earth, founded in 1948 by James T. Mangan (1896-1970).
In addition to being First Representative of Space, Mangan was a prolific self-help author, industrial designer, and public relations pitchman based out of Evergreen Park, IL, a Chicago suburb (and, according to the Celestia documents herein, "capital of the Universe of Space"). Mr. Mangan was a famously colorful personality with a background in advertising who took the management of his nation seriously while never shying away from publicity opportunities. He applied for a seat at the United Nations (application still pending, according to the Celestia website), and the Celestia flag was flown outside the U.N. building for a single day in 1958 (before security took it down and escorted Mr. Mangan from the property). Celestia issued official Passports to the Moon to the select astronauts whom Mr. Mangan liked (including John Glenn, apparently). Mr. Mangan periodically held televised protests against rockets and satellites which were encroaching on his domain. All official papers of independence and sovereignty were properly filed, and a golden currency was minted.
Among the documents printed was the 26-page illustrated pamphlet Report to the Universe, which is the crown jewel of this collection. The pamphlet is a celebration of the 7-year anniversary of Celestia’s founding and features reproductions of many of its official papers, as well as other curiosities such as blueprints for a “Space House Boat” and a photo of Mr. Mangan demonstrating the use of “Infinity Space Eye Glasses (reversible).” A follow-up to this, the Second Report to the Universe (1958), was released to the public and is occasionally listed for sale, but this first Report was never distributed. I corresponded with Celestia’s current Prime Minister and First Representative Dean Stump, who said he had never seen a copy of the first Report. It is unlikely that additional copies beyond the two sold here remain in existence.
State of the Sky is another illustrated pamphlet which concerns Celestia's conservation efforts and push for international recognition, detailing how the nation “formally and repeatedly informed the State Department of every established nation on earth of its existence, its claims, its rights, its intentions, its nationhood.” This pamphlet is extremely uncommon, and we were able to find only a single other copy for sale. Our copy, which was previously owned by First Representative Stump, is an unbound, unopened copy. The large folio sheets are folded but can be taken apart easily if one wishes to read the contents.
The official Passport to the Moon included with this collection is not filled out with an astronaut’s name, but it does certify the bearer as a “Celestial Participant.” Sadly, the Passport expired in 1975 and can no longer be used as a valid travel document. Passports to the Moon are very rare, and no others are currently listed for sale.
You Ought to Know is a promotional pamphlet for Mangan’s Chicago advertising agency, Mangan and Eckland, reprinted from a flattering profile of Mangan from Advertising Age magazine in 1947, the year before he founded Celestia. An interesting biographical sketch of the accomplished self-promoter.
The press photos (both with caption tags pasted to versos) document two moments in Mangan’s pre- and post-Celestia careers. The first, from 1931, shows a young Mr. Mangan receiving an elaborate display of flowers for his past work as American Legion commander. The second, from 1949, shows a worldlier Mangan being presented with the deed to “all outer space.”
A very charming facsimile letter from legendary astronaut John Glenn, sent to the Mangans in 1962, reads: “Thank you for your check covering the cost of unlimited Christmas joy and a New Year full of dollars… Also thank you for the passport to the moon. Looks like I’m all set now.”
This is a collection of documents by a man with a sense of humor and a bone-deep knack for public relations. Though Mr. Mangan passed away in 1975, Celestia remains a fully functioning micronation, governed today by Mangan's descendants with titles like Duke of Alpha Centauri and Duchess of Mars. But Celestia has never been a joke, and though plenty of fun has been had, it remains a nation with a purpose. In Mr. Mangan's many public appearances, he never failed to mention Celestia's mission of peace and conservation, barring all rockets from space and taking legal action against hostile nations who wanted to send war machines through his legal property. "The basic philosophy of the Nation of Celestial Space," states the banking license included here, "is contained in one word: Magnanimity. By achieving bigness of mind, [Mangan] insists the peoples of the world can find lasting peace. Celestia is the answer." Fine. Item #959