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Posts Tagged ‘truman’

Weird Medical History

I’ve posted this before in places, but I saw it again mentioned in Smithsonian Magazine, so thought it was time to bring it out again – the weird medical history of the US presidents! Anything you want to know is here and it is really easy to search it.  It looks like they are updating it, too, so watch for more great information!

I was checking out Jefferson and I found this:
It has been postulated that Jefferson had Asperger Syndrome, a type of autism compatible with high achievement 4. Dr. Zebra has not evaluated this hypothesis, but his first impulse is that distinguishing disease from eccentricity is very difficult 200 years out.

I loved this because I tell people this all the time – we are guessing on medical information because we are reverse diagnosing!  It is almost impossible to be certain on anything and given we treat things differently today, even their recorded symptoms don’t really help us!

Truman’s Chrysler

This is a neat story about the fate of Truman’s 1953 Chrysler New Yorker. Matthew Algeo wrote a book on Truman’s 1953 journey in this car and was able to find out where this car ended up.
…at an event in Kansas City shortly after the book came out, I was approached by Carey Creason, an animal feed saleswoman from Kansas who insisted her father had bought Harry’s Chrysler back in the 1970s, and that the car was stored in a barn on her family’s farm. She showed me an old Polaroid of the car, which, I had to admit, looked a lot like Harry’s.

Last November, I visited the Creason farm to investigate. Ostensibly the family raises vegetables, hay, and horses, but their most conspicuous crop was vintage automobiles in every conceivable state of repair, which dotted the landscape.

…And there it was, a battered car parked headfirst against a wall at the back of the barn. It clearly was not in driving condition. The headlights were broken, the body was badly rusted, the tires were flat, and the trunk was caved in. Still, there was no doubt that this was a 1953 Chrysler New Yorker.
But was it Harry’s?

Carey opened a manila file folder she’d brought with her and removed a yellowing piece of paper. It was the original title to the vehicle, which listed the owner as Harry S. Truman of Independence, Missouri.

The title also noted the vehicle’s serial number: 7232332.

I walked over to the car and, with some difficulty, pulled open the driver’s door. Attached to the doorframe was a small rectangular metal plate: “VEHICLE NO. 7232332.”

Bingo! It was Harry’s car.

So what will happen to this old car?
Carey told me she doesn’t know what her family will eventually do with the car. The cost of restoring it is prohibitive. But she assured me that, ultimately, the family will find a buyer who will appreciate and honor the car’s historic lineage. In a small way, this battered Chrysler connects her family to Harry Truman, and she would like to preserve that connection.

Truman and Marx

Harry Truman corresponded with the Marx Brothers! So how did this happen?

It started with the displaced persons, the survivors of the Holocaust who had lost their homes and families and were now living in temporary camps. Truman had issued a directive in 1945 to allow some of them to immigrate to the United States. In 1946, Groucho Marx–the son of Jewish immigrants–sent Truman a newspaper clipping of an article claiming Truman had failed to in efforts to help the “DPs” immigrate. Marx included a letter in 1946 asking that the President address the needs of the displaced persons, and assuring the President that ”Despite all this I propose voting for you in 1948.”

Truman responded by sending a copy–marked as confidential–of a letter he had written to Senator Walter George of Georgia in which Truman wished that members of Congress could see these camps and be inspired to action on behalf of the displaced persons living there.

His next meeting was with Harpo:

Truman's next encounter with the Marx Brothers— with Harpo this time— came late in the night of October 12, 1950. Truman was on his way to Wake Island to meet with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The Korean War, which had begun the previous June, had turned into the most difficult trial of Truman's presidency, and he was hoping to receive assurance from MacArthur that it would end soon. His plane landed for refueling at Fairfield-Suisun Air Force Base in California. Harpo Marx was there that night too, entertaining men at the base hospital who had been wounded in Korea. The two met at the residence of the base commander. A photograph was taken of Truman and Harpo sitting together, clearly enjoying a happy moment.

The article gives an idea of their continuing correspondence, so enjoy!

President Harry S Truman authorizes support for the Republic of Korea

In the early morning of 25 June 1950 local time, North Korean forces attacked across the 38th Parallel.  Equipped with Soviet-made tanks, supported by massed artillery fire, the communist offensive quickly drove south through Koesong and toward Uijongbu north of Seoul.  Other attacks pressed against the mainly South Korean defenders all across the frontier to [...]

Truman’s Southern White House

Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, and George W. Bush all had their own versions of the Western White House.   Franklin Roosevelt had his Little White House at his beloved Warm Springs, Georgia, and Ike had his Camp David – even though every President back to Franklin Roosevelt used it at one time or another, but did you know Harry Truman had his own little White House get-away spot as well?

The location of Truman’s other White House is just about as southern as you can get – Key West, Florida, and according to Margaret Truman in her book Harry S. Truman (1972) the place was a location where President Truman could get away from the pressures of his office during his years as president.  

President Truman’s first trip to Key West was after World War II when he was trying to get over a cold.  He would end up visiting his version of “The Little White House 11 different times between 1946 and 1952.  More details regarding these trips can be found in the Presidential Logs found at the Truman Little White House site.

Margaret Truman writes, “Where does a president vacation?  It was no small task to find a place that could accommodate 20 or 30 reporters, a staff of 16 and another 15-16 Secret Service men.   After some investigation Dad made a choice which he never regretted – the submarine base at Key West, Florida.”   Some sources state Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz suggested the Key West Naval Station as the perfect climate to help the ailing President. 

The base is formerly known as Key West Naval Station, and the quarters President Truman used were known as Quarters A and B.  President Taft had used the quarters in 1912, and Thomas Edison lived there in 1918 when he was in the process of inventing new weapons during World War I.  The site actually dates back to 1845 when it was known as Fort Zachary Taylor and today is often referred to as the Truman Annex.

In a letter from Truman written on November 18, 1946  he writes to Margaret and Bess:  “They put me up in a southern built house with ‘galleries’ all around, upstairs and down.  It is the commandant’s house – and at present there is no commandant – so I did not ‘rank’ anyone out of his house.”

President Truman continues, “I have arranged my schedule so that I get up at 7:30 (2 hours later than I usually do), swim, breakfast at 9, [visit a] nice sand beach and get some sun and water [ and head back to the house by] noon with lunch at 1 pm.   Lunch is followed by a nap, followed by conversation and then dinner at 7.  I go to bed when I want to and get up and do it all over again.

“I am seeing no outsiders.  From now on I’m going to do as I please and let them all go to hell.   At least for two years they can do nothing to me and after that it doesn’t matter.”

Of course, two years later he won the 1948 election giving history one of the greatest election upsets of all time since everyone was certain his opponent, Thomas E. Dewey, would win.  Immediately after the election President Truman was joined at Key West by daughter and wife.

Margaret Truman stated in her book the highlight of trip was an impromptu victory parade by White House reporters and aides in reaction to the election.  She stated, “Everyone wore the wackiest costumes.  Charlie Ross, [President Truman’s Press Secretary,] wore bathing trunks and an Abraham Lincoln hat.”

The atmosphere at Key West was very relaxed and fun.   President Truman was known to hand cards to visitors that read, “Don’t go away mad….just go away.”

I need some of those, don’t you?

He spent some time fishing with visitors including Admiral Leahy.   At one point President Truman was speaking to the press and referred to the admiral by stating, “You know how these admirals are.  They get so they can’t do anything without an aide, even baiting a hook.”

President Truman also enjoyed swimming in the surf while the Secret Service remained on the beach watching his every move.   When a wave trounced Truman while swimming he went under.   The Secret Service agents jumped in sunglasses and all.  President Truman was unhurt but his glasses had gone missing.  He wasn’t very worried since he had several reserve pairs, but the agents were determined.    Margaret Truman writes about the dedication the Secret Service had to finding the missing glasses, and how amused she and her father was at their efforts.  Later Truman saw something glittering in the surf.  The glasses had washed up on the beach.

The fun continued on December 8, 1949 when the White House reporters were assembled for the daily press conference.  Several were nursing hangovers per Margaret Truman from the night before.  She states, “But they woke up fast when the President of the United States arrived flourishing his cane and wearing his white pith helmet and one of his wilder tropical shirts.  He went right into the mob and took a seat.  It was only then they noticed he was armed with a pencil and a sheet of Western Union message stationary.”

Charlie Ross announced, “Gentlemen, we have with us today as our guest a distinguished contributor to the Federal Register.”

Truman took notes as Charlie described the activities the President had been involved with so far that day – eating breakfast and sitting on the dock.

Truman began to ask the reporters various questions posing as the distinguished vistor.   The questions involved what time the reporters had gone to bed the night before, what they had eaten for breakfast, and had they written to their wives in the past week.  Truman also asked the proverbial question every reporter at the time would ask upon arriving in a new place – Where can I get a check cashed?

His time away in Key West gave President Truman the time to talk about things he dearly loved.    Margaret Truman relates an evening where her father showed off his vast knowledge regarding military battle history.    He asked the waiter to bring out four place settings of cutlery and used them to outline the various points of 14 major battles in world history without referring to any books or notes.   The next morning he regaled his staff for two hours with a survey of world religions.

 Serious business occurred in Key West as well.   Truman’s Little White House website advises:  While [in Key West], President Truman discussed the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine that changed American foreign policy, and the recognition of the State of Israel….In 1948, the Joint Chiefs of Staff met at Truman’s vacation get-away to create the Department of Defense by merging the Department of War and Department of the Navy….He wrote his fourth Civil Rights Executive Order requiring federal contractors hire minorities and he drafted a letter that  called for a two week cease fire in Korea.  The reaction of General Douglas MacArthur to this letter led to his dismissal as Allied Commander.

While vacationing in Key West, Truman made the tropical shirt quite popular.   Some of his more interesting shirts he wore while on vacation are pictured here.

The Truman Little White House site can be found here.

The Assassination Attempt on President Truman

Puerto Rico is NOT a place you normally think about when you want to discuss violent uprisings, massacres, and plots to assassinate the president of the United States, but the Puerto Rico of the late 1940s and early 1950s was a much different place than it is today.

In 1898, under the authorization of the Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish American War, the United States took possession of the territory of Puerto Rico. Many American officials were pleased with the new territory that could serve as a defense point, naval port and coaling station. It also didn’t hurt that the island was covered with sugar plantations.

Unfortunately, several natural disasters hit the island in the years that followed making life very hard for many of the people. The Jones Act of 1917 gave Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship which meant they could be drafted for service during World War I, yet they could not vote in presidential elections and did not have representation in Congress. Discrimination during World War I was rampant, and for many of the poorest Puerto Ricans the gulf between rich and poor was constantly growing wider. In the years that followed the Great Depression hit the island very hard. It is easy to see why many Puerto Ricans blamed the United States for their troubles.

Events like the Ponce Massacre occurred in 1937 where many Puerto Ricans were protesting wanting change…change of any kind. Soldiers answering to the governor appointed by the United States opened fire on armed and unarmed folks….killing 19 and wounding over 200. Tensions mounted when it was discovered some of the wounded were shot in the back as they were moving away from the soldiers.

President Truman appointed the first Puerto Rican born governor in 1946, but in 1948 Ley de la Mordaza or the Gag Law was passed making it illegal to display the Puerto Rican flag or sing patriotic songs.

Pedro Albizu Campos, a Harvard graduate and one of the Puerto Rican soldiers who had experienced racism during World War I was the leader of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. He called for independence using violence, if necessary. Many Puerto Ricans thought his views were a bit extreme, but they shared his feelings toward the United States.

At the end of October, 1950, several uprisings occurred for three days across Puerto Rico including the town of Jayuya. Marshall law was eventually declared after the United States used infantry, artillery and bombers against the protesters in Jayuya.

Two supporters of Campos wanting independence, Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo, felt if they could get the attention of the American people they might gain sympathy and support for the independence movement in Puerto Rico. Amazingly, they felt if they killed President Truman they could get the much needed attention.

Torresola, a skilled gunman, and Collazo had met up in New York City. Later, after they had hatched their assassination plot Torresola taught Collazo how to use a gun. Blair House, located across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House was the location for their plot to kill President Truman.

The Truman family had taken up residence at Blair House while the White House was undergoing extensive renovations from 1948-1952. The main part of the mansion was found to be structurally unsound…..so unsound the floors literally swayed to and fro. One resource states a leg of Margaret Truman’s piano broke through the floor in what is today the Private dining room, and the plaster in a corner of the East Room was sagging as much as 18 inches.

Torresola and Collazo’s plot involved approaching Blair House from opposite directions, overpowering any police or guards they came in contact with and then shooting their way into the house.

Thankfully, the whole attempt was fumbled from the very start. Collazo failed to cock his gun and nothing happened when he tried to shoot a guard. After frantically attempting to get the gun to fire Collazo shot the officer in the knee. Other officers opened fire on Collazo and struck him in the head and arm.

Torresola, on the other hand, approached a guard at the information booth outside the front door of Blair House and fired four shots at close range killing White House policeman, Leslie Coffelt. Another White House policeman, Joseph Downs was also shot by Torresola, but managed to get inside the house and close the door blocking the assassin’s way inside. Luckily before he died, Leslie Coffelt managed to fire the shot that eventually caused Torresola’s death.

President Truman had been taking a nap on the second floor of Blair House and awoke to gunfire. It is reported in many sources he actually looked out the upstairs window in time to see Torresola reloading his gun before Coffelt shot him.

President Truman didn’t miss a beat in his schedule because of the assassination attempt. One hour after Torresola and Collazo attempted to kill him, President Truman was on his way to Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath laying ceremony as the video below advises.

In the days following the assassination attempt Collazo was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted to life by President Truman. Truman also asked Coffelt’s widow to visit Puerto Rico and receive the condolences of the people there.

Puerto Rico experienced rapid industrialization during the 1950s mainly due to Operation Bootstrap which funneled millions of American dollars into the Puerto Rican economy moving it rapidly from mainly an agricultural economy to a very industrialized island.

In 1979, during the Carter administration Collazo was pardoned, and he returned to Puerto Rico.

1947 — Truman Doctrine by Harry S. Truman

March 12, 1947

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Congress of the United States:

The gravity of the situation which confronts the world today necessitates my appearance before a joint session of the Congress. The foreign policy and the national security of this country are involved.

One aspect of the present situation, which I wish to present to you at this time for your consideration and decision, concerns Greece and Turkey.

The United States has received from the Greek Government an urgent appeal for financial and economic assistance. Preliminary reports from the American Economic Mission now in Greece and reports from the American Ambassador in Greece corroborate the statement of the Greek Government that assistance is imperative if Greece is to survive as a free nation.

I do not believe that the American people and the Congress wish to turn a deaf ear to the appeal of the Greek Government.

Greece is not a rich country. Lack of sufficient natural resources has always forced the Greek people to work hard to make both ends meet. Since 1940, this industrious and peace loving country has suffered invasion, four years of cruel enemy occupation, and bitter internal strife.

When forces of liberation entered Greece they found that the retreating Germans had destroyed virtually all the railways, roads, port facilities, communications, and merchant marine. More than a thousand villages had been burned. Eighty-five per cent of the children were tubercular. Livestock, poultry, and draft animals had almost disappeared. Inflation had wiped out practically all savings.

As a result of these tragic conditions, a militant minority, exploiting human want and misery, was able to create political chaos which, until now, has made economic recovery impossible.

Greece is today without funds to finance the importation of those goods which are essential to bare subsistence. Under these circumstances the people of Greece cannot make progress in solving their problems of reconstruction. Greece is in desperate need of financial and economic assistance to enable it to resume purchases of food, clothing, fuel and seeds. These are indispensable for the subsistence of its people and are obtainable only from abroad. Greece must have help to import the goods necessary to restore internal order and security, so essential for economic and political recovery.

The Greek Government has also asked for the assistance of experienced American administrators, economists and technicians to insure that the financial and other aid given to Greece shall be used effectively in creating a stable and self-sustaining economy and in improving its public administration.

The very existence of the Greek state is today threatened by the terrorist activities of several thousand armed men, led by Communists, who defy the government’s authority at a number of points, particularly along the northern boundaries. A Commission appointed by the United Nations security Council is at present investigating disturbed conditions in northern Greece and alleged border violations along the frontier between Greece on the one hand and Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia on the other.

Meanwhile, the Greek Government is unable to cope with the situation. The Greek army is small and poorly equipped. It needs supplies and equipment if it is to restore the authority of the government throughout Greek territory. Greece must have assistance if it is to become a self-supporting and self-respecting democracy.

The United States must supply that assistance. We have already extended to Greece certain types of relief and economic aid but these are inadequate.

There is no other country to which democratic Greece can turn.

No other nation is willing and able to provide the necessary support for a democratic Greek government.

The British Government, which has been helping Greece, can give no further financial or economic aid after March 31. Great Britain finds itself under the necessity of reducing or liquidating its commitments in several parts of the world, including Greece. We have considered how the United Nations might assist in this crisis. But the situation is an urgent one requiring immediate action and the United Nations and its related organizations are not in a position to extend help of the kind that is required.

It is important to note that the Greek Government has asked for our aid in utilizing effectively the financial and other assistance we may give to Greece, and in improving its public administration. It is of the utmost importance that we supervise the use of any funds made available to Greece; in such a manner that each dollar spent will count toward making Greece self-supporting, and will help to build an economy in which a healthy democracy can flourish.

No government is perfect. One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected. The Government of Greece is not perfect. Nevertheless it represents eighty-five per cent of the members of the Greek Parliament who were chosen in an election last year. Foreign observers, including 692 Americans, considered this election to be a fair expression of the views of the Greek people.

The Greek Government has been operating in an atmosphere of chaos and extremism. It has made mistakes. The extension of aid by this country does not mean that the United States condones everything that the Greek Government has done or will do. We have condemned in the past, and we condemn now, extremist measures of the right or the left. We have in the past advised tolerance, and we advise tolerance now.

Greece’s neighbor, Turkey, also deserves our attention.

The future of Turkey as an independent and economically sound state is clearly no less important to the freedom-loving peoples of the world than the future of Greece. The circumstances in which Turkey finds itself today are considerably different from those of Greece. Turkey has been spared the disasters that have beset Greece. And during the war, the United States and Great Britain furnished Turkey with material aid.

Nevertheless, Turkey now needs our support.

Since the war Turkey has sought financial assistance from Great Britain and the United States for the purpose of effecting that modernization necessary for the maintenance of its national integrity.

That integrity is essential to the preservation of order in the Middle East.

The British government has informed us that, owing to its own difficulties can no longer extend financial or economic aid to Turkey.

As in the case of Greece, if Turkey is to have the assistance it needs, the United States must supply it. We are the only country able to provide that help.

I am fully aware of the broad implications involved if the United States extends assistance to Greece and Turkey, and I shall discuss these implications with you at this time.

One of the primary objectives of the foreign policy of the United States is the creation of conditions in which we and other nations will be able to work out a way of life free from coercion. This was a fundamental issue in the war with Germany and Japan. Our victory was won over countries which sought to impose their will, and their way of life, upon other nations.

To ensure the peaceful development of nations, free from coercion, the United States has taken a leading part in establishing the United Nations, The United Nations is designed to make possible lasting freedom and independence for all its members. We shall not realize our objectives, however, unless we are willing to help free peoples to maintain their free institutions and their national integrity against aggressive movements that seek to impose upon them totalitarian regimes. This is no more than a frank recognition that totalitarian regimes imposed on free peoples, by direct or indirect aggression, undermine the foundations of international peace and hence the security of the United States.

The peoples of a number of countries of the world have recently had totalitarian regimes forced upon them against their will. The Government of the United States has made frequent protests against coercion and intimidation, in violation of the Yalta agreement, in Poland, Rumania, and Bulgaria. I must also state that in a number of other countries there have been similar developments.

At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is too often not a free one.

One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.

The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms.

I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.

I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.

I believe that our help should be primarily through economic and financial aid which is essential to economic stability and orderly political processes.

The world is not static, and the status quo is not sacred. But we cannot allow changes in the status quo in violation of the Charter of the United Nations by such methods as coercion, or by such subterfuges as political infiltration. In helping free and independent nations to maintain their freedom, the United States will be giving effect to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

It is necessary only to glance at a map to realize that the survival and integrity of the Greek nation are of grave importance in a much wider situation. If Greece should fall under the control of an armed minority, the effect upon its neighbor, Turkey, would be immediate and serious. Confusion and disorder might well spread throughout the entire Middle East.

Moreover, the disappearance of Greece as an independent state would have a profound effect upon those countries in Europe whose peoples are struggling against great difficulties to maintain their freedoms and their independence while they repair the damages of war.

It would be an unspeakable tragedy if these countries, which have struggled so long against overwhelming odds, should lose that victory for which they sacrificed so much. Collapse of free institutions and loss of independence would be disastrous not only for them but for the world. Discouragement and possibly failure would quickly be the lot of neighboring peoples striving to maintain their freedom and independence.

Should we fail to aid Greece and Turkey in this fateful hour, the effect will be far reaching to the West as well as to the East.

We must take immediate and resolute action.

I therefore ask the Congress to provide authority for assistance to Greece and Turkey in the amount of $400,000,000 for the period ending June 30, 1948. In requesting these funds, I have taken into consideration the maximum amount of relief assistance which would be furnished to Greece out of the $350,000,000 which I recently requested that the Congress authorize for the prevention of starvation and suffering in countries devastated by the war.

In addition to funds, I ask the Congress to authorize the detail of American civilian and military personnel to Greece and Turkey, at the request of those countries, to assist in the tasks of reconstruction, and for the purpose of supervising the use of such financial and material assistance as may be furnished. I recommend that authority also be provided for the instruction and training of selected Greek and Turkish personnel.

Finally, I ask that the Congress provide authority which will permit the speediest and most effective use, in terms of needed commodities, supplies, and equipment, of such funds as may be authorized.

If further funds, or further authority, should be needed for purposes indicated in this message, I shall not hesitate to bring the situation before the Congress. On this subject the Executive and Legislative branches of the Government must work together.

This is a serious course upon which we embark.

I would not recommend it except that the alternative is much more serious. The United States contributed $341,000,000,000 toward winning World War II. This is an investment in world freedom and world peace.

The assistance that I am recommending for Greece and Turkey amounts to little more than 1 tenth of 1 per cent of this investment. It is only common sense that we should safeguard this investment and make sure that it was not in vain.

The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died. We must keep that hope alive.

The free peoples of the world look to us for support in maintaining their freedoms.

If we falter in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world — and we shall surely endanger the welfare of our own nation.

Great responsibilities have been placed upon us by the swift movement of events.

I am confident that the Congress will face these responsibilities squarely.

1945 — Declaration of Victory in Europe by Harry S. Truman

May 8, 1945


The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender. The western world has been freed of the evil forces which for five years and longer have imprisoned the bodies and broken the lives of millions upon millions of free-born men. They have violated their churches, destroyed their homes, cor- rupted their children, and murdered their loved ones. Our Armies of Liberation have restored freedom to these suffering peoples, whose spirit and will the oppressors could never enslave.

Much remains to be done. The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed. United, the peace-loving nations have demonstrated in the West that their arms are stronger by far than the might of dictators or the tyranny of military cliques that once called us soft and weak. The power of our peoples to defend themselves against all enemies will be proved in the Pacific was as it has been proved in Europe.

For the trimuph of spirit and of arms which we have won, and of its promise to peoples everywhere who join us in the love of freedom, it is fitting that we, as a nation, give thanks to Almighty God, who has strengthened us and given us the victory.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, HARRY S. TRUMAN, President of the United States of America, do hereby appoint Sunday, May 13, 1945 to be a day of prayer.

I call upon the people of the United States, whatever their faith, to unite in offering joyful thanks to God for the victory we have won and to pray that He will support us to the end of our present struggle and guide us into the way of peace.

I also call upon my countrymen to dedicate this day of prayer to the memory of those who have given their lives to make possible our victory.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this eighth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-five and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-ninth.


By the President:
Harry S. Truman

Truman to the UN

I saw that President Obama addressed the UN today, so I thought I’d pull an older UN address for you – this from President Truman.

This site (the Truman Library) offers a lesson plan, the transcript as well as the audio.
Here is one of the questions as wel as part of the speech that deals with it:
From listening to the excerpt, what can you tell about President Truman’s feelings toward refugees?

The Assembly now has before it for adoption the
constitution of another specialized agency in this field–the International
RefugeeOrganization. It is essential that this Organization be created in time
to take over from UNRRA as early as possible in the new year the tasks of caring
for and repatriating or resettling the refugees and displaced persons of Europe.
There will be similar tasks, of great magnitude, in the Far East.

The United States considers this a matter of great
urgency in the cause of restoring peace and in the cause of humanity

I intend to urge the Congress of the United States to
authorize this country to do its full part, both in financial support of
theInternational Refugee Organization and in joining with other nations to
receive those refugees who do not wish to return to their former homes for
reasons of political or religious belief.