TRU Blog

TRU Blog

Event Preview: “The Great War in America” with Garrett Peck | November 8, 2018

Wednesday, December 5, 2018
6 p.m. Reception | 6:30 p.m. Program
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

On December 5, the Truman Library is honored to welcome author and historian Garrett Peck for a free public program discussing his latest book, The Great War in America: World War I and Its Aftermath, which examines the American experience during World War I and the unexpected changes that rocked the country in its immediate aftermath — the Red Scare, race riots, women’s suffrage and Prohibition, particularly timely on the centennial of the Armistice. Read More

Event Preview: “The Great War in America” with Garrett Peck

Election Eve 1948 | October 31, 2018

On November 1, 1948, Harry Truman was home in Independence, awaiting the presidential election the following day after the exhaustion of his Whistle Stop campaign. He addressed the people one more time, this time in his hometown, in the speech below:

Independence, Mo.
November 1, 1948, Election Eve

I want to thank Senator Barkley for his generous introduction, and to say what I have said before — that no candidate for President ever had a finer running mate. The people of this country are everlastingly in his debt for his leadership in their interest. Senator Barkley will go down in history as one of our greatest public servants.

During the past two months the Senator and I have been going up and down the country, telling the people what the Democratic Party stands for in government. I have talked in great cities, in State capitals, in county seats, in crossroad villages and country towns.

Everywhere the people showed great interest. They came out by the millions. They wanted to know what the issues were in this campaign, and I told them what was in my mind and in my heart.

I explained the meaning of the Democratic Party platform. I told them that I intend to carry it out if they will give me a Democratic Congress to help.

From the bottom of my heart I thank the people of the United States for their cordiality to me and for their interest in the affairs of this great Nation and of the world. I trust the people, because when they know the facts, they do the right thing. I have tried to tell them the facts and explain the issues.

Now it is up to you, the people of this great Nation, to decide what kind of government you want — whether you want government for all the people or government for just the privileged few.

Tonight I am at my home here in Independence — Independence, Mo. — with Mrs. Truman and Margaret. We are here to vote tomorrow as citizens of this Republic. I hope that all of you who are entitled to vote will exercise that great privilege. When you vote, you are in control of your Government.

Tomorrow you will be deciding between the principles of the Democratic Party — the party of the people — and the principles of the Republican Party — the party of privilege.

Your vote tomorrow is not just a vote for one man or another; it is a vote which will affect you and your families for years to come.

Now maybe you would like to know why I have made this fight for the people. I will try to tell you. It is a matter of the things I believe in.

I believe in a free America — strong and undivided.

I believe in the principles of the Declaration of Independence — that we the people shall govern ourselves through our elected representatives — that every man and woman has a right to an equal voice in the management of our Nation’s affairs.

I believe that the Constitution, which rightly protects property, is still more deeply pledged to protect human rights.

I believe that the Democratic Party is the party of the people. I believe that through the Democratic Party, all classes of our citizens will receive fairer treatment and more security.

I believe, in particular, in the industrial workers, the farmers, and the small businessmen of this country. I believe they can best protect themselves against reaction and against inflation through the Democratic Party.

I believe that a Democratic administration, pledged to continue the present policies of our country, is our best insurance against going back to the dark days of 1932.

I believe with all my heart and soul that Almighty God has intended the United States of America to lead the world to peace. We were in that position 30 years ago. We failed to meet our obligation then, and World War II was the result.

This time we must live up to our opportunity to establish a permanent peace for the greatest age in human history.

We have two great goals — one to build a secure life for ourselves here at home, and the other to build a lasting peace for the world.

As you mark your ballots tomorrow, I want every housewife to ask herself: Will this protect my home and my children for the future?

I want every husband to ask himself: Is this best for my wife and family?

I want all voters to ask themselves: Is this the best way to insure a free and prosperous country?

And now, my fellow citizens, the future welfare of our country is in your hands. I have told you the truth as God has given me wisdom to see the truth.

Go to the polls tomorrow and vote your convictions, your hopes, and your faith — your faith in the future of a nation that under God can lead the world to freedom and to peace.


Truman shocked the world when he won the 1948 presidential election the next day, earning 303 Electoral College votes to Thomas E. Dewey’s 189.

Learn more about Truman’s harrowing 1948 campaign and his years in the presidency at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. Plan your visit today.

This story originally appeared in the 1948 Commemorative Issue of TRU Magazine, a magazine delivered free to Truman Library Institute members.

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Election Eve 1948

The Trip of a Lifetime | October 16, 2018

Truman fan’s greatest wish comes true

John Nappi was 14 when Harry Truman became president in 1945. From that moment until Mr. Nappi’s passing late last year, Truman was not just his favorite president but his hero.

“Harry represents everything my dad values about this country and the American Dream,” said Debbie Mayo, Nappi’s daughter. “Harry grew up in a working class family – like my dad, was an avid reader – like my dad, and stood by his convictions, even if they were unpopular – like my dad. Harry was the classic underdog who worked hard, had grit and determination and never gave up.” Read More

The Trip of a Lifetime

An Evening With David McCullough | September 17, 2018

More than 850 passionate Harry Truman fans packed into the Muehlebach Hotel on April 19, 2018, for the 19th annual Wild About Harry, featuring honored guest David McCullough. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the definitive biography Truman was honored that evening with the Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership Award then gave the following remarks. We are honored to share an excerpt from his speech:

Good evening and thank you very, very much. I feel back home again. I feel the feeling that I have in general that we are a good people, we are a good country, we are good citizens, we care about the future, and we care about the past. And to have so much of that feeling, a projection of that attitude all in one room is heartening in the extreme. And what a proud moment to have an award presented by Harry Truman’s grandson. Read More

An Evening With David McCullough

The Many Miracles of 1948 | August 28, 2018

70 Years Later, a look back at this history-jammed 12 months

A.J. Baime

The following piece was contributed by A.J. Baime, author of The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World who is currently working on a book about the 1948 election. It originally appeared in the 1948 Commemorative Issue of TRU Magazine.

In the early evening of November 2, 1948, a secret service car pulled up behind Harry Truman’s home in Independence, Missouri, and scooped up the President of the United States. The car motored north out of town and over the Missouri River. It was Election Night, and Truman had just completed the most exhausting campaign of his life. In the quiet town of Excelsior Springs, he checked into a room alone at the Elms Hotel. Few outside of Mrs. Truman knew of his whereabouts. Read More

The Many Miracles of 1948

Truman in the News | August 27, 2018

From forming the United Nations to addressing conflict in Korea, from establishing NATO to handling the early days of the Cold War, the issues that Harry Truman faced and the unwavering leadership principles that guided him seem to become more and more relevant every day. This summer national media has turned its attention to President Truman and his legacy to interpret today’s domestic and global news. Read More

Truman in the News

Dr. Kurt Graham at the AJC Global Forum | August 2, 2018

Dr. Kurt Graham, director of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, spoke at the AJC Global Forum earlier this summer in Jerusalem, memorializing President Truman, who the AJC called “a heroic friend of Israel.”

Watch his speech here, or read the entire transcript below:

In April of 1943, a little-known, Midwestern senator stood before a stadium rally in Chicago “to demand rescue of doomed Jews.” His address was a forceful call to establish the foundation of the post-war order, even as the world war raged on. “We must make sure that when final victory is achieved all men throughout the world will live in peace, free from all oppression.” Read More

Dr. Kurt Graham at the AJC Global Forum

Meet Research Grant Recipient Melanie Sheehan | July 27, 2018

Each year some two dozen historians, writers and scholars receive Research Grants to explore the archives at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. These prestigious research grants are made possible thanks to the generosity of Truman Library Institute members and donors.

Donors have made it possible for the Truman Library Institute to give out nearly $2.7 million over the years for researchers all over the world to travel to Independence to immerse themselves in archival research and further our understanding of the Truman era.

Meet one of these grantees, Melanie Sheehan, who recently traveled to the Truman Library from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill to research for her project focused on business and labor organizations in the international economy during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. We took a few minutes of Melanie’s time to learn about her research and what she learned while on site at the Truman Library. Read More

Meet Research Grant Recipient Melanie Sheehan

Meet Research Grant Recipient Armaghan Ziaee | July 18, 2018

Each year some two dozen historians, writers and scholars receive Research Grants to explore the archives at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum. These prestigious research grants are made possible thanks to the generosity of Truman Library Institute members and donors.

Donors have made it possible for the Truman Library Institute to give out nearly $2.7 million over the years for researchers all over the world to travel to Independence to immerse themselves in archival research and further our understanding of the Truman era.

Meet one of these grantees, Armaghan Ziaee, who recently traveled to the Truman Library from the University of Cincinnati to research for her project focused on the Point Four Program in Iran. We took a few minutes of Armaghan’s time to learn about her research and what she learned while on site at the Truman Library.

Read More

Meet Research Grant Recipient Armaghan Ziaee

Finding Clarity in Chaos | June 29, 2018

Processing the National Korean War Museum Collection

Natalie Walker is Museum / Archives Technician at the Truman Library Institute and is currently finishing a Master’s in Public History at Colorado State University.

Natalie wrote the following blog post telling the behind-the-scenes story of processing a new collection of Korean War items acquired when the National Korean War Museum closed its doors.

Read More

Finding Clarity in Chaos