On June 13, 2007, David McCullough, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Truman, returned to Independence, Missouri and the Truman Library to deliver a keynote address marking the 50th anniversary of the Library’s dedication in 1957. The transcript of his address follows.
What a pleasure it is to be back here and what a lot I learned in the 10 years that I worked here. A time that flew! And my heart is still very much in Jackson County wherever I am, and to be welcomed – as I have been by so many people even before I arrived at the Library this afternoon –has been a great kick… people stopping when I was out walking in the street. Just this morning one very friendly, nice lady came up and greeted me and she said, “Welcome back, how good to see you here Mr. Cronkite.” (Laughter) Read More
The National Security Act of 1947 at 75 Years
Seventy-five years ago, on July 26, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed into law the National Security Act of 1947. The scholar Douglas Stuart has rightly called it “the law that transformed America.” Some of the most important institutions of America’s national defense and international leadership, including the National Security Council, Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, and Air Force, all trace their birth to this one law.
75th Anniversary of the Marshall Plan
June 5, 2022 marked the anniversary of a speech that altered world history. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, who had been a five-star general in World War II, was at Harvard to receive an honorary degree and deliver the commencement address. In unadorned remarks – and with little fanfare – he laid out a plan that would redefine U.S. foreign policy and transform the modern world. To mark the 75th anniversary of the Marshall Plan and share the rich historical resources archived at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, the Truman Library Institute has partnered with the German Marshall Fund of the United States to highlight the achievements of one of the most important American diplomatic initiatives of the 20th century. Commemorative exhibits are on display at GMF’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., highlighting the post-war crisis, President Truman’s recovery program, and the beginning of a new epoch in western Europe. Read More
Commencement Address at Princeton University
Delivered at Princeton University on June 17, 1947, following the conferment of an honorary degree on Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States of America
President Dodds, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
The President of Princeton University spoke of crises a while ago. He should try sitting in my chair for about an hour and a half!
It is with a great deal of pleasure, and much pride, that I am now able to count myself as a member of the Princeton family. Princeton University has conferred an honor upon me for which I am deeply grateful. I consider it a special privilege to have received the degree of Doctor of Laws at the Final Convocation of the Bicentennial Year in the presence of this distinguished company. Read More
80th Birthday Greetings
from President Johnson to Former President Truman
On May 6, 1964, Harry S. Truman was in the Grand Ballroom of the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, attending a luncheon in his honor when he was informed that he had a telephone call from The White House. In his greetings, President Lyndon B. Johnson shared these words with the 33rd president, who guided the nation and the world through the perilous years following World War II: “When you blow out those candles, Mr. President, I hope you think of all the lights you have turned on during 80 years. They are still burning in Greece and Turkey and Western Europe and the Far East and in the hearts of your countrymen.” Thanks to the archival work of the presidential libraries, we have the full transcript of their phone conversation, which took place two days before President Truman’s 80th birthday. Read More
2022 Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership Award
WILLIAM J. BURNS, DIRECTOR, CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
The 2022 Harry S. Truman Legacy of Leadership Award was presented on Thursday, April 28, 2022 at Wild About Harry in Kansas City, Missouri.
Director Burns’s acceptance remarks at WILD ABOUT HARRY on April 28, 2022 represented only his second public speech as director and came in a week in which the United Kingdom and United States announced further military help for Ukraine. Read More
Exclusive excerpt from Jeffrey Frank’s newest book
The Trials of Harry S. Truman – sheds light on 75th anniversary of the Truman Doctrine
Jeffrey Frank, author of the bestselling Ike and Dick, returns with the first full account of the Truman presidency in nearly thirty years, recounting how so ordinary a man met the extraordinary challenge of leading America through the pivotal years of the mid-20th century.
The nearly eight years of Harry Truman’s presidency—among the most turbulent in American history—were marked by victory in the wars against Germany and Japan; the first use of an atomic weapon; the beginning of the Cold War; creation of the NATO alliance; the founding of the United Nations; the Marshall Plan to rebuild the wreckage of postwar Europe; the Red Scare; and the fateful decision to commit troops to fight in Korea.
Historians have tended to portray Truman as stolid and decisive, with a homespun manner, but the man who emerges in The Trials of Harry S. Truman is complex and surprising.
The Trials of Harry S. Truman was released on March 8, 2022 and is available wherever books are sold. Read More
#OTD February 22, 1946 | The Long Telegram
76 years ago, George Kennan, an American diplomat living in Moscow, sent an 8,000-word telegram to President Truman’s State Department. Today, “The Long Telegram” is regarded as a foundational U.S. document, right up there with the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist Papers and George Washington’s Farewell Address. As a sign of its enduring significance, the telegram’s 75th anniversary appears on top-ten lists of historic moments to note in 2021. Read More
TRU History – Truman Signs Directive 225
We recently heard a remarkable story from an unexpected caller, and we wanted to share it today, in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The caller was a gentleman from Florida. He introduced himself as “Harry” and said that he wanted to make a donation to the STAY TRU Capital Campaign.
“You see, I’m named for Harry Truman,” he told us. “During World War II, my parents were sent to concentrations camps – Auschwitz and Dachau.” Against all odds, they found each other after the camps were liberated, then were moved – along with millions of refugees – into a displaced persons camp. The situation wasn’t hopeful. In Germany alone, there were 7 million refugees with no home to return to. Read More
On this day in 1949, Harry S. Truman delivered his Inaugural Address on the U.S. Capitol’s East Portico. More than 100,000 people were gathered in the Capitol Plaza when he began his 2,272-word address with these words… Read More