tv The Presidency Heartland Presidents - Harry Truman Dwight Eisenhower CSPAN August 20, 2021 6:36am-8:00am EDT
heartland? here i'm referring to his his what midwestern values hard work patriotism honesty duty and integrity. now those values are not midwestern, of course. but they do reflect harry truman's personality and character. this evening. i will only have time to talk about some of the highlights of truman's life and career and i'm looking forward to talking with tim about his connections with with another president of the heartland dwight eisenhower. so if we can move on to the next slide, please. this is a photograph of harry truman as a young boy. he's in the first grade and nolan school and independence. this picture was probably taken in around 1890. harry truman was born on may 8th
1884 in the town of lamar, missouri, which is about two hours south of kansas city. and it dates six his parents moved to independence. his mother was interested in him attending public schools in independence, missouri. so this picture would have been taken probably very soon after his return or his move to independence. that's him in the front row in the far right you see the little arrow indicating his his location in the picture. harry truman was an avid reader as a child in part because this poor eyesight which prevented him from engaging in in the kind of schoolyard games a lot of his peers did. and so instead of eyeglasses as a young boy, and that kind of set him apart from some of his other fellow students. he read history and biography and was a lifelong learner. he also read the bible quite a bit.
he wore eyeglasses and took piano lessons. and but otherwise, he was a an average boy. he had two siblings. he had a brother and a sister. and by all indications by his own accounts in his own memoirs. he had a happy childhood. okay, go to the next slide please morgan. okay, this picture is taken of harry truman when he was probably about 14 years old about the time it is first job at clinton's drug store and independence. where he slept the swept the floor and and clean bottles and really learned what it was like to work. as a young young man, he was close to his cousins the nolan sisters who lived across the street from what would become his future home in independence? to 19 north delaware, which will say more about later a young age. you struck up a friendship with best wallace who was a long time
made of of independence while lifelong native of independence. they'd met in sunday school when when harry was in the second grade they came from different backgrounds though, and that's kind of important different economic backgrounds and best was considered part of the the local elite. she was an episcopalian for longstanding roots and independence. harry truman himself was a baptist. this is grandfather had been a prominent businessman. okay the next slide please. this is a picture of harry truman's graduating class in independence high school. harry truman is the fourth from the left in the back row. you can see him wearing his glasses. he's got his hand on the shoulder to man in front young man man in front of him. that's wallace's in this picture. she is in the second row at the
end on the far right so second row seated on the far right there. and also interest in in this picture is charlie ross. who is on the far left front row and ross would move on to become harry truman's press secretary during truman's presidency. true's education was rigorous. in high school, although and he never did attend college. however he had dreamed his young man of becoming a military general and of going to west point. after graduation in 1901. he took odd jobs though, including railroad timekeeper in a bank clerk. this college dreams were shattered when his father's financial fortunes took a downward turn and he had to leave independence for for the town of grandview, missouri, which will say more about here in a moment. but again, harry truman was a lifelong learner and really self-educated man. he drew lessons of history
throughout his life and career and drew upon them in just a regular conversation and they helped guide his his personal philosophy and his his leadership style and decision making next slide please. okay, this is a picture of the grandview farm grandview is the town just south of kansas city. it's in the greater kansas city metro area though. not far from independence. and is here at truman is actually pictured here. he's on the right there. he assisted on his family's farm as i mentioned his his father had some some speculative businesses. that went went bust and so truman was forced to move with his family to this farm that his grandmother ownership. she's pictured there seated in a rocking chair. this was known as the young farm. that was his grandmother's name. truman engage in numerous
activities on the farm driving course drawn plows doing crop rotations etc corn and wheat were grown on the on the farm as were various kinds of livestock. now this is around 1906. okay. so harry truman's graduate from high school 1901 and in he has a series of odd jobs between 1901 and 1906 when he's forced to move on to the farm. he told about his numerous activities in letters to his his friend and on again off again girlfriend best wallace who would become best walls truman in the future. he told about the rigors of farm life and how stressful it was and although he had a philosophical view of farming to a new it's important. of course, he gets the financial books as well. and it was about this time. he joined the masons which would become an important part of his his life and his friendships. he stayed on the farm until 1917 when he listed in the national
guard and left for left the farm for military service in france soon after for during world war. i work on the farm taught him that he could lead farm workers and it also taught him that he didn't want to be a farmer for the rest of his life. okay, next slide, please. harry truman did not need to serve in world war one. he was 34 years old in 1917. so he was past the listening age, but he was inspired by president woodrow wilson's call to resist german aggression and he wanted to see the world beyond beyond rural and the kansas city area in the city of kansas city want to see the wide world as well. he had an interest in the world by his by his reading primarily and he had the opportunity to serve in combat during world war. i need to become the only president of the united states that would see combat during
world war one. we could dedicate an entire clock to his service in in world war one and fortunately i don't of course don't have time to say too much, but he served in france in 1918. he saw action. in the village mountains the sand and sandy hell salient the offensive and verdun. he commanded 194 men in an artillery battery. and it is here that he further learned that he could be a leader of men. he was firm, but fair and by all accounts the men liked him and respected him. because he also showed an interest in them. he could be a disciplinarian but also showed an interest in the man on a personal level and appreciated that. in fact, they gave him a big silver loving cup as a token of appreciation after the war truman really made important bonds during his military service and later served as a colonel in the field artillery reserve and really the his
military service was a real form of event for him. the next slide please. he returns from the war in early 1919 when he's mustered out military service. and he marries his longtime sweetheart best wallace on june 28 19. 19 now he had proposed the best in 1911, but she turned him down. and then shortly before he left for france best suggested that perhaps they should get married before he moved on to france before he left for france, but he refused. saying he didn't want her to be married. perhaps a cripple as he put it or worse to be a widow. um he carried a picture of her in his in his pocket overseas during during the war and in france and throughout the rest
of his life. he remained very faithful to his his beloved best. no next slide, please. the two set up housekeeping at 219 teleware street, which is now a national park service his historic site that you can cut go and visit about five blocks. of south of the truman presidential library and this house would become the the permanent residence of harry and best truman for the rest of their lives. and bestest grandfather had had built this home actually best to not grow up in this house though. she grew up just down the street at a house. not far from this one. and i wish i had such an interesting story about about her life that wish i had more time to get into but but it was at this time that harry realized he had to find a business and
something to make a livelihood with and it's here that he established his his haberdashery. which is an immense clothing store in downtown kansas city with a business partner eddie jacobson, which will say more about in a little while. the business is not survive very long though. it it went uh bus, you know as a result of an economic recession shortly after world war i so harry truman then had to find another another occupation which will say more about here in a moment. this is the place where this house here is where they're only child here investment is only child margaret was born in 1824 and this house really would remain best truman sanctuary as well as her home for the rest of her life. despite their numerous travels to washington dc throughout harry truman's political career. they would always consider this home and independence, missouri as their permanent home.
best arranged harry truman steadfast wife and partner an advisor behind the scenes never one to like like the limelight. however, she loved referred to to be behind the scenes, but harry truman consulted her regularly for a variety of different reasons throughout his throughout his career. okay, next slide, please. this is our this is a photo here of where harry truman conducted a lot of his business during the 1920s. he wanted you after his haberdashery failed. he turned politics and that's an interesting story that i wish we had time to get into as well, but he won his first election in 1922 and he won election as judge of eastern jackson county and that was considered a not a judicial position. it was it was an administrative. akin to a county commissioner and so is defeated for
re-election in 1824, but in 1926, he was elected as presiding judge of the entire county jackson county four year term like 1986 re-elected 1930 and this is the building where he where he conducted business and visitors can still see the office there and this is not far either from the truman home. i was walking distance between the truman home and this this building and not far from the truman presidential library as well. i realized this is kind of a dated photo here probably from the 1970s, but i do like it. um, and it's important in the 1920s to say briefly that harry truman helped renovate this building which is a very old courthouse that predates truman's life, of course you want approval for a bond issue for seven six point five million dollars to build 224 miles of paper paved highways and jackson county. in additional funds for building a county hospital. he also raised money to renovate the courthouse. here and to build a new
courthouse for jackson county in downtown, kansas city. okay, next slide, please. harry truman's political careers would not end in was a political ambitions would not end in jackson county. of course. he was tapped to run for us senate again a very interesting story that i wish we could get into here this evening, but he was elected in 1934 and as you see here the pattern he's progressing to hire and higher offices. elected in 1934. he is patron. i say was thomas pendergast. the so-called boss of kansas city at a time when machine politics ruled a lot of large american cities and the pendergast machine saw a lot of value in running harry truman for senate plus some of the other candidates they were
looking for dropped out for first reasons, but harry truman was a man of high integrity and really struggled those being part of this penderg. machine, he wrote long hand notes of diary like entries about the struggles. he was having with the ethics of trying to work within the framework of the the tender gas machine. and in by all accounts, he was an honest man, and he said, you know, i will i will leave this office. that is the senate is, you know, poor in every way that than when i came in he refused a prophet from his office either as presiding judge of jackson county was as us senator. he was elected in 1934 as they say and then six years later. he's re-elected in 1940. he was popular with the second colleague and played important roles in the passage of bills that became the transportation act in the civil aeronautics act. and he also stepped outside what
you might expect in midwestern senator to say he spoke about nazi aggression early during world war ii in early 1940s and an important speech in chicago any spoke about civil rights to an all white audience in a town called sedalia, missouri and those two speeches are very interesting in terms of truman stepping out of his comfort zones. so to speak to challenge some of the issues of the day okay, next slide, please. truman's most important oh, well, the thing is most famous for is the us senator was the so called truman committee, which is the senate special committee to investigate the national defense program. which may have saved taxpayers up to 11 billion dollars? it also put harry truman on the cover of time raised his political profile and his name recognition, especially among democratic party power brokers. so in 1944 harry truman was well
became her became president franklin vice president running, mate. and this is very crucial because fdr was in declining health the public wasn't aware of that but democratic party insiders were well aware of fdrs declining health and the new that whoever became vice president very likely would become president of the united states and the incumbent vice president. henry wallace was unpalable for various reasons. harry truman had positive traits many positive traits and and is important fewer negative ones than others. so he was elected with franklin roosevelt in 1944 election and served 82 days as vice president until franklin roosevelt's sudden death on april 12 1945. so with that i think i will turn it over to my colleague tim. thank you, sam. here we have dwight eisenhower 34th president of the united
states and like harry truman very much a product of the american heartland would have subscribed to law the same values and embodied the same virtues the men grew up within about 170 hundred eighty miles of each other. i had a lot of similar experiences. in fact, there is even a bit of overlap when eisenhower's oldest brother arthur at one time lived in the same boarding house as harry truman around 1900 i believe. and even though the men did share a lot in common. and there was a lot of mutual respect. there are always was not always rather a lot of mutual like for each other as we'll discuss in a little bit which is kind of ironic again giving so many similarities. between the two men next slide please. we'll go to ike's childhood and it's it always strikes me is how similar this picture is to the picture of harry truman's grade school class. looks like it's about the same
size and they put the students in the same pose. there you can see little ike on the front row second from the left with the arrow pointing to him. and i think it's actually pointing that arrow at the keys wearing a key on a string around his neck. so i guess he was sort of a latchkey child, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense because he lived directly across the street from his boyhood home. probably 100 feet from its house. but whatever reason he is wearing a key around his neck. he was born october 14th 1890. in denison, texas this again sort of ironic and the eisenhower story because he became so identified with kansas and with abilene. and in fact, he was the only one of the seven eisenhower boys who was born outside of the state of kansas. his father it's suffered a business setback. with a sundry sort of dry goods store that he owned in hope kansas, which is about 25 miles south of abilene.
and out of maybe kind of a sense of shame he went to texas in this self-imposed exiled worked as a wiper on a missouri, kansas, texas railroad in denison, and that's where ike was born in 1892 1890 rather and then in 1892 a number of family members convinced them to move back to abilene. and ike's father went to work in the bell springs creamery where he worked for many years. and his original name was david dwight eisenhower. the david was for his father. the dwight was after a famous 19th evangelist named white moody. and yet they always call him dwight because they didn't want to be called junior. after his father and then like ulysses ask grant when he went to west point his name officially changed it was then that he reversed the order from david dwight eisenhower to dwight david eisenhower and became the name that's now that's now so well known.
and i believe is an interesting town. it was only about not even a generation removed from its sort of wild cow past abilene is the terminus of the chisholm trail. so you had all that great history of the massive. that cattle drives up the trail to kansas wild bill hickok. had been the city marshal one time and so you had gunfights and everything that goes along with with a with a cow town and eisenhower really absorbed and and really enjoyed that history. coincidentally 1890 the year. he was born. so the year that the american frontier was was declared close and siri you had eisenhower coming into the world. at this transition in american history, you know from this open frontier moving into a more industrialized age. in fact, there's great symmetry in his life. he was born in the year. the frontier was declared closed and died the year that americans landed on the moon so you can see this really broad range of
history at eisenhower embodied and in fact with his creation of nasa, you know helped help create that and the foundation also the foundation rather. i mean the frontier gave ike a sense of limits if if most of the freeland was gone of natural resources were in danger. of being exhausted then there had to be limits set up on expansion and upon what we could expect out of the natural habitat. and for reasons that would take a while to get into eisenhower's view of the frontier and of these limited resources would actually lead him to expand. social security to us to a certain degree, which does take some explanations. maybe we get into that later. he was a good student. he really enjoyed ancient history. he enjoyed mass did well in school. next slide please. we'll see in a few years later. this is his high school his senior picture. i guess we'd call it today.
i graduated in 1909. should have graduated in 1908 but when he was a freshman he had had an accident scraped knee which became badly infected and in fact almost lost a leg and had to repeat his his freshman year in high school. he had a brother edgar who was a little more than a year older. who had dropped out a school and returned and so the brothers would end up graduating together from abilene high school? in 1909, which clean high school graduates in 1909 actually put one and two an american elite only about 30% of americans graduated from high school at that time. it's roughly three times that now but eisenhower like, you know, harry truman it's always academically and educationally ambitious and wanted to get an imitation and a good education it's a very good athlete played baseball and football at abilene high school.
yeah, thank you. see the baseball team picture. that's ike on the back row second from the right. it's always a little difficult to recognize eisenhower as a young man because he had such a full head of hair and of course we don't think of ike in our imagination or memories as having a full head of hair. usually a center filter. and a running back on football team also organized the abilene high school athletic association, which raised money for equipment and things like that the student athletes needed. there was a prediction as high school yearbook for every graduate. there was a prediction made by the editor. the editor predicted that his brother edgar would become president of the united states. and that the white would become a professor of history at yale university. so they were they were close but not but not quite there. next slide please. again education eisenhower really wanted to college
education and he wanted to continue playing sports. as well the eisenhower's were a very modest family economically. some might say poor but i would say that they were still within the middle class. they they had this home now that we can see on our screens where they moved in 1898. now the center of our campus still in its original location. i find it interesting that all three of the homes for ike lived as a boy are still standing the first course. we was born in 1890 and denison texas is still standing and and it's it's a state park. there's another house in abilene on southeast 2nd street for the family lived from 1892 to 1898. which is still standing in the course this structure. it was built in 1987 and like truman's there's a family connection in the acquisition of the home. this home was owned by what if ike's uncles named abraham lincoln eisenhower and sold the house to his parents in 1898.
so i clipped here from the time. he was about in third grade until he left for west point. in 1911 unlike harry truman who had dreamed just you know glass point maybe being a general as a boy. eisenhower didn't really ever have he said later and i did of that growing up, but he really did want to college education. and his brother edgar did too and so edgar started at the university of michigan. the idea was that i could work for two years and support edgar. said edgar would drop out i could go for two years maybe kind of leapfrother leapfrog their way through college and so to support edgar eisenhower was working at the bell springs creamery where his father worked basically as a boiler attendant. for about 84 hours two weeks it was you know every night from 6pm to 6 am. now during that time.
he renewed an acquaintanceship with boy named sweet hazlet. suite haslam is from a rather affluent family. his father was a physician in abilene. he'd gone to a private military academy and sweden was going to the naval academy. and he told ike that if you want to get a college education, you should get a service academy appointment. and so i've been dedicated himself trying to get an appointment to either annapolis or west point. he'd really didn't have a strong preference. he just wanted that college education and he wanted someone to pay for it. and so all these tending the boiler. he's also studying every night during those 12 hours. does well on the appointment there's a competitive exam offered by senator joseph bristow. and then eisenhower secures an appointment. he was too old however to go to annapolis by this time. he was 20 years old. and he would not start college until he was almost 21. and that would have made him a year too old for eligibility in annapolis. and so he ends up going to west
point which is fine with him because again, he just wants that college education and he wants to continue playing sports and so he goes to west point in 1911 and indeed becomes a football star and in fact, he's starting to gain a lot of national attention plays in the game against the famous jim thor carlisle indian school. is on the verge of being a star when he suffers a really catastrophic knee injury in a game against tufts university and that's basically the end of this athletic career. nothing. he could make it fix at the time and it was probably a torn acl or something along those lines that are they're fairly routine now. but it was enough to end his athletic career and almost cost him his commission. and in fact, he could not join the cavalry because his knee cannot take mounting and dismounting. horse, but he did make it through west point academically. he was kind of midland in the middle of the class. they had a very high number of demerits.
a lot of things of course minor infractions, but he accumulated an awful lot of them his best scores were in english and mathematics. in fact, he created some solutions to math problems that became then be school solutions. do not like history did not like west points wrote memorization approach to history and lost this boy had love that he had which was later rekindled by an officer who was influential in his life next slide, please. that i can maybe went on become such a such a famous pair. ike's just out of west point. he goes to fort sam houston, which is in san antonio, texas, which is still there and he meets mamie geneva dowd. maybe came from a wealthy denver family. fact her father had become a
millionaire still in his 40s. thanks to the meat packing business in iowa in the 19th century back when a millionaire really meant something. so really immense wealth for the time. lived in denver as i said, but they would spend their their winters in san antonio. where was a good deal warmer and really the two met not long after ike's arrival in the fall of 1915. and by valentine's day 1916 were engaged and then married on july 1st 1916 the war also affected their plans as they did harry and bess. in that whether it rather than waiting the eisenhower's to speed up their plans. and so they got married. fairly soon, but of course it was a very good, you know and enduring marriage and very very successful partnership next picture, please. but of course there is that war and as sam said harry truman's the only president to have
served a combat. google world war i combats what dwight eisenhower wanted more than anything he felt that in order to make his mark as an officer to advance his career. he had to get to france and made so many requests to get to france that he was threatened with disciplinary action. but instead he was already had already been recognized for these great managerial and administrative abilities. the name is for. and so instead of going to france he becomes the director of the national tank training center at camp colt, pennsylvania, which is by gettysburg. and eisenhower was in charge of training almost all american tankers. in fact at one time. he had about 10,000 men. under his command. he was one of three graduates from the class in 1915 to become a lieutenant colonel. although it's only a temporary promotion. here you can see him in front of a renault tank. the type that were used no idea who the guy is sticking his face out of the the hatch there there
is a young dwight eisenhower. one very high marks again for his ministration of the camp and also for his administration of public health during the spanish flu influenza of that time, which i think we can all relate to better now than we could a year or so ago. but he was again you bitterly disappointed as he put it. and missing the chance for combat. in france eisenhower was always considered by his by his peers to be blessed with. a lot of luck and luck is something that many successful generals have been credited with having and you know, in fact napoleon's question of a general is he lucky? for whatever reason eisenhower had that had that that gift. one of the boys from kansas aaron plattner who had taken the west point or the service
academy qualified test along with ike? but did not get an appointment. went to france in the infantry and was killed. another boy who competed against ike it didn't get the appointment to west point went to the airport and was killed so there was like several of these guys who were associated with ike and his efforts, you know to go to west point or annapolis. he went to the regular army instead and lost their lives in world war. i so who knows what eisenhower actually avoided? by the the fate that that he actually experienced. but that seems to be kind of a theme throughout his life for these fortuitous events, but probably because he missed that experience next slide, please. he eagerly eagerly volunteered for 1919 transcontinental motor convoy. which was a coast to coast.
demonstration of america's new mechanized army and also a test that capability to see how well these new. largely, you know mobile mechanized units could do and also a test of how well america was prepared to defend itself. by giving its army access to these roads and the answer was not very well. 58 days from washington dc to san francisco the averaged not quite 60 miles a day. and in some places across the country the roads were virtually non-existent. in many places they had to build bridges to actually continue their journey the big thing to come out of this is it put an eisenhower's mind the idea we need to really good national grid of roads, and you eventually you see the
interstate highway system come out of this experience along with his experience later on the german autobahn, but this is what planet that first seed. was this two-month crawlac the the country from coast to coast? the transcontinental motor convoy, but it was a very formative experience in ike's life and you can see the picture on the right eisenhower is the right of that picture and i believed is immediate left is one of the fire stones. there would usually be a reception in every city that they went to and in this case. they actually stopped at the firestone headquarters, which i believe are in, ohio. if memory serves but again very important experience. in ike's life. next slide please. he returned went to what was in called camp meade maryland with the home of the tank corps where he continued for a couple of years following the motor convoy. and then he went to panama. and in panama he was the
executive director executive officer rather of infantry brigade. under a general named fox conner been charge of military operations under john pershing during world war. i and connor was a very influential mentor and i keep put him on an extensive kind of professional reading program rekindled. ike's love of military history. and really groomed ike for advancement. he also prepared him to go to the army's commander general stuff school as it was called the time at fort leavenworth, which is a real watershed for career army officers and often how you how you did it at leavenworth could determine and large part. of course your career was going to take why isn't harry goes to leavenworth? thanks to general connors intervention and training preparation. graduates first in his class and upper that opens up a lot of
opportunities for him. he goes to washington and under retired general john jay pershing. is assigned to the american battle monuments commission who are in charge of all the cemeteries in europe following the war. also charged with putting out a guidebook to the battle monuments and the cemeteries eisenhower as i mentioned was a very good student english student at west point and was considered one of the best writers in the water department. persian assigned him to finish writing a book that some others had started and then ike was given the opportunity to go to france for a year do more research and rewrite that volume. which he did so they spent 1928 1929 i can maybe and their son john. in france, and i could spend his days as you can see in this picture here out touring the battlefields and so he got to examine the entire western front that he had missed during world war. i and so he was able to at least
gain appreciation of that ground and those battles from this experience that had missed in 1917. and 1918 he returns finishes up this guidebook, which you can still find copies of. surprisingly because an assistant to the assistant secretary of war. studying war mobilization travels around the united states studying how ready industry would be to convert to a wartime footing you know, if that should occur works closely with congress and other political leaders, and it's a really good education just in the ways of washington in the ways the political bureaucracy. and as i later said it was his introduction to the military industrial complex that he would make so famous in his his farewell address. he then becomes an assistant to douglas macarthur who was the army chief of staff? and then he follows macarthur to panama. and macarthur's there really to
form a philippine army and defense force in preparation for the islands eventual independence and their eisenhower is really given the day-to-day work of building our an army from scratch again just invaluable. experience i know we need to to get moving so next slide, please at the end of this career of really a hard work and a lot ambition, of course culminates. his appointment as the supreme commander of the allied expeditionary force. in his supreme moment. on june 6 1944 is the d-day invasion, which i really think is the moment. that at that moment you could people knew that he was probably going to be president someday. just the respect that he had and the reputation for competence and leadership. you know, it's pretty obvious that this guy was was someone to look out for politically and
here's that iconic photograph. of eisenhower with the men of the 101st airborne the night before the invasion and he kept a copy of this picture on his desk the rest of his life whether his president or as a private citizen. next slide please. and he left this message the night before that the invasion. taking personal responsibility if the invasion failed and this is an item that we have in the eisenhower presidential library museum, and i think it's our single most important item just because of not only the momentous that historic occasion was they just want to tell you about eisenhower's leadership. and his sense of duty if you can't read it. he says our landings in the sherbore car area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and i have withdrawn the troops. my decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available.
the troops the air in the navy did all that. bravery and devotion to duty could do if any blame or falt attaches to the attempt. is mine alone? and then some of you will see that it's misdated july 5th, but we'll talk about that later, but i think we better keep moving into the presidency at this point. in this case right okay. thank you, tim. okay, we're going to shift gears and talk about harry truman. and you know many of the things tim and i are talking about could themselves be separate talks. so i do apologize for glossing over some very important things, but i'm hoping to at least hit some highlights. i mentioned harry truman becomes president suddenly in on april 12 1945. and a few few of any presidents have ever faced similar challenges that harry truman faced particular since he was
very ill prepared by franklin roosevelt. the two had only had two meetings during his 82 day vice president presidency. and what's happening was the war against germany. that is world war ii against germany was was concluding it would conclude in may the following month, but the war against japan was still very much of happening ongoing. and so harry truman was faced with how to end the war against japan and dealing with the issues of post for europe. and asia after the war and so he has a meeting here in july of 1945 with the big so called big three meeting winston churchill truman and joseph stalin churchill, of course the british leader in solomon the russian leader the soviet leader who are our during the war. and you know harry truman some
of his greatest successes had to do with the forming of a framework or a structure to conduct the cold war which would occur after the end of world war ii that is a cold war conflict that would last for 40 years between the united states and the soviet union so though we're allies of the soviet union during world war ii those relations with sour soon after the successful conclusion of the war. and truman helped establish that framework through the marshall plan, which was a huge aid package to to europe for european recovery after world war ii establishment of nato than the defense alliance with our european allies the truman doctrine, which was more of the ideological framework for containment. that is how to how to deal with the soviet union not through aggressive war but through containing their expansion. and of course not the least the established in the united
nations to try to prevent war and to promote peace throughout the world. so in this photograph, we have truman meeting with with the big three. okay, next slide, please. one of the things that harry truman had to deal with as i mentioned was concluding the war against japan. and he had options available to him. he had approved shortly after becoming president first part of a plan invasion of the japanese home islands, of course as not being necessary. when he was briefed shortly after becoming president by the secretary of war henry stimson about the progress of the manhattan project, which would develop the atomic bomb and harry truman as was his leadership style would gather as much information as he could from experts and rely on that their experts, you know their expertise with very little ego,
you know associated with it. he was willing to have people in the room that he knew were experts and smarter than than him in in their various areas, but in the end the buck stop with harry truman, you know, the buck stops here is famous sign. so he always knew you know that he was the one who made the decisions. so harry truman the decision to use the atomic bomb or authorize its use was was a simple one, you know as a as an x artillery officer. he saw the bomb probably without complete understanding of it as a weapon to end the war and save american lives and that was his goal that he successfully accomplished and we still you know over the years have gotten thank you from veterans and their families for truman's use of the bomb to end the war and to save the lives of american servicemen who would have been lost in the event of an invasion. the atomic bomb was successfully tested in july in 1945.
and you know, it was used in august august twice actually against hiroshima and nagasaki on august 6 and august 9 respectively and it brought the war to successful conclusion again, we could talk a lot more about these issues but no evidence has ever been there's no evidence true ever agonized about this matter. which remains of course a a controversial one though. next slide please. one of the most important things harry truman accomplished as president in addition ending war against japan was extending recognition to the new state of israel in 1948. and for harry truman, this was a moral humanitarian and yes a political issue. he was keenly aware of the suffering of the jewish people in other displaced persons during and after world war ii.
and a real importance here was eddie jacobson whose photographed here with truman there on the left who personally intervened with harry truman on this issue. truman showed really strong leadership here many of his own advisors opposed recognition of israel for geopolitical and economic reasons. and but but jacobson personally are seated with truman to to see what would become the future president of israel kind bitesman. and that conversation was a very pivotal one. truman's own advisors most notably george marshall opposed this decision the fear among his advisors was that it would cut off oil supplies because of possible arab embargo if we were to recognize israel and would increase the the leverage or power of the soviet union in the middle east and these are some
powerful voices. but again harry truman was willing to listen and in the end made his own decision. next slide please. you know, a lot of people have asked me. okay. all right, i think we'll probably just go ahead and skip the video there in the interest of time. so one of the things that harry truman had to deal with as well and a very eventually your presidency. was the invasion of south korea by north korea in june 1950 and the real takeaway here was the harry truman in his own reading of history in his own experience knew that aggression had to be met with force if necessary. and so harry truman authorized the use of american military forces under the leadership of the united nations, and that's very important thing and the leadership of general dwight.
sorry douglas macarthur to lead those united nations forces in in june 1950 truman native quick decision. well, he heard the the advice of his advisors on this but in the end one of the preserve south korean independence, which is what he did. he helped divert world war iii as well douglas macarthur had a difference of opinion on how to conduct the war. and in short truman and a firing go to macarthur the following spring ensuring primacy of civilian control of the military. and this was also the first successful stress test to put it lightly for the united nations, which was a fledgling organization established in 1945 and and something very important in near and dear to harry truman's heart. next slide please. in the domestic realm? oh harry truman did a lot for
the issue of civil rights. he had been appalled by the treatment and abuse of african-american veterans falling world war ii. this is remarkable thing with truman's own past as both his grandparents had been slave holders in missouri. in truman was known in some of his early letters to best to use racist language. and so that context is important when you think about what truman was able to accomplished from the areas civil rights. he established a civil rights commission, which is a pictured here pictured here for him. civil rights was a moral issue. he believed that america should treat all of its citizens equitably especially during the cold war so that the american form of government could be an attractive model for the world. next slide please. truman became the first president to speak before the naacp. to the speech to place in washington dc making 47 and you
can read their what what he said. during that speech very very important. and this would come in a time of great political risk to truman himself. by his own democratic party which in the south anyway was well-democratic party was very powerful in the south at that time, and there were very conservative southern democrats particularly in the senate which opposed truman civil rights platform, which would result in a split in his own party a three-way slit during the 1948 election. next slide please. one of the most pivotal black pivotal documents in our collection of the truman library is is the this executive order here. which is the executive order
9981 which was established a committee on the quality of treatment and opportunity there and forces or in short resulted in the eventual desegregation desegregation of the armed forces. he also issued another executive order to segregating the federal civil service. truman use executive orders because he couldn't get even basic bills through through congress on civil rights. he was unable to get an anti-winching bill passed or legislation even to abolish the poll tax. so that that showed you the context that he's working in here. we talk about some of the weaknesses or failures or challenges the truman presidency and we'll move on to the next slide, please and that's in the area of korea. and again, these are big issues that we don't have time to get into here, but in late 1950 truman authorized the use of the united nations forces to push
north korean forces back across the 38 parallel back into north korea. in other words, not only did he push out push more korean forces out of south korea. he authorized the use of those same forces to pursue the north korea's the border try to unify the country remove the north korean government of kindle song. oh, however, what happened is that the push went too far to border with china? which which is the north korea's northern border and that resulted in the massive invasion by chinese forces in support of north korea the north korean allies. and so this resulted in a protracted stalemate of the korean war that tim mobster will see more about here, but it really costs room and politically and the democratic party in 1952 election and korea in addition to its very positive legacy had also a negative
legacy of limited limited undeclared wars, which did not result in a third world war. i did exact a very high price of civilian populations in korea and later particularly vietnam and on american service members killed or injured during this conflicts, and of course in korea, it wasn't peace treaty even to this day. next slide please. and we have here is another more negative aspect of the truman presidency. despite all the glowing things that truman accomplished for the world in the country. the loyalty board is established in the north loyalty board was not one of them. of even prior to joseph mccarthy making accusations communists and government of just three years prior to harry truman edition executive order, uh deal that would create a loyalty board that has a lot of aspects to it. but basically it was truman's
effort to try to preempt more more stringent efforts by the republicans to to try to root out communists. so even before mccarthy's charges harry truman was dealing with the communist and government issue. and it was an issue that he really didn't he didn't think there was a severe threat, you know to the us government by by communists within the government, but he did establish his loyalty board and part of the problem here. is that that truman distrusted the fbi, which was really involved in this loyalty implementing the loyalty program and truman disliked its director j edgar hoover. charges could be based only on unfounded accusations and there are a number of employees who lost their jobs some of them, you know for legitimate reasons but others because they were they were just rooted out and
unfairly rooted out standards of procedural safeguards and standards of evidence were lacking. so i think we'll move on here. i'll pass it. pass it on to you tim. okay? well, just a little quick background eisenhower following world war ii. became the army chief of staff. he eventually retired from the army and becomes the president of columbia university. during that time. he's he's called back to service sort of part-time in washington since they're combining some of the military services. and eisenhower becomes the first sort of informal chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. then also while i still at columbia. the president truman taps ike to become the first allied commander of nato in december of 1950 and then an early 1951 eisenhower goes to france. somebody was still in france at the time. to to take up that that
position. and in many ways, i mean his running for president was to protect me these internationalist organizations that same ones that harry truman supported. the republican party at that time was deeply divided between of eastern moderates who believed in internationalism, they believe the united nations they believed in nato they believed in a european european defense community. as opposed to the more america first um, old guard as they were all often describe led by senator robert taft eisenhower had for a number of years been declining invitations to run for president as both a democrat. and a republican then we know from both man's diaries dwight eisenhower's and harry truman's and harry truman broad eisenhower to the white house and offered to run as his vice
president if ike wanted to run for president as a democrat. ike was a republican he and largely but because he believed the democrats had been in power for too long in washington for 20 years in the white house. that there was had been too much centralization of power and too much deficit spending. those were his main reasons for identifying. as a republican, but it was as a fairly liberal to moderate republican dedicated to internationalism. and had robert taft. in fact, there was a meeting between the two men and eisenhower said if you'll to support say nato. and the united nations the european defense community. i will i will publicize this letter. i'm holding saying that i am not a candidate for president. in 1952 taft would not agree to the to that statement. that he tap we continue to oppose those organizations. and so eisenhower decided to run
largely for those reasons against taft and then given his popularity. just in general was able then to easily win the election once he had won the republican nomination which took a little more work. but at any rate to get quickly into this slide. and when we're talking about the greatest things that i saw us accomplishments or as failures that we'll discuss. i like to use his words. and he thought in terms of foreign policy at the end of the korean war. was the first one as sam said the war it's still made it became a big problem president truman eisenhower during the campaign in october of 1952 in a speech in detroit pledge that if i am elected, i will go to korea. and just the image of the successful military leader saying he was going to go to look at the situation inspired a lot of confidence. in fact it gave him like an immediate 5% bump.
in the polls president truman kind of sneered. and then ask ike after the election if he still wanted to go to korea or if that was just kind of an empty campaign pledge, but i did visit korea in december of 52 and kind of got the lay of the land and decided it wasn't worth. continuing came back and you know by july 27th 1953. there was an armistice. or at least as a ceasefire, technically. i'm a lot of that also had to do with the fact that joseph stalin had died in march of 53. which i think made it made it easier made it possible. for them to take place and also i would point to what he described as the prevention of communistic efforts to dominate iran guatemala, lebanon formosa. that is taiwan and south vietnam, but as we'll see some of the means he used would come back to haunt us. for example over throwing the mass today regime in iran by
covert means next slide, please. in fact of those images you see on the screen. they're from the page and his diary. and up until may of 2010 if if you had asked to see eisenhower's diary from october 8th in 1953. you would have been given that page on the left, which is mostly as you can see redacted. if you look on the right, you can see eisenhower talking about. he's recent developments in iran, which were accomplished. thanks to the cia and what she said reads like a dime novel and basically admits that we you know, my by force over through the government of iran by by covert means it was not a very well kept secret but technically this part of his diary remained classified until you know about the last 10 years, which is quite a while after eisenhower's presidency. but again, you can see how it
relations with iran has still been troubled by this this action that he took but he believed it was worth it. just give him the stakes the cold war. next slide and in terms of foreign policy failure eisenhower said i admit to little progress in global disarmament or in reducing the bitterness. the east-west struggle, you know, there are certainly attempts to improve relations with the soviet union. one of the last was undermined by eisenhower's own decision. there was to be a summit in paris. in may of 1960 unfortunately shortly beforehand he gave a green light to one of the last missions of the u2 spy plane. which flew over russia and was shot down? he was perturbed that francis gary powers the pilot did not use the kill pill. he was given to take his own life. and was captured by the soviets and the cat was out of the bag
at that point what you see on the screen is the first cover story. that was put out. united states knew that the youtube disappeared but they said it was on a mission collecting weather data. it's kind of a likely story, you know for a cover of a spy operation. but eisenhower decided very quickly that it was useless to try to keep up the pretense and we would simply been caught. which sent undermined yet another conference peace conference with the soviet union and as you can see a troubled eyes and how are these words are from his memoir, but he did consider that his his greatest foreign policy failure. next slide please. in terms of accomplishments domestic accomplishments in 1966 at a time when? eisenhower felt that he was under a lot of criticism largely thanks to two bestselling books one by arthur schlesinger jr. called a thousand days. about the presidency of john f kennedy. and another book about president
kennedy by ted sorensen. i believed it just called kennedy. he thought that his administration in a really poor light. so he put out a memo to his friends. he said i just dash these things off the top of my head. and but it's this really kind of detailed memo and we often at work refer to it as ike's top 10. he lists about 23 things. so i just have some of them here on the screen for your consideration. but of course he added. to two states rather to the union were added during ike's presidency the 49th states. saint lawrence seaway was built the first significantly the first civil rights bill in 80 years one in 1957 when in 1960 nearly largely with voting rights were passed. the most ambitious road program by any nation and all history of courses are interstate highway system. eisenhower did not completely reject the new deal. in fact, he really accommodated
much advice of fdr's new deal. and harry truman's fair deal the interstate highway system costs more than all of the new deal social programs and work programs combined. so as a massive public expenditure, and of course something that many of us experience almost daily. in our in our commutes, he knows as you can see the initiation of the space program, which was nasa began under president eisenhower. next slide please. just to kind of finish this one off. big segregation of washington dc the armed forces the defense education bill which occurred in the wake of the sputnik soviet union's sputnik satellite, which really put a scare into americans in terms of our technological capabilities, and the defense education bill was one of our responses to it. the use of federal power to enforce orders of federal court in arkansas little rock, which we'll discuss but on and on
eisenhower saw these as accomplishments that were being overlooked in sort of what he felt was this adulation. of john f kennedy administration next slide please. in terms of what you might say were ike's failures. sam alluded to senator joseph mccarthy. anti-communist crusade and and hearings eisenhower was very antimicarthy and really worked behind the scenes which preferred to do. and combating mccarthy, but did not confront mccarthy directly which is still a better debate. they're still being books published even in the last few months of eisenhower's dealings with joe mccarthy of whether he took the right tact or not. so that's one that's not going away anytime soon. he admittedly self did not convert to republican party to what he called his middleweight governing philosophy. and he did not provide moral.
rhetorical support in terms of civil rights and as a civil rights leader, it was a little tepid. for example after the brown versus boring supreme court case you didn't say you know, this is the just decision, you know, it's way overdue. he just said the supreme court has spoken and i was warned up hold the law which looked like that he your almost disagreed with the court, but he would kind of you know. except it and move on and something else that's come up. that i have more awareness of an issue sam and i first did. program more than 10 years ago. and so a lot of these slides were put together at that time and one course, i think thing that many of us have more awareness of is the history of gay civil rights. and as truman had his loyalty review board. eisenhower banned gays and
federal employment in the mid-1950s largely for security reasons, too. and so you're starting to see more criticism of ike for that action as well, but it's all within the same context of security and cold war soviet union, union, which is not to excuse it. i think something that can clearly, you know be seen as a knock on his leadership. next slide please. we all know what harry truman's saying was i think everyone knows the buck stops here. eisenhower had a saying too. you can see it here in latin. so, i'm sure my pronunciation is incorrect swab it or in moto. 4ta in ray which is gently basically gently in manner strong indeed. you can hear sort of echoes of teddy roosevelt in there too. speak softly. and carried a big stick and really what ike was talking about was that it's not so much your words or specially flashier for fancy words, but it's it's
what you accomplish that matters. and again, it's kind of putting himself in comparison when he would talk about this later with john f kennedy who he's seen he viewed as being perhaps more sizzle than steak. in his estimation, but eisenhower did not really trust. of even someone like senator mccarthur about sarah mccarthy general macarthur who was so strong on rhetoric and on his ego which eisenhower really found this tasteful? it's just kind of a personality difference between the two men, but i think it's eisenhower's view and eisenhower's preference is expressed. well in this motto, which was on a plaque and that set on his desk in the white house. next slide please. civil rights is despite what was done in terms of banning gaze from federal employees. eisenhower's attempts to advance the civil rights of
african-american. are probably the biggest areas of revision in terms of eisenhower scholarship? and here's just you know a number of bullet points you can see of things that he was able to accomplish. terms of that's just banning discrimination in firms receiving federal contracts. completing the discrete segregation of armed forces began under president truman rebuilding the federal judiciary with integrationist judges or signing us two civil rights bills establishing. the civil rights division within the doj and civil rights commission sending federal troops to little rock and appointing fell on a frederick morrow first in african-american executive in the white house and even first african-american secretary. and also the first african-american and a cabinet meeting so eisenhower did take steps and much like harry truman, perhaps as about as much as he could have done in the era. and in the context, but again,
it's it's another part of his presidency. that's still getting a lot of attention from scholars. next slide please. and i think it's back so. great. okay. great. thank you tim. well, i think in the interest of time because i know we want to take some questions. we're going to go quickly through these next few slides that show some photographs from the truman libraries collection of harry truman with dwight eisenhower. this picture here is taken at the potsdam conference. and that's omar bradley in the in the car as well. here's harry truman in 1948 awarding general eisenhower. third oak leaf cluster. there's extensive correspondence between the two men in the truman papers during the truman presidency. unfortunately that would end as a result of the 1952 campaign, which was a contentious one. this is a meeting that took place between the two men shortly after eisenhower's elected president in 1952. you can see by the expression
there that it's rather tense for a various reasons. the truman was quick to congratulate eisenhower upon his victory in 1952 truman decided not to run for president by the way in 1952. it was hadley stevenson. who was the democratic nominee there was a long period of attention that went through the dysentery presence between the two men but eisenhower did visit visit the truman presidential library in 1961 after eisenhower left office and eisenhower wanted to see the layout of our building in independence, missouri, and so truman himself gave eisenhower tour. real reconciliation between the two men though occurred as a result of the tragic events in november 1963 the john f kennedy funeral which brought the two men together for a long conversation? so although they never really would become friends. i think tim would agree with that. they at least meant their fences
enough to be amicable and they also met on several occasions that at various funerals sat occasions, but didn't bring the two men together. and then the next slide, please. and i think that will probably says a lot there. and can we go to the next one please? tim if you don't mind, maybe we can just conclude with this this survey. which was the latest presidential survey? yeah, i think what's one? yeah, i'm sorry sam don't go ahead. go ahead. it's just so interesting. of course when president truman left office. he extremely low approval rating. when eisenhower left office about a year after i left office arthur slessinger senior. did a big poll for new york times? of ranking the presidents and drawing upon the expertise of his of its colleagues. and eisenhower ranked was a 22nd
of 34 presidents down around chester arthur i believe. which really incense i can in his inner circle and one thing it did lead to was trying to get the papers in abilene. available to scholars as quickly as possible so they can tell their their side of the story. and i think with both. you know the availability of the records in abilene and an independence that both men's reputations. have risen a direct correlation to the release of those papers and for scholars to get a first-hand look at what was really going on? and now both men are you know into really the near great category? in fact about as high as you can get without being in the in the real upper. stratosphere of the american presidency and so they both really rose a fairly rapidly in reputation. since the time they left office and again so much in art. in part to the archival record,
but also just that advantage that hindsight gives us and probably will have to say in comparison to some other successors. they look pretty good, too. but it has been a remarkable rise for both men and can you really rank people as precisely no, and these there's always still some subjectivity associated with these polls, but you can see in the estimation estimation of professional historians and political scientists both men and really good company. yeah this time but they'll be further revisions. some president's stock goes really down woodrow wilson used to be ranked among the top presidents, but wilson's record on race and single-handedly, you know segregating. and washington dc and and the federal bureaucracy has really made him drop in the eyes of many. many students now and that will
happen with things that decisions of both ike and president truman made will probably affect how they're seeing in the future by historians too, but both men have had remarkable posthumous presidential careers. least among scholars yep, i wholeheartedly agree with that tim. and so i think we'll turn it back to you morgan. okay, excellent. thank you sam and tim for one full presentation if you have a question and haven't added it to the q&a feature at the bottom of your screen, please go ahead and do so now you can also like a question that's already been submitted that you would like to see answered and we'll see you here. okay. so the first question we have is for tim. it's from zachary and ask. is there a book you came across that deals with eisenhower's views on the frontier of limited or is that drawn from your own observation? it's not in any book yet, and
there are a number of letters. and which i spells that out for a friend of his there's an article i did. that appeared in prologue magazine and 2015 which you could probably find online. but no one's really expanded on that in a book yet, which i've always found at such an interesting time of eisenhower's view on the campaign of campaign the frontier. and how that affected his ideas on economics and any number of things and policy. thorough way i'd be happy to make copies of those documents available to you. so if you just like to contact the library we could do that. and but he did talk about quite a bit. and he's explains it really well. excellent already our next question is from pam and pam ask. what was eisenhower's most defining moment that he designated in his life outside of d-day?
well, he was often asked. what is his greatest accomplishments were and he would usually say the defeat of nazi, germany. 11 months after invading the continent of europe and eight years of peace and prosperity as president. those were his his stock answers. but at age 77 you know eisenhower was a very avid golfer. and in retirement, palm springs, california, he shot a hole in one at age 77 and he called that his greatest achievement. so i guess that puts it all in context, but generally that the defeat of hitler and then the eight years of peace and prosperity is what he consider is. is crowning moments. i guess he had two. okay, i think we'll take this last question in here. it's a little bit longer of one, but i think it should be fun. there's a question from richard that says both hsc and dve are ranked in the top 10 effective president. could you each argue why the
other should be right ahead of your guy? so tim you very fam you would to argue for ike. and we'll end after this one. okay. if you want to take a stab at that one, too. yeah, just i was hoping you would you know, i think that many ways. he might he might admit have to admit grudgingly. that truman devised some policies that he agree, but that he followed. and particularly foreign policy in containment and when eisenhower became president he formed this committee and had a code name a project solarium. and where they had teams that debated different foreign policy approaches. one of which was containment one was liberation. and one was like massive retaliation. they basically came out with a containment like foreign policy. that was clearly based. on truman's model, but you know
also in other ways eisenhower followed. democrat policies like in the new deal which he accommodated and another way, i think he would have had to have met that. he found their ideas useful if maybe perhaps in some need of modification or better administration. but they weren't that their side wasn't completely without merit. sure sure, and i would argue that that eisenhower was a very unifying figure now. yes, he did face divisions within his own party. but he was able to really unify the american people in a very unique way. i think if you could have been reelected in 1960 probably successful then elected for a third term had the constitution permitted it. of but in i think his his consolidation of the new deal fair deal policies as you mentioned deserve a lot of there's a lot of credit there
too making them more palatable to to republicans and having here having eisenhower as president with his stamp of approval. so to speak helped really make them acceptable and not to mention the the cold war framework that he strengthened as well. and i think i've deserves great credit for least bringing some maybe not ideal ending to the war in korea, but one that averted a third world war. that's a
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