You meet ‘em, cuss ‘em, and give ‘em hell and you’ll win in 1964.
Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy
Truman Announces the Surrender of Japan
Today in history, August 14, 1945, President Truman announced the surrender of Japan, ending World War II.
The photos here show reporters running through the White House after hearing the President’s announcement.
Reporters running through the White House upon hearing the news; Reporters grabbing White House press releases about the surrender. 8/14/45.
-from the Truman Library
September 16, 1924 - August 12, 2014
Today, we honor the singular Lauren Bacall, who died yesterday at the age of 89. She was involved in one of the most infamous incidents of Harry S. Truman’s Vice-Presidency.
On February 10, 1945, Mr. Truman attended a stage show for servicemen at the Washington Press Club canteen, and sat down to play the piano. During his performance, someone boosted Ms. Bacall onto the top of the piano, and she sat there seductively while Mr. Truman played and photographers snapped away. Mrs. Truman was not amused.
Bourbon and Branch for Harry
Harry and Bess Truman did enjoy their cocktails – they both liked old fashioneds, and Mr. Truman enjoyed a “bourbon and branch water.”
This is a receipt for a local liquor store for two cases of bourbon and two cases of gin that Mr. Truman had delivered to his office at the Truman Library. Upon Mr. Truman’s death, Library staff removed several liquor bottles from one of the safes in Mr. Truman’s office.
Happy Friday and cheers!
-from the Truman Library
LBJ Signs the Medicare Bill On This Day in 1965
When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law at the Harry S. Truman Library on July 30, 1965, he told the nation that it had “all started with the man from Independence.”
Harry S. Truman, LBJ said, had “planted the seeds of compassion and duty” that led to the enactment of Medicare, a national health insurance for the aged through an expanded Social Security system.
Truman was the first President to publicly endorse a national health insurance program. As a Senator, Truman had become alarmed at the number of draftees who had failed their induction physicals during World War II. For Truman these rejections meant that the average citizen could not afford visiting a doctor to maintain health. He stated:
“that is all wrong in my book. I am trying to fix it so the people in the middle-income bracket can live as long as the very rich and the very poor.”
Truman’s first proposal in 1945 provided for physician and hospital insurance for working-aged Americans and their families. A federal health board was to administer the program with the government retaining the right to fix fees for service, and doctors could choose whether or not to participate. This proposal was defeated after, among many factors, the American Medical Association labeled the president’s plan “socialized medicine” taking advantage of the public’s concern over communism in Russia.
Even though he was never able to create a national health care program, Truman was able to draw attention to the country’s health needs, have funds legislated to construct hospitals, expand medical aid to the needy, and provide for expanded medical research.
In honor of his continued advocacy for national health insurance, Johnson presented Truman and his wife Bess with Medicare cards number one and two in 1966.
President Truman - Just Stopping By
On this day in 1947, President Harry S. Truman stopped by the U.S. Capitol unannounced. According to the President’s appointment calendar for the day:
”White at the Capitol, the President visited the Senate Chamber, took his old seat, was recognized by the President of the Senate and made a brief impromptu speech.”
Addressing the senators around him, he said, “I get homesick for this seat. I spent the best 10 years of my life in this seat.”
Photo: Senator Harry S. Truman on the Capitol Steps, circa 1940.
Smells Like Potsdam
On this day in 1945, President Truman arrived in Potsdam for conferences with Allied leaders. After a particularly trying day of negotiations, President Truman went into the bathroom in his suite. He came out with this bottle of German 4711 cologne.
He said to one of the members of his security detail, “Is some Russian trying to make a stinker out of me with this German stuff?” This member of his security detail “souvenired” this bottle after the conference, and years later donated it to the Library.
-from the Truman Library and Museum
On this day, June 25, 1945, the United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco. Here, Secretary of State Edward Stettinius signs the charter while President Harry S. Truman (second from left) looks on. The United States delegation is gathered around.