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Master of Arts (M.A.)




In the sprint of 1948, President Harry S. Truman's chances of being re-elected to the presidency of the United States seemed very dubious. It was uncertain that he would even secure the Democratic nomination for that office.

Truman's pre-convention Western trip. In the early summer of 1948 President Truman left the Capitol on a supposedly non-political Western trip. Although his aids insisted the journey was to be non-political, the fiction deceived no one. However, it enabled the President to charge off the cost of the excursion to his $30,000 a year travel allowance instead of sending the bill to a poverty-stricken Democratic National Committee.

But it was not to hear non-political speeches that forty-two newspaper and magazine writers, five radio correspondents, four newsreel men, four still photographers, and a bevy of Western Union telegraphers, for whom an entire car had been turned into a press room, were aboard.

The itinerary covered more than 8,500 miles from the Capital to Seattle, to Los Angeles, and back to Washington, D. C. He was to make five major speeches and nearly fifty back platform appearances. His objective was to put his program and his personality before the voters, and his plans before the politicians. So clear was Truman's purpose that he quickly found himself unable to maintain his non-political pose. He made only one feeble attempt when his train stopped in Crestline, Ohio, but a sturdy housewife in the crowd, which had gathered to see him, interrupted, "Aw, we don't want to hear that, we're all Democrats here."1 Laughing at himself, the President declared, "On this non-partisan, bipartisan trip we are making here, I understand there are a lot of Democrats too."2 After that Truman made little effort to hide the political nature of his trip.





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