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Oscar L. Chapman Oral History Interview, April 28, 1972

Oral History Interview with
Oscar L. Chapman

Assistant Secretary of the Interior, 1933-46; Under Secretary of the Interior, 1946-49; Secretary of the Interior, 1949-53.

Washington, DC
April 28, 1972
Jerry N. Hess

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | Additional Chapman Oral History Transcripts]


Notice
This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

RESTRICTIONS
This oral history transcript may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.

Opened 1980
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

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Oral History Interview with
Oscar L. Chapman

Washington, DC
April 28, 1972
Jerry N. Hess

[88]

HESS: All right, Mr. Chapman, to begin this morning, let's make a correction on how Colorado went in 1948. All right?

CHAPMAN: Yes, I made a mistake when I said that Colorado did not go for Truman in ‘48; I was in error. It did go for Mr. Truman, if my memory serves me correctly, somewhere around 25,000 votes or more.

HESS: You had thought that there was one state that you had missed.

CHAPMAN: Yes.

HESS: Looking at this list, do you recall now which state went for Dewey that you thought was going to go for Truman?

CHAPMAN: Just offhand here, I don't see it.

HESS: Perhaps we can come back to it.

[89]

Iowa went for Truman, and you thought Dewey was going to take the farm states.

CHAPMAN: At that time (before the plowing contest) I thought Dewey was going to take Iowa, yes.

HESS: That was quite a surprise.

CHAPMAN: I would like to connect that particular thought up with another phase of that campaign. I would like for the people to know those who contributed so much to the different phases of this campaign. The Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Charles Brannan of Denver, made a most significant contribution in guiding and helping to direct the campaign program through those farm states. I thought he had done a magnificent job in informing the people, as well as the President, on what the situation was regarding their legislative program that was in the Congress at the time, and the lack of support that the farmers were getting from Congress. I thought

[90]

Secretary Brannan made a most significant contribution to that whole campaign, in the planning stages, and in the intimate contact and work with the President on this.

HESS: There was an interesting thing that came up about both Iowa and agriculture at that time. Do you recall the rewriting of the charter of the Commodity Credit Corporation at that time, and the Republicans had stricken out the provision for purchasing and providing Government storage for grain, of which Iowa was one of the big growers. There was a bumper crop that year and so when the Iowa corn growers got ready to store their corn, there was no provision for it; they couldn't get Government price support. Do you recall that?

CHAPMAN: You have hit the very key, the thing I had in mind, when I was referring to Secretary Brannan. He had done a magnificent research job in having that piece of legislation researched carefully as to how much money was cut out of

[91]

that bill so that the farmers were not given any help in building some storage tanks to help store their grain, instead of pouring it out on the ground where you could see it, and where it was being ruined every week it stayed out there. Mr. Brannan did a splendid job in briefing that case through for the benefit of the President and for the benefit of the people of the State of Iowa.

Now, he did the same thing for other farm states, but that particular one always stands out clearly to me, because I didn't realize at the moment how far-reaching that issue was. I discovered before the election, of course, that it was really cutting very deeply, and therefore we pressed that issue hard in that section of the country, and in other parts of the country we explained why the farmer wasn't getting his share of help that he should have been getting from his Government.

HESS: As Mr. Truman said at the National Plowing Match

[92]

at Dexter, Iowa that year, "The Republicans are sticking a pitchfork in the back of the farmer."

CHAPMAN: That's the very words he used, and I was standing right behind him when he said that. I was at that meeting.

HESS: What was the impression that you came away with there? How was he received by the farmers? Now, as I understand, the airplanes were lined up and the Cadillacs were lined up, a lot of wealthy farmers came to that meeting.

CHAPMAN: Very much so. A lot of people had driven in there for miles and miles to be at that luncheon. We had a big luncheon under a great big canvas tent out there in the field, and had this plowing contest carried on, and the feeling and atmosphere among those people was, to me, perfect. It was a great day, good, jovial and friendly. They were most friendly to the President; they gave him a very warm reception.

[93]

HESS: Did you speak with some of the farmers there? Did you circulate through the crowd and speak with them to see what the tenor of the crowd was like?

CHAPMAN: Yes, that was one of the things I did quite a bit of, to get their reaction to what should be done to help them, and to ask them to tell me what they really felt we should do to help them. I found invariably that they would come back to this, "Why didn't Congress let us have a little money to build storage tanks to save our crops when they were giving money to every industrial plan in the United States to increase their industrial capacity and efficiency and everything else?" They felt that they had been left out.

HESS: After you circulated through the crowds, talking with people, how were your findings relayed to the President? Would you speak directly to the President to tell him what your impressions were?

CHAPMAN: Usually each one of us would be doing this

[94]

kind of a thing, such as Charlie Brannan, Secretary of Agriculture, Oscar Ewing of the FSA, and Clark Clifford, and, oh, there were many, many others doing this very same thing, and somewhere along the way, we'd get a chance for them to come aboard the train to talk with the President for a few minutes. Sometimes they might only have a few minutes, but they'd give him their story and relate their problems to him, and these fellows would relate the problems they had picked up from the farmers to the President. They would give him a thorough briefing on what they had picked up from this particular plowing contest, I did a good deal on that, and I'm sure Mr. Brannan did, too, in that case.

HESS: But even after speaking with the farmers in Iowa, you still thought Iowa was going to go for Dewey, is that right?

CHAPMAN: Not for long. About a week after that, I was sure we had it.

[95]

HESS: You were sure that they had it?

CHAPMAN: I was sure we had it.

HESS: Before we get along too far in the campaign, let's go back to the very beginning of events during 1948 to that trip in June that Mr. Truman took to the west coast, and I understand that you were the only advance man used on that trip. Irwin Ross, in his book, The Loneliest Campaign, states that you brought to the President's attention that Robert Gordon Sproul, the president of the University of California, wanted the President to deliver a commencement address at Berkeley on June 19 that year. Is that correct? Do you recall that?

CHAPMAN: That is correct.

HESS: How did that come about?

CHAPMAN: I knew the president of the university, and I spoke to him by telephone and asked if what I was told by a friend was correct; did they really

[96]

want the President to speak there at that commencement. He said, "Why, by all means, we would love to have him. I haven't yet cleared it with the board of regents, but I'll call a meeting and get them together right away."

I said, "Well, I wouldn't want to create a situation here where there would be any embarrassment, either to the school or to the President. I wanted to be sure that you wanted him and that there isn't a political trick involved in this thing; it's got to be a genuine desire to hear the President of the United States discuss the problems."

He said, "Well, I'll assure you that's what we want. We want the President of the United States to talk to this class. We feel that he can contribute a great deal to these young people who are graduating from the school this year, if he'll just give one of his plain, back platform train speeches." He had heard him on two occasions, I think. At least he had heard him.

By telephone we arranged the whole thing.

[97]

He called the regents together in a matter of days (I don't remember), and they agreed to invite the President. They didn't want to be out on a limb, extending an invitation and then be turned down either, and I didn't want the President to be caught in a trap like that in his case.

So I then discussed the matter with the President, and he raised some of the same doubts that I had as to whether they really wanted him, whether there might be some political reaction or attempting to create a political situation. Well, I assured him that I was convinced at that time that they were sincere about it, that they really wanted him, and I was sure they were sincere in wanting him to speak and there would be no problem involved at all, no problem.

HESS: What did President Truman seem to think about the general wisdom of taking a trip of this nature at this time? In other words, you know, it's been called a shakedown trip to get ready for

[98]

the campaign. Was it?

CHAPMAN: That's probably as near as you could identify it by any particular reason for the campaign; it was to get more exposure to the public, and more explanation of some of the immediate bills that were pending in Congress at the time. It was time for the President to speak to the people, anyway.

HESS: There was a memo that Clark Clifford gave to him in November, 1947, about six months before, and in that memo it was suggested that he make a trip of this nature; and also I have found references where Mr. Truman had stated that he himself was thinking of a trip of this nature quite some time in advance of June.

CHAPMAN: I had had a good visit with Clark Clifford, and between us, I think, we both were in agreement that it was very timely for him to make a trip, but to do so we ought to have some good reason for him to go out there to the west

[99]

coast and back, rather than just going out and making a lot of these speeches. So I tied the two things: The invitation to speak at the University of California to the graduating class, and to dedicate one more generator at the Grand Coulee Dam that we were putting in. It was another generator that had been completed and put in which was increasing the capacity of the kilowatt load for that dam for power purposes. We decided those two things were sound, solid and adequate; it was not to have some phony reason for doing it, but something genuine. Well, here was something that was absolutely genuine. We had spent much of our time in public life, both the President, Clark Clifford and I, as well as the others working with the President, pushing the program of the good development of the Northwest, the Bonneville Dam development program, and the Grand Coulee Dam.

HESS: And the CVA, which didn't get off the ground...

CHAPMAN: That's right.

HESS: ...which we want to talk about one of these days.

[100]

CHAPMAN: That needs a thorough discussion.

HESS: That's a subject in itself.

HESS: That we can put off till another time. Let me ask you one question about the meeting in Berkeley, if that's all right:

CHAPMAN: Yes.

HESS: Were you present at the time the President spoke?

CHAPMAN: No, not at Berkeley. I didn't go over to the university.

HESS: I have heard, that when President Sproul introduced President Truman, that he was not very polite? Have you ever heard that?

CHAPMAN: Well, I heard it, but really and truly there was really nothing to that.

HESS: Some reference to the Republican National Convention, I think.

[101]

CHAPMAN: Well, weren't they having their convention out there in San Francisco that year?

HESS: No, they had it in Philadelphia, too.

CHAPMAN: They had it in Philadelphia?

HESS: They had all three; the Republican, Democratic, and Henry Wallace's convention all met in Philadelphia.

CHAPMAN: I think you're right.

HESS: What had you heard about that introduction?

CHAPMAN: I checked up on that story after I heard it but I was convinced. I had some very good friends that were in that session, attended, and they sat close to the front rows; they could see everything very carefully, and they purposely were--I asked them to get for me a careful reaction as to how it went off. I wanted to be certain that there was no question of discourtesy involved in this thing. See, that was my very

[102]

caution in the very beginning, that something like this could happen. I didn't want it to happen if I could avoid it. I didn't go to the university; purposely stayed away, because it was known generally that I was working pretty hard on this campaign. And so I didn't want to mix the school picture up with his campaign to that extent; his speech had to speak for itself.

So, as I started to tell you, after I had a good long visit with Clark Clifford, we both came to the same conclusion--it was a time to have a good trip to the West. I told Clark of my two reasons that I thought we could accept: One was to let us announce that he was going to dedicate the other generator that was being installed at the Grand Coulee Dam; and second, accept the invitation to speak at the university at Berkeley.

Well, now, this Berkeley thing wasn't done without some very careful checking, because my suspicions were not borne out, and I was very glad

[103]

for that, because I was following it very closely.

Going back to your question about the introduction of the President, my friends (I had three of them) gave me a careful report on that, and they were there for that purpose.

HESS: What did they think?

CHAPMAN: They said you couldn't interpret that to be in any sense a slight or lack of courtesy. They said they didn't take it that way.

HESS: Who were the three men?

CHAPMAN: One of them is in a hospital right now in western Oregon.

HESS: Were they Interior Department men?

CHAPMAN: No, no. They were not Interior Department men. I didn't want the Government people in there.

HESS: That would have been a little too much of a

[104]

Government flavor for a non-political trip, wouldn't it?

CHAPMAN: Well, as much as you can emphasize that side about it, that was the time to do it. Here you're going to speak to these students that are not interested, per se, in an individual as a candidate; however, a man who graduates from a university ought to be interested. In these days, students are getting interested, too. I didn't want to emphasize Government people, so I didn't try to get Government employees for meetings or anything of the kind. I didn't have to, as a matter of fact. The lack of enthusiasm for Truman on that western trip was among the party officials more than anybody else. They had such reservations and doubts about his being able to be reelected.

After that June trip, shall we say, I kept emphasizing, with all the vigor I could command, that Truman was going to be reelected, and I didn't have a shadow of a doubt about it. By that

[105]

time, I didn't. I was getting better reports from the places that I was checking up on, and you know, checking up on a given area about a man's popularity, there's a very interesting technique involved in how you do that.

We found that the people, when they once heard Truman, when he stepped out on the back of the train with his wife and his daughter, he would introduce them, and it was the most perfect picture of, "Here's one of our neighbors with his wife and daughter," with no fanfare, no Hollywood stars backed up around him for pictures. I stayed away from that; I didn't try to get that, although we had some, but we didn't try to make any effort to press that. Now, that's a showmanship emphasis that I didn't think was necessary in this case, because I wanted the real Truman as I knew him to come through to these people, and he did just that. And those little chats on the back of the train, they were no Lincoln day address of Gettysburg, but I'll

[106]

tell you now, they were the Truman day speeches for 1948 which the country needed worse than they had ever needed before during my experience in the Government.

HESS: Many people have pointed out that this was the period of time when Mr. Truman developed a good speaking style. Up until this time he had read many of his speeches. Was this a conscious decision made by a group of advisers that he would speak from an outline, speak more from memo form and less from a regular written text?

CHAPMAN: To be perfectly frank with you, I am not a speechwriter myself, but from my own memory of the relationships of the people who worked close to the President in this campaign, I would say that I believe Clark Clifford probably got that idea across to him in his own way and in his own time, because he saw him rather regularly. I think he got that idea across to the President, because he did shift his style just a little,

[107]

not much, but just a little; and I think Clark had caught this in listening to President Truman's speeches, and I think that he probably was responsible for doing that.

HESS: As you were the advance man, let's talk about that for a few moments. What did you do as an advance man? Just what does an advance man do?

CHAPMAN: You know, that's the most intriguing question that I've ever attempted to analyze for anybody. It's something I get so wrapped up in and I get to talking too much about any one thing, because, to me, it was one of the most interesting experiences that I'd ever had.

Now, I had done a good deal of advance work before. There's all the difference in the world in doing advance work for a President of the United States and somebody else, who is just a prominent speaker. You had to handle the President from the point of view that he's the President of the United States and not just

[108]

a candidate for some party. You've got to get your mind away from that a little bit, that he's not just a Democratic candidate; he is the President of the United States now, and he's relating and reporting on his record to the people, what he's done, what he hopes to accomplish for another four years.

I have never known a man that had run for public office that had made fewer promises and yet carried out more things that were suggested to him and he in turn to the people, than he did. He carried out a program for the farmers. He really helped them. He really worked hard on that one, and that's why I like to give due credit to Secretary Brannan for his very modest, quiet way of talking to people and to the farmers. They liked him. They knew he was sincere and was trying to help them. And Oscar Ewing, for instance, was extremely helpful in this campaign, not on this particular trip. He was helpful. I'm thinking of him for the whole campaign, helpful

[109]

all across the board.

HESS: I've heard that Mr. Ewing used to have meetings at his apartment at the Wardman Park every Monday night; have a little steak fry, and have several people come in, the "liberals," to advise on methods of presenting the liberal policy. Have you heard that?

CHAPMAN: Yes.

HESS: Did you attend any of Oscar Ewing's meetings?

CHAPMAN: Yes.

HESS: They're called the "Oscar Ewing meetings," but I guess only because they were at his apartment.

CHAPMAN: He had an idea there that was very good, and one that was very much needed to be discussed and bring together some consensus of the thinking of those of us who thought of ourselves as liberals. When you try to analyze what is a liberal and what is a conservative, you start

[110]

getting into deep water.

For instance, I always think of Senator Norris, who fought for eighteen years to keep the Muscle Shoals from being turned over to the private power companies for their benefit. They were turned over as it is to the benefit of the people through Government management. He fought that thing year after year. First, he'd have to fight it, kill a bill that they were trying to put through to take it for the private power companies, and then he would put in an amendment to some other kind of a bill to get it for the people. Well, he had Roosevelt's absolute assurance and support for that, and Roosevelt supported it 100 percent, and I don't mean way after election, but the very day of election he was helping Norris' bill right then. Roosevelt was really a charmer of the first degree.

One of my best mentors of my life was Judge Ben [Benjamin Barr] Lindsey of Denver, juvenile

[111]

judge, one of the most prominent juvenile judges in the world. He was written up as that quite a few times. A professor at Berkeley has just come up with a biography on Lindsey, and he tells a lot about him. One of the things that he always tried to impress on me as a young man (I worked with him for eight years as his assistant), and he would lecture me, and he would say, "Now, just remember, the artistry of approach, the greatest weapon a man has in trying to put across ideas to another person." He developed that thing in my mind, "the artistry of approach," and the more I thought of it, I began to try to use it, and there's so much to that. If you really work at it, you will find a tremendous help from it, the "artistry of approach."

HESS: That comes in handy for anybody in politics, doesn't it?

CHAPMAN: Oh, it's the greatest thing in the world. And that's what some of these people had. Truman had

[112]

a technique of his own, entirely his own, the technique of the artistry of approach, very frank and thoroughly honest with what he told you, and he would not tell me to do anything I knew he couldn’t do. And he didn't. He told something he was going to try to do, and he darned near did them all, too. If he told these people something he wanted to do for them, he made an honest effort to help them, and he really tried to help them. They soon caught that with Truman, the people did, so his approach to those people became identified with that kind of thinking, with the artistry of approach. With these people, in the farm cases, he had a natural there. First, we had an issue that was hot and already made for this purpose.

HESS: And Mr. Truman had been a farmer.

CHAPMAN: He had been a farmer, and when he plowed in that contest that day, he was as good a plower as you ever saw. It was one of those things that was so interesting as an advance man--you asked

[113]

me about that, and I told you that if I got off on that I'd start to ramble and get to talking. But as an advance man, you first try to find out from your friends or whomever you've got the closest contacts with, the leaders from a different state or community, just what the situation is, what's the President's standing around there, what they feel about him, and what are the issues which they disagree with him on, and what are the issues they agree with him on. You try to get a little of that, and within a short time, you've pretty much got them catalogued into two or three groups of their likes or dislikes and their reasons. You can kind of identify them into categories.

HESS: Also their support or non-support of Mr. Truman?

CHAPMAN: That's right. I came down there always with them--well, now in a lot of these cases, I was not asking this particular fellow, for instance, that I'd be talking to, for him to support Truman. I was assuming that he was going to

[114]

support him, you see, and I approached him on the theory that I was so glad we had helpers like him, and I .brought it around that way, and I got more of them to helping me actually that way.

HESS: Rather than saying, "Are you going to help?" You don't put it that way.

CHAPMAN: No, you've got a question in there, so I never did that. I always used the other approach, thanking them for something. I'd find out something a person had done, and then somewhere (you couldn't talk to a man that hadn't in some way done something for Truman) in some way had spoken kindly of him or done something. I would run as many of those things down as I could, and I'd get as many as time would permit. Then I'd get that party and I'd congratulate him and thank him for his help, his expression of his loyalty to Truman, how much we appreciated it, and so on, and if I could I'd try to identify

[115]

something he'd said and then quote it in the press. You don't always get that, because usually I wasn't calling press people or publicity-minded people. They were people that were just at home every night for dinner--a man with his family, and he would talk about Truman in that atmosphere, and you catch him talking with his wife and maybe some others of his family, and he would be talking about Truman and before you know it, he'd be speaking for him before he got through dinner. He would probably be for him.

I had a case just on the point of what I'm saying, where a man was not for Truman at first; and he went home for dinner that night with his wife and son--his son was twenty-four or twenty-five years old, graduate of the University of Iowa in this case--and he started in talking about Truman, and his wife and his son were good listeners, and they were willing to get more information. And by their sincere questioning of the father who goes downtown, he sees more

[116]

people; he'd know more about what's going on in the neighborhood, and so they would be listening to him with a great deal even of interest. The first thing you know, the wife and the son would be asking him a perfectly innocent question on points that were just focused right up Truman's alley, you see, and they were perfectly innocent in what they were doing; they were sincere people who did want to understand this particular episode. And they would ask the father about it, her husband, and before he got through held be defending Truman's position on whatever it was, or whatever the subject matter was.

I got that from the wife in one case, in Iowa, that was very intriguing to me, the most intriguing case I ever saw. It was a perfect case of ideal campaigning if you have time enough to do a lot of that, but you only have a certain amount of time and you've got to divide it up as best you can and hope to cover and see as many people as you possibly can. So, therefore, you can't spend enough time with any of these people that you want to.

[117]

You're always saying, "I wish I could spend more time with Mr. Smith because he's been so helpful to me."

I would always try to talk to the party leaders when I would go into a state. I would make an effort, at least, to talk to them. But they were the hardest ones, I found, to talk to, because most of those were not good prognosticators and most of them didn't believe Truman could win, until all of a sudden you hit a springboard someplace, and some fellow would start defending Truman and he'd say, "Well, that man's going to be elected President. I don't care what you say. He's an honest man and he's going to be elected." And you'd hear some fellow, a perfect stranger to me, get up and say at some meeting that I had the privilege of attending or something, and they were very generous in their courtesy to me. I was invited to a lot of little things by not the party people necessarily, but somebody else. It might have been the American Legion group, or the PTAs,

[118]

or something else. I'd attend those little meetings; they were not very large sometimes, but I'd attend them and I got as good a support out of that as all the rest of them, and those people would begin to report to me. They began to write me and call me and tell me what was taking place, and they would want to do things for him, and they did. There were different groups representing certain organizations, and they wanted to help him.

In Los Angeles, an interesting thing happened there. Truman was speaking in Los Angeles to the Press Club's luncheon and there was a group of Navy women connected with the Navy through their husbands; their husbands were officers or in some relation, something with the Navy that they were doing. Those women had formed an organization out there; I was trying to think the other day what they called themselves, but they formed a little organization, just a local thing. They had a couple of hundred members there in Los

[119]

Angeles. And the first thing I knew when I hit town--in this case, a week ahead of time, because I had a lot of work to do--and when I hit town, I let it be known in the press and had a press conference, why I was there and where I was staying and let it be known that people could get in touch with me there, and, believe me, they did.

When I opened it up like that I didn't realize what I was doing to myself, but I sure did have to take it on the chin from there, because I was amazed at how many people that had nothing to do, as far as the party was concerned; you'd think they never heard of the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, they were just interested. They were interested; "Truman did so-and-so and so-and-so, and I'm for him, for a man who's stood up and fought these birds, I'm for him." These women, the officers of that club, got in touch with me and came down to see me. They said, "We want to bring our members down and shake hands with Mrs. Truman, either before the

[120]

lunch or after, whatever time you work it out. Can we do that?"

I said, "How many members would you bring?"

They said, "Oh, probably a couple of hundred."

I said, "Let's look at it. We have three organizations that want to do the same thing"--and they did. I said, "If I made any arrangements for any one of them, I'd have to make it for all of them, and it would be a physical impossibility to have a hand-shaking reception; but I'll tell you what I'll do, you bring them down here, and at this particular appointed hour," that I gave them, "and have them stand in the courtyard of the Ambassador Hotel, have them come and gather in a group right there, and I'll have Mrs. Truman and Margaret both to be there and meet you and talk with you." Oh, they thought that was wonderful.

Mrs. Truman in that wonderful motherly way of hers, she was so much at home with the mothers, or the woman that keeps house at home and looks

[121]

after her business, and wasn't trying to run the world. She was just trying to help Harry. And I'm telling you, that went through that crowd, and you'll never understand the feeling that a man has when you catch that so clearly, that this whole group was, "We're going to help this man, too, because she's out here trying to help him, and we're going to help him, too." You'd be amazed at the sincerity and the depth with which that particular group felt towards Mrs. Truman.

"What does an advance man do?" You try to see that, first, the President and Mrs. Truman meet as many of the leaders as possible.

HESS: Just a couple of thoughts about that June trip. Now some of the negative things that are usually brought up when that trip is brought up, are the sparseness of the crowd in Omaha; the dedication of the Wilma Coates Airport in Carey, Idaho; and the President's statement, "I like old Joe," in

[122]

Eugene, Oregon. Do you recall those three incidents that took place on the June trip?

CHAPMAN: All three of them.

HESS: What happened in Omaha anyway?

CHAPMAN: There was a perfect explanation for it, and there's where our enemies overplayed their hand. In the first place, the local man, who was a friend of Truman's--but to go back to what I said in the beginning, that handling a President's presentation to an audience or to a group, is something that you have to do...

HESS: Was Ed McKim in charge of that meeting?

CHAPMAN: Well, yes, he was. A person has to have some experience to know how to handle those things. If you don't, you get them mixed up." There was some confusion about whether Truman's military...

HESS: The 35th Division Association.

[123]

CHAPMAN The 35th Division Association. Whether they were to go to the armory that night to hear him, or were they to just march down the main streets or something; that was never made quite clear to those people.

HESS: Whether the meeting was open to the public or not.

CHAPMAN: That's right. They thought it was a closed meeting.

HESS: Just for the Association members.

CHAPMAN: That's what they thought. The Association had not been so instructed that it was even for them,

HESS: And I understand, Mr. Truman did march in a parade that day and thousands of people had had a chance to see him.

CHAPMAN: They had.

HESS: Were you at Omaha?

[124]

CHAPMAN: No, I had left before he got there.

HESS: Life magazine made a big thing out of it. They had a photographer take some pictures from the back of the balcony.

CHAPMAN: I had 50,000 copies of that article ordered from Life magazine and mailed out to certain people

HESS: Why did you