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Israel - A. J. Granoff Oral History

Oral History Interview with 
A. J. Granoff

Kansas City lawyer and longtime friend of both Harry S. Truman and Edward Jacobson.

Kansas City, Missouri
April 9 and August 27, 1969
by J. R. Fuchs, Harry S. Truman Library

[Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]


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.

See also A.J. Granoff Papers finding aid

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 It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.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 April 1971
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]



Oral History Interview with
A. J. Granoff

Kansas City, Missouri
April 9, 1969
by J. R. Fuchs

[1]

FUCHS: Mr. Granoff, I wonder if you would mind starting this interview by giving us a little of your background, where you were born, where you have lived and your education, and anything else that you think might be pertinent to researchers who are interested in knowing who this interviewee is.

GRANOFF: I was born on February 22, 1896, in the Province of Kiev, Russia, one of three children, the oldest. My father, a tradesman, deserted the Russian army, my guess is around 1898 or

[2]

‘99, something like that. He hitchhiked clear across to the English Channel, and then got over to England and eventually became "ballast" on the Battleship St. Louis and landed in New York. It was then easier to get into the United States than today, I assure you. He had no trade, but got a job in a sweatshop on the East Side of New York City. He never could articulate how he got the pennies and the nickels to bring over this family, his wife and three children, and we arrived here on Labor Day, 1904. I caught sight of him from the ship--they wouldn't let us off on that day, Labor Day, until the next day. He moved us into a dilapidated tenant house on Monroe Street in New York City. There he remained about a year, developed lung trouble and moved his little family to Palmerton, Pennsylvania, where he became a peddler with an old dilapidated horse and wagon, to try to make a living; in a way he never could make a

[3]

living, poor man.

I entered the public schools immediately, I spoke Russian fluently--I don't know a word of it today--and Yiddish, but I learned English very quickly. He then moved us from Palmerton to Allentown, Pennsylvania, and continued his peddling. To cut a long story short, I graduated from the Allentown High School in 1914.

Meanwhile, while working on a fruits and vegetable counter in a butcher shop, I learned how to cut meat, and I became a meatcutter, a butcher. By the way, some of the clients I have had probably still think I'm a butcher. Anyway, I became a butcher and I worked my way through college in that capacity. In Lawrence, Kansas, where I went to law school . . .

FUCHS: What college did you go to?

[4]

GRANOFF: I went to Muhlenberg College for a year and a half, in Allentown, but I never got my undergraduate degree. I did get my LL.B. from K.U. Law School.

FUCHS: How did you happen to go to K.U.?

GRANOFF: Because it was the most convenient.

FUCHS: When did you move to Kansas City?

GRANOFF: Oh, I forgot to say, in 1915.

FUCHS: That was with your family?

GRANOFF: My father came first and then he brought us here in 1915 and we have lived here since then, with the exception of close to three years when I practiced law and cut meat in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

FUCHS: How were you able to gain admittance to K.U. Law School without a college degree?

[5]

GRANOFF: In those days you didn't need one. Anybody could get in those days. It was different times in those days.

FUCHS: Was that a three-year course?

GRANOFF: It was a three-year course.

FUCHS: And upon graduation you went to Tulsa?

GRANOFF: I went to Oklahoma as a tutor of three or four classmates, who paid my way there, to take the examinations. I went with them.

FUCHS: State examinations, you say?

GRANOFF: State bar examinations. While there I decided to take the examination, too. It was no effort for me, pardon my immodesty, but I didn't need a tutor.

FUCHS: Had you already passed the bar of Missouri?

GRANOFF: No, I took that much later, by motion.

[6]

I stayed there almost three years, and the only thing I can show for it is the beautiful girl who decided to marry me, and she lived in Tulsa. You've met her already. She's not as beautiful today as she was then. You can tell her that.

FUCHS: Neither are we.

GRANOFF: At any rate, I finally left there because my father and my mother were almost literally starving and I had to quit Tulsa and come here. I got myself a little office and tried to make a living, but at the same time I cut meat at 6th and Walnut Streets, and in those days it paid very well, you know.

FUCHS: What market was that?

GRANOFF: It was Kansas City Market, between 5th and 6th on Walnut, on the West side of the street, owned by Hickman Brothers.

[7]

FUCHS: Where was your law office?

GRANOFF: In the Scarritt Building. I had rented a desk with George K. Brasher, who is now gone. I couldn't make a living, and got myself a job with a law firm known then as Achtenberg and Rosenberg, for one hundred dollars a month, and I worked seven days and seven nights a week, which Mr. Rosenberg will confirm. He's still alive. I was with them for quite a while.

FUCHS: What year was that, about?

GRANOFF: Oh, let me think. I'd say 1924 or 1925. I became associated with this man--Phineas Rosenberg withdrew from the firm, and Mr. Achtenberg asked me to become a member of the firm. A big deal. The firm became Achtenberg, Fredman and Granoff. And my draw was increased from one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five dollars a month.

[8]

That was my partnership.

Later on, Mr. Fredman and I withdrew and organized what was known then as Fredman and Granoff Law Firm. That was an unfortunate venture for me. Mr. Fredman turned out to be dishonest and it cost me plenty of money. I had to pay creditors for his defalcations, but it's unimportant. I then went out for myself and stayed that way until I had to retire six years ago because of ill health.

While in school, I participated in debate and oratory. It's hard to believe to hear me talk now, but I turned out to be what they said was the number one orator of K.U. in 1920. I represented the university in the association then known as the "Big Eight," and came out second as a speaker and debater.

I then developed a fairly good practice. By accident I became known as an expert in bankruptcy, an allegation I never have denied.

[9]

I used to laugh about being an expert, but the lawyers and the courts made me an expert, and I handled many hundreds of cases, mostly from other law firms and assignments from the courts. Later on, thanks to then Senator Truman, I was appointed as a public member of the War Labor Board, Ninth Region, eight or nine states. It was quite a job and I eventually was the chairman succeeding Bill Wirtz, who went to Washington, and I succeeded him as chairman of the region. You know, Secretary of Labor.

FUCHS: Yes.

GRANOFF: A fine gentleman, by the way. And after the agency was dissolved, subsequent to the end of the war, the parties made me an arbitrator. So for the next fifteen or sixteen years, until I was disabled, I was quite a notorious labor arbitrator in this general

[10]

region, a number of states. I heard hundreds of cases, some of them small, some of them large. One lasted some sixty days in St. Louis, involving millions of dollars. I used to love that work. It didn't pay very much, but I sold myself the idea that I was contributing something to industrial peace. I loved the work. I was just called for a case about a month or so ago, but I told them I couldn't handle it. My vision is bad and so on; but I enjoyed that, so I became a labor expert, too, an allegation which I would not deny. But a lot of my work at the bar, a good portion of it, was trial work, mostly for other law firms, highly complicated, technical cases, no criminal cases, all civil. I would try these cases for other law firms, and was well compensated. I appeared, I think, only once in a state court in twenty-five years, just once. All my work was in Federal

[11]

Court, sometimes by and through the bankruptcy courts, sometimes, of course, from the District court, to begin with.

In the meantime, of course, I married, and I have two wonderful children, and I'm grateful that my poor poverty-stricken father, who never could explain where he got the pennies--thankful for being in America, a fact which my children, I'm afraid, do not appreciate as much as I do. I don’t know, sir, if that's enough of my background or not. I might say this: It sounds immodest. Although I never got an undergraduate degree, a college degree, I studied constantly: sociology, economics, history, philosophy. I had a veritable library around the bed. And I like to boast that I've given myself any number of degrees in these subjects, degrees I would not have had time to obtain if I had stayed in school. Again, I'm supposed to be somewhat

[12]

of a scholar, also an allegation that I do not deny. Now that's the situation. I never was interested in politics, and, only to raise a few dollars for a man by the name of Harry S. Truman when he was running for office, outside of that, I never was interested in politics. I did agree to make speeches the first year, about 1924-25, but I didn't like it, and I gave it up. I never was active in politics excepting to solicit funds, Eddie Jacobson and I, for a man named Truman, little pennies and nickels, it wasn't too much, but it raised a little money. That is my background.

Oh, I have been active in the community. I have held some very high offices. I organized, as chairman of the committee, the Kansas City Jewish Federation and Council, and was its chairman for over a year. That's the most powerful of the local Jewish organizations today. It's all philanthropic, you understand, to raise

[13]

money. I went through almost every chair, high and low, of the B’nai B’rith.

FUCHS: When did you first become associated with B’nai B’rith?

GRANOFF: My guess is at this moment, about 1924. I'm sort of notorious in B’nai B’rith. I'm now a life member of the Hillel Foundation Commission of the Supreme (International) Lodge of B’nai B’rith. There are very few, there are just about five or six life members and I am one of them.

FUCHS: Just what is the Hillel Foundation, for the benefit of the users of this transcript?

GRANOFF: The Hillel Foundation was organized some forty years ago to try to bring a semblance of relationship between Judaism and the Jewish boys and girls attending our universities. It now is functioning in 273 campuses: United

[14]

States, Canada and Britain. It employs approximately two hundred rabbis full-time, and some forty or fifty part-time rabbis who supervise the activities of these kids on the university campuses, religiously, sociologically, and to keep them interested in their religion. Although we do our best, it's an unfortunately discouraging effort. The same thing is true with the Newman Clubs of the Catholics. They have the same problem. Kids are not today interested in such things. Now, that's it. I've held other high offices in B’nai B’rith.

FUCHS: We discussed in our preliminary conversations that B’nai B’rith entered into the story of the creation of Israel, and we also mentioned that Hillel was part of B’nai B’rith. Just what is B’nai B’rith?

GRANOFF: Well, B’nai B’rith is a brotherhood. B’nai B’rith means "sons of the Covenant."

[15]

It is a brotherhood, functioning over the years on philanthropic fronts. It has since spread its activities on political fronts, like the Anti-Defamation League, you may have heard, that is also a B'mai B'rith agency, just like Hillel is. It is to protect civil rights, not only Jews, but everybody. B'nai B'rith tried to promote religion, social activities, patriotism, and has a membership now of approximately three hundred thousand men and women.

FUCHS: Has B'nai B'rith taken a stand, a policy stand on Zionism?

GRANOFF: That's an excellent question. To begin with, no. To begin with, they were so-called neutral. Why? Because a good many of their members were Reformed Jews, many of whom, in the early years, were violently opposed to Zionism, on the theory, which I never believed

[16]

in, that it split their citizenship, half American, half Zionist. And it's only since the creation of the State, that to be a Zionist is no longer unpopular today among most Jews. And yet a lot of people belonging to the Reform Temple, a lot of people still are lukewarm.

FUCHS: Are you speaking of your own experience in the Temple in Kansas City?

GRANOFF: No, no, generally.

FUCHS: As a general term.

GRANOFF: Yes.

FUCHS: Well, now, several men, such as Frank Goldman, who I believe was president at the time we're mainly interested in, of B’nai B’rith, and Maurice Bisgyer, were, it would seem to me, in my limited reading, rather pro-Zionist to quite

[17]

a degree.

GRANOFF: That's right. But at first they had to sort of cover it up, but they then became openly zealous.

FUCHS: This was their own personal feelings.

GRANOFF: Their feelings were pro-Zionist, but it was because of the large membership of German Jews, Reformed Jews--and of course, Hitler decimated the German Jews, so you had left only the Eastern Jew. I sometimes wonder that if Hitler had failed to kill 6,000,000 Jews--a lot of them, of course were German Jews--as to whether or not they would have succeeded in stopping the establishment of Israel. They were very strongly opposed to it. I might say to you, while I'm at it, that one year I joined the Zionists, got a card and gave them five dollars for their annual dues; Eddie Jacobson

[18]

never did join.

FUCHS: What year would that have been?

GRANOFF: I'm talking about 1923, 1924 or 1925. I attended one meeting. The gentlemen were so fanatical--there's no use going into detail--so fanatical that to me it offended me, my sense of fairness, my sense of love for my country, that I quit. I never had a damn thing to do with them. And Eddie and I were non-Zionists, we were not anti-Zionists, if you know what I mean, but neither Eddie nor I were Zionists. And to be a Zionist in the days we started talking to the President is another story. It was like waving a red flag in front of him, because they abused him terribly, frightfully. They tried to contact us all the time, but we wouldn't speak to them, none of them.

FUCHS: When did you first become acquainted with

[19]

Eddie Jacobson?

GRANOFF: I think I said it must have been in the early thirties, or the middle thirties would be more accurate, when he stopped at my house on Edgevale Road to pick up my son to take him to Sunday School. Now how he got to do it, whether Mildred--she doesn't remember--but that's when I first met him, more or less casually, and then paid no particular attention to him until he moved across the street, his office, 916 Walnut Street. And we used to, on, say, Saturday afternoons, he and two friends and we'd play gin rummy for pennies.

FUCHS: In his office?

GRANOFF: His and Mr. White's and Mr. Gershon's office.

FUCHS: Were they all in the same suite?

[20]

GRANOFF: They had two sets of offices.

FUCHS: They were selling . . .

GRANOFF: . . . he was selling shirts and pajamas, and Harry White was selling roof material, and Gershon was selling notions of some kind.

FUCHS: I see. When did you first become acquainted with Mr. Truman?

GRANOFF: I met Mr. Truman, I'd say, within a month after that barbershop at the Title Building opened up in May 1924.

FUCHS: That was Frank Spina’s?

GRANOFF: Frank Spina was the barber. I came down one day for a haircut. We had the office upstairs, just moved over there. I had just started with Achtenberg and Rosenberg, just began my tenure with them. I went downstairs and this poor little Italian fellow, about five

[21]

feet tall, standing back of his chair doing nothing, and I took a seat there, and that's how I met Frank Spina. This was in 1924--that's forty-four, forty-five years ago.

FUCHS: Did he introduce you to Mr. Truman?

GRANOFF: Well, I wouldn't say he introduced us. Then one day, while I was coming in or going out, a man by the name of Truman walked in, whether we were introduced or not, I don't know. But we started talking. And we would see each other in the barbershop, or on the street then. At first it was very, very casual.

FUCHS: Do you know what he was doing at that time?

GRANOFF: I've forgotten his title, but I do know this, he was working for the county. He doesn't remember, I checked it with him. I think he was making $230 a month; but he had some kind of a minor job in the county and Jim

[22]

Pendergast, who fought with him in the war, got him this job. Jim was a nephew, you see, of Tom. But our acquaintance was very, very casual for several years. I hadn't met or heard of Eddie Jacobson for ten years.

FUCHS: Well, now the facts were that Mr. Truman, of course, was elected Eastern County Judge in 1922 and served in 1923 and 1924.

GRANOFF: Then, I say he was a county judge, of course, but I don't remember that.

FUCHS: Well, I'm interested, because in the period 1925 and 1926 when he ran again for Presiding Judge, he was out of county government and I wondered if he had been in one of those interim jobs.

GRANOFF: I don't remember that. Our acquaintance to begin with was extremely casual.

[23]

FUCHS: How did it develop over the years? Was there a certain amount of relationship other than in the barbershop?

GRANOFF: Hardly any. I didn't handle any political cases.

FUCHS: Did you ever belong to a political club, a ward club?

GRANOFF: Never did, never did. What was the question that you asked?

FUCHS: How your relationship developed over the years?

GRANOFF: It developed later when I became acquainted with Eddie. Eddie once or twice or three times invited me to his house, or some of his friends to their house, to play poker. I remember that two or three of those poker players became very fast friends, and Truman was one of them. Caskie Collet became another, and got pretty

[24]

well acquainted across the table--and Al Ridge.

FUCHS: You don't recall ever being in Mr. Truman's haberdashery when he and Eddie Jacobson were there?

GRANOFF: No, no, I don't.

FUCHS: Do you recall anyone else who played poker with you, you and Mr. Truman?

GRANOFF: Oh, sure. Well, his brother "Doc," amongst the others, Hy Vile, Earl Trainin, about seven or eight of us.

FUCHS: These games were generally at Eddie’s?

GRANOFF: Generally, when I was invited, they were at Eddie’s.

FUCHS: Where did he live then?

GRANOFF: Near Oak Street. I've forgotten the number.

[25]

FUCHS: Was it on Oak Street?

GRANOFF: No, it was a side street. That's when I got really acquainted with him, not ever dreaming that he would ever be Senator, Vice President, or President, in those days. I never had thought of it, of course. He was a lot of fun, a lot of fun. And these things developed. We used to sit next to each other and talk about things, and I seemed to have made an impression on him, don't ask me why.

FUCHS: Were Jewish affairs, specifically Zionism, ever discussed?

GRANOFF: Never. Never. Nothing, not even politics, unless generally. I'm supposed to dislike, and I do dislike risqué stories, I don't like them. I never told them and I don't dare tell them. Truman would participate in trying to embarrass me by telling some off-color story, and then

[26]

claimed that I blushed. Maybe I did. Even in the White House, many times, he and Eddie would get into these dirty stories, and then roar with laughter when they claimed that I was blushing. There was no deep conversation of any kind. Those two men were quite good judges, Caskie Collet, and Al Ridge. But nothing of any depth was discussed even when we would stop for a half an hour to have a bite to eat. Just small talk.

FUCHS: What were your impressions of him as a poker player?

GRANOFF: He was a good poker player, and I never was, by the way. I think I told you that--maybe I didn't--if held sit next to me, held lean over and look at my cards and say, "I got you beat already."

FUCHS: Did he like to drink?

[27]

GRANOFF: Yes, and he did have pinkish color in his cheeks, but never drank to the extent to where he would be in any way offensive. Never. He knew his limits. The limit was then--he could drink.

FUCHS: How did your relationship with Eddie Jacobson develop over the period?

GRANOFF: Well, I told you we got started by playing gin rummy, but the real start was when he bought, I've forgotten the year, when he decided to buy that store. I represented him. Later on, he got mad at me because I wouldn't charge him anything. It wasn't much work at all. It was a simple matter. He more than paid me back, you know, suits and shirts and socks and pajamas and what have you. And we got to know each other pretty well, pretty well. Then he would come in with little legal matters after he bought the store. It didn't amount to anything

[28]

and I would always take care of him. I never sent him a bill. He sent me all of these other things, and never sent me a bill. We were very, very close. We would talk about our families and things of that kind. But we never discussed Jewish questions or anything of that kind. We'd see each other maybe once a week for lunch at Bretton's or some other place--it wasn't known as Bretton's then, it was known by some other name. Until I had that call from Washington, which I told you about.

FUCHS: This call came in what month and year?

GRANOFF: To the best I know now, I may have a record of it, but it came in, I would say, around in June of 1947. May or June, my guess now is that it was June, 1947, from Maurice Bisgyer, who started talking, and Frank was on another extension. Maurice was executive vice-president and Frank was president. I had served under

[29]

them and we knew each other very, very well, almost intimately.

FUCHS: Did you hold office at that time in this area?

GRANOFF: Yes, I did, some commission or something . . .

FUCHS: . . . of B’nai B’rith?

GRANOFF: Yes. I was called on frequently on their problems in this area, and I was most active, not only locally but nationally, in B’nai B’rith. He called up and we started, "How are you," and so on. He said, "Frank is on another line. Do you know a man by the name of Jacobs?" He said everything excepting "Jacobson." "A man by the name of Jacobs, Jacobstein, or something like that, who is supposed to be a very close friend of President Truman?"

I said, "Yes, you mean a man named Eddie Jacobson."

[30]

Well, at that time it was too early for the partition business, but he wanted to discuss with him the matter of the hundred thousand refugees, the refugee problem, to persuade Britain to lift up the bars and let these poor refugees go in.

I said, "I'll talk to him and let you know."

I called up Eddie and he said, "Sure I'll talk to him. He, like Truman, cussed a blue streak. Every word was a damn or a hell or something else. "I don't know what in the hell I can do, but sure I'll meet him." He passed it off as if it was nothing.

I made the appointment and Frank and Maurice came to Kansas City, and I had these two gentlemen meet. Once in a while he talked to me about going to see Truman, but he couldn't get anywhere. He could with Truman, but Truman couldn't get anywhere with Britain, you

[31]

see, on this refugee problem. And gradually, of course we fell into this partition business.

FUCHS: Now, Bisgyer and Goldman were both New Yorkers?

GRANOFF: No, Goldman was a Massachusetts man, that town close to Boston, I've forgotten, I’ll get it for you later.

FUCHS: Lowell?

GRANOFF: Lowell, yes. And Bisgyer originated in New York.

FUCHS: They called you from New York?

GRANOFF: No, this was in Washington, because the home office of B’nai B’rith was in Washington.

FUCHS: Now, how had Eddie Jacobson come to their attention, do you know?

GRANOFF: I guess I know, but I can't tell you right this minute. I'm sure they told us but I

[32]

can't remember.

FUCHS: Now, when you met in Kansas City, do you have a recollection of the meeting?

GRANOFF: Oh, I was with them the several hours they were here, then they flew back. Eddie agreed to see Truman, and did, of course. And he continued to see him, and then of course, gradually came to the partition business.

FUCHS: Do you remember when he first saw Mr. Truman about the refugee problem?

GRANOFF: I would imagine within a week thereafter.

FUCHS: Did he go to Washington?

GRANOFF: Yes, and he couldn't afford to, really, in those days, and he went at his own expense. And I went at my own expense.

FUCHS: Did you go with him on that first visit?

[33]

GRANOFF: No, sir. I had nothing to do with the refugee problem. He didn't ask me and I certainly didn't volunteer and I had no activity except to discuss with him, to orient him to the problem. Of course, he knew next to nothing about it, you see. He hardly read the newspaper about it, he didn't know the refugee problems until they were mentioned to him. I would then brief him on things, you see.

FUCHS: It wasn't at this time, though, he took what has been termed a rather intense course in Jewish history?

GRANOFF: No, he never took an intense course in Jewish history. I don't think he did. He did it the easy way. I would go with him a lot of times, you see.

FUCHS: He didn't become at this time in 1947

[34]

strongly committed to [Chaim] Weizmann's policies and Zionism?

GRANOFF: Well, Weizmann was never mentioned. Weizmann never came into the picture until almost a year later, you see.

FUCHS: Yes. Well, now what is the next recollection that you have of you and Mr. Jacobson becoming involved in negotiations with the President, clear recollection?

GRANOFF: Well, the clear recollection is, and I can't pinpoint the exact date, is when the idea of implementing a Jewish state came to the fore, became intensely interesting, intensely interesting. And Jacobson took hold right away.

FUCHS: Was this prior to the resolution of November 29, 1947?

[35]

GRANOFF: Oh, Lord, yes. It had to be. Oh, yes. It started almost at the very beginning. No, when it came to the resolution, it started to appear in the United Nations around in, I'd say--I'd have to look--in August 1947. And then, of course, it grew and grew. Of course, Russia was for it strong. I have often wondered how much that one factor influenced us, influenced Truman. Russia, from the very beginning to the end, was very strong for the Jewish state, and there's a reason. Of course, its motives, it's only a guess, one, that they would get a foothold in that area, I'm sure. It's just a guess, of course.

FUCHS: Your thinking is that Truman felt that he had to trump their cards?

GRANOFF: No, it's a funny thing. I discussed with Eddie this Russian factor, but as I sit here,

[36]

I cannot recall as I sit here, a single instance when I was present, which was many times, when Russia was ever mentioned, by either Jacobson, Truman, or myself. I do not recall, excepting that Eddie and I, more than once thought about it and talked about it, but we never mentioned it to the President.

FUCHS: Could you hazard a guess as to how many times Mr. Jacobson or you and Mr. Jacobson went back prior to the March, 1948 . . .

GRANOFF: You mean, prior to November?

FUCHS: Well, I was thinking from the period, say, when the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine came out in favor of partition, up to the time that Mr. Jacobson went back to influence Mr. Truman to see Weizmann to recognize Israel?

GRANOFF: Most of my visits with Eddie, excepting on three or four occasions, thereafter, like

[37]

that testimonial dinner that I told you about, were prior to November 29. I always remember that a few days later, and when Eddie and I got together that Saturday afternoon when the news came out, we both couldn't restrain our tears, when the partition resolution passed by a vote of 33 to 13. I remember that it was a day or two later, I told you, that he was very much emotionally aroused. He called up, and that story is in that article, he calls up, Eddie, and he said, "I got a brainstorm."

"What's on your mind?"

He said, "We have bothered the President so many times, don't you think we ought to go there right now to Washington and say only, 'Mr. President, thank you and God bless you."'

I said, "Do you call that a brainstorm? That's an inspiration.''

And we two poor guys dug into our little bank accounts and went there. We were ushered

[38]

in and stayed quite a while. The article says we didn't but we stayed quite a while. And we came here once in our lives not as king you for anything. Just to say thank you and God bless you."

FUCHS: Now, this was after the recognition?

GRANOFF: No, no, after the partition.

FUCHS: After the resolution was passed.

GRANOFF: Yes, I'll tell you the date offhand. It was December 8th. It happened to be Eddie's twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. We got in there and he said, "Sit down, you bastards, sit down." That's the way he talked. And those two buddies started talking about each other. And I think they forgot that I was even there, trying to relive and all of a sudden Eddie said, "Harry, where was I twenty-eight years ago today?"

[39]

He looked up, thought for a minute or so, and to quote him directly, "Twenty-eight, 1919, why, you and I were on 12th and Baltimore Streets losing our asses in that store."

The President of the United States.

He said, "No, indeed not. I got hitched that night."

"My God," he says, "I got hitched in June of that same year.

And they said, it was a bitterly cold night, and they started to tell the story how Truman went over to Eddie and they were going to kidnap Bluma. The wedding was at his father's house, Eddie's father's house, and they were going to kidnap Bluma. "I'll tell you what I'll do, I’ll go downtown, get my car. " Don’t forget, this is 1919. No heater and the cars were not equipped with any closed doors, there was just canvas, you know. He went down--and he described the bitterness--of that cold night--

[40]

he went by streetcar downtown from 43rd and Prospect to the garage downtown, eventually came back and took him and Bluma over with his sis and a couple of other friends to the station on the way to St. Louis, to the station in Independence. They got there. You should hear them describe this. It was a red bellied stove. They were frozen to death, Truman, Eddie and Bluma. They turned their behinds--he used another term--to thaw out and when the train stopped the conductor said, "Oh, you're the newlyweds. There’s a big crowd out there that's looking for you, at Kansas Cit