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Harry S. Truman Papers Post-Presidential Papers

Dates: 1860, 1953-1978. Bulk Date Span: 1953-1973

Most of this collection is composed of correspondence arranged in a number of different series, including the Secretary’s Office File, which contains material that Truman's personal secretary felt was especially sensitive and decided to keep in her own office; the Name File, which includes most of Mr. Truman's exchanges of correspondence with prominent persons; and the very large General Correspondence File, which contains public mail and other correspondence deemed by Truman’s staff to be less important. The collection also contains many other series, including a Speech File, a Trip File, an Invitations File, a series containing the documents found in Truman's desk after his death, a series containing materials created during the writing of Truman's Memoirs, and a series relating to the construction and early history of the Harry S. Truman Library.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series and Subseries Descriptions | Folder Title List]

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 364 linear feet.
Access: Open, with the exception of some material closed due to donor restrictions.
Copyright: The donor gave to the U.S. government the copyrights in this material and in any other material received by the U.S. government and maintained in a depository administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Documents created by U.S. government officials in the course of their official duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Jan Davis, John Miller, Stephanie Rohr, Martina Smith, Randy Sowell, and others (2010-2015).

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description |
| Series and Subseries Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1884 (May 8)

 

Born, Lamar, Missouri

1887

 

Moved with family to farm near Grandview, Missouri

1890

 

Moved with family to Independence, Missouri

1901

 

Graduated form Independence High School

1901-1906

 

Lived in Independence and Kansas City, Missouri; held various jobs, including clerk at two Kansas City banks

1905-1911

 

Served in Missouri National Guard

1906-1917

 

Worked on family farm near Grandview, Missouri

1917-1919

 

Served in 129th Field Artillery; commanded Battery D during World War I; promoted to rank of Captain

1919 (June 28)

 

Married Bess Wallace at Trinity Episcopal Church, Independence, Missouri

1919-1922

 

Partner with Eddie Jacobson in Kansas City haberdashery

1923-1925

 

Eastern District Judge, Jackson County (Missouri) Court

1924 (February 17)

 

Daughter Mary Margaret born

1927-1935

 

Presiding Judge of the Jackson County (Missouri) Court

1935-1945

 

United States Senator from Missouri

1945 (January 20-April 12)

 

Vice President of the United States

1945 (April 12)-1953 (January 20)

 

President of the United States

1953 (January)

 

Left Presidency and retired to Independence, Missouri

1957 (July 6)

 

Helped dedicate the Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri

1972 (December 26)

 

Died, Research Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri

     

A more detailed timeline of Harry S. Truman's life and Presidency is available on the Truman Trivia Page.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description |
| Series and Subseries Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The Post-Presidential Papers of Harry S. Truman consist of correspondence and other documents created or compiled by Mr. Truman from the end of his Presidency in 1953 until his death in 1972. The paper are arranged in forty-three series, but four large series of correspondence make up more than half of the collection. The collection is currently being reprocessed and further information will be added to this finding aid as reprocessing continues.

The first series, the Daily Engagements File, contains appointment calendars, daily and monthly agendas, correspondence, newsprint clippings, and programs from various meetings, events, and dinners. The calendars and agendas contain the handwriting of Harry S. Truman, Rose Conway (Truman’s personal secretary), and Truman’s other secretaries. The monthly agendas include appointments and appearances, both attended and declined. The correspondence is mostly from Harry S. Truman, either accepting or declining various invitations. The programs and pamphlets are sometimes inscribed with Truman’s handwriting with directives on handling or replies to those who sent the programs and pamphlets. The engagements include everything from dinner with Margaret Truman Daniel to sporting events and political commitments.

The second series, the Family Correspondence File, contains correspondence, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, memorabilia, and photographs. The correspondence between relatives includes information about health and greetings exchanged at holidays and birthdays. Correspondence with close relatives such as Truman’s brother, J. Vivian Truman, and Margaret Truman Daniel are mostly routine in nature. Commemorative stamps and first day covers given to Harry S. Truman for his grandchildren and other memorabilia are included. Photographs of relatives and photographs associated with Margaret Truman Daniel’s television career are also included in this series.

The third series, the Secretary's Office File, contains correspondence, handwritten notes, greeting cards, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photographs, memoranda, cables, speeches and speech drafts, itineraries and schedules, articles, books, and legislation. The contents of this series were segregated by Rose Conway, Truman’s personal secretary, due to their perceived importance. The series includes correspondence from such prominent figures as Dean Acheson, H. Roe Bartle, John F. Kennedy, Richard J. Daley, Herbert Hoover, Hubert H. Humphrey, Lyndon B. Johnson, George McGovern, Pope Pius XII, Bob Hope, and Jackie Robinson. There are also notes, annotated drafts, and lists concerning the various books written by Harry S. Truman after his Presidency.

The fourth series, the Name File, contains correspondence, handwritten notes, greeting cards, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photographs, memoranda, cables, speeches and speech drafts, itineraries and schedules, articles, books, and legislation. The Name File contains correspondence with prominent figures in the Democratic Party, leaders of other countries, and such notable persons as Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bob Hope, J. Edgar Hoover, Tallulah Bankhead, Jack Benny, and Edward R. Murrow.

The fifth series, the General Correspondence File, contains correspondence, handwritten notes, greeting cards, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photographs, memoranda, cables, speeches and speech drafts, itineraries and schedules, articles, books, and legislation. The General Correspondence File primarily contains correspondence with the general public and also correspondence related to businesses, associations, organizations, churches, countries, memberships, and specific subjects.

The sixth series, the Outgoing Correspondence File (Pinks), contains primarily pink carbon copies of outgoing correspondence, mostly from Harry S. Truman and a small amount from Bess Truman. The series includes correspondence to such prominent individuals as Dean Acheson, Spiro Agnew, Eugenie Anderson, Tallulah Bankhead, Thomas Hart Benton, Winston Churchill, Clifton Daniel, Margaret Truman Daniel, John Foster Dulles, Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas Fairbanks, Erle Stanley Gardner, Georgia Neese Gray, Herbert Hoover, Hubert Humphrey, Eddie Jacobson, Lyndon Johnson, Edward Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, David Lloyd, Grandma Moses, Jawaharlal Nehru, Chester Nimitz, Richard Nixon, Syngman Rhee, Matthew Ridgway, Eleanor Roosevelt and Walter Bedell Smith.

The seventh series, the Birthday Correspondence File, contains birthday cards, telegrams, letters, and carbon copy replies that are primarily from the general public. Other individuals include U.S. Senators and Representatives, former White House advisors, Supreme Court Justices, ambassadors, government officials, mayors, governors, organizations, and school classes. Donations for the Truman Library were also sent to as part of some of the birthday wishes.

The eighth series, the Christmas Correspondence File, contains Christmas cards, telegrams, letters, and carbon copy replies that are primarily from the general public. The ninth series, the Wedding Anniversary Correspondence File, contains anniversary cards, telegrams, letters, and carbon copy replies that are primarily from the general public. The tenth series, the Illness Correspondence File, contains get well cards, telegrams, letters, and carbon copy replies that are primarily from the general public.

The eleventh series, the Correspondence Relating to Margaret Truman File, contains correspondence, carbon copy replies, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, printed materials, and telegrams related to Margaret Truman’s engagement to Clifton Daniel, the birth of Harry & Bess Truman’s first grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel; the 1955 "Person to Person" broadcast when Margaret Truman interviewed her parents, and Margaret Truman’s life and career.

The twelfth series, the Biographical File, contains correspondence, carbon copy replies, newspaper clippings, and printed materials related to Harry S. Truman’s personal and family history.

The thirteenth series, the List of Books and Photographs Autographed File, contains lists names of individuals who received booklets, menus and photographs signed by Harry S. Truman, lists of books inscribed to Harry and Bess Truman, and lists of individuals who received copies of The Man From Missouri, Memoirs, Mr. Citizen, Public Papers, and Truman Speaks.

The fourteenth series, Foreign Relations Series File, primarily contains correspondence between Harry S. Truman and Bernard Baruch and G. Bernard Noble regarding documents to include in the “Foreign Relations of the United States” volume about the history of the Potsdam Conference held in 1945. This series also contained copies of documents that are located in the Harry S. Truman Papers.

The fifteenth series, Mr. Citizen File, contains correspondence, drafts with annotations, newspaper clippings, notes and transcripts of taped interviews for the book, Mr. Citizen. David Noyes and William Hillman conducted the interviews of Harry S. Truman for this autobiography.

The sixteenth series, Congratulatory Letters on Leaving Office File, contains correspondence, carbon copy replies, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, and telegrams relating to Harry S. Truman leaving office of the President.

The seventeenth series, Harry Dexter White Case File, contains correspondence, carbon copy replies, newspaper clippings, and telegrams relating to Attorney General Herbert Brownell’s speech of November 6, 1953, denouncing President Truman’s 1946 appointment of Harry Dexter White as United States Director for the International Monetary Fund. The writers of this mail were divided approximately 85 percent in support of President Truman. On August 10, 1978, the archivist of the United States authorized the destruction of 95 percent of this material after the remaining five percent, which had been selected by random sampling, was set aside for permanent retention.

The eighteenth series, Masonic File, contains correspondence, carbon copy replies, newspaper clippings, and printed materials primarily regarding Harry S. Truman’s Masonic career.

The nineteenth series, Television File, contains correspondence, carbon copy replies, newspapers clippings, press releases, script drafts, scripts, speeches, and telegrams, primarily related the television program “Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman.” Also included is a 1957 interview with Edward R. Murrow. This project began in 1961 when Harry S. Truman signed a contract with Talent Associates—Paramount Ltd., to help produce a series of one-hour programs for television. David Susskind, vice president of the company, arranged the contract. Later in 1961, Susskind and script writer, Merle Miller, worked with Mr. Truman in producing a one-hour episode on Truman’s life and career. The plan was then changed to provide for 39 half-hour episodes, and in 1962 the first half-hour segment was filmed, relating to the Korean War. After these two films were completed, Talent Associates stopped production and in 1963 sold its rights to Ben Gradus